When we create a content marketing campaign – we’re aiming to connect with an audience, tell a brand story and maintain existing customer relationships. When we use content in the right way, it can be a real game-changer in terms of your digital marketing performance.
If you want to improve your published content, or if you’re creating a strategy from scratch – establishing your unique voice is a great starting point. Every bit of content you share, whether it’s a blog, a Facebook status or even an email – you should have your brand voice in mind.
Having this established can set you aside from competitors in your industry and make your business stand out. We’re going to cover these main points today to explain how it works:
- What does brand voice mean?
- How can having one benefit your business?
- How do you make it unique?
What is brand voice?
Your brand voice refers to the way you communicate with your audience through your content – this includes your vocabulary, rhythm and pace. Each time you share something, whether that’s on social media, a blog forum or any other form of content – you will be demonstrating your unique brand voice. Your voice will depend on your brand personality and how you want to come across.
Your brand voice should generally stay the same but your tone change depending on the context, for example:
The media you use – You will probably be more concise and straight to the point on your social channels but more detailed on-site.
Your audience – If you are talking to a specific audience, you might alter your tone slightly to suit them. For example, you might change your tone on LinkedIn (more profession) as opposed to your blog.
Your aim – It can depend on your goal; for example, a how-to
blog will be different to a page explaining a personal experience or brand
If your audience can recognise you just from reading your content – then you’ll know you are getting your brand voice right. We think of our brand voice like a logo. It can set you aside from other brands by being unique and representative of your company.
Why do you need a brand voice?
Your brand voice isn’t just what you say, but how you say it – so, it is essentially shaping your personality and creating an image of who you are as a company. We’ve outlined the main benefits below:
- Build relationships – It’s all about creating a sense of familiarity – once people recognise with your tone of voice, they will feel more connected to your brand. Your audience will likely have an impression of you just by reading one blog, or one page on your site. Having a friendly and approachable tone will lead to more engagement. However, you’ll need to maintain that tone if you want repeat custom and an ongoing relationship.
- A sense of trust – A consistent brand voice will make you come across as more confident and trustworthy. In general, consistency will improve your reputation, which comes hand-in-hand with trust. An unpredictable and unrecognisable voice might suggest you are an unreliable company.
- Show your personality – An established tone of voice will express the personality of the people that make up the brand. It’s a way of humanising your business and reminding your audience that they can relate to you as people. You can make yourselves unique and approach your content depending on how you work as a team.
How to define a brand voice
Work out your target audience
Your voice and tone will depend highly on your target audience. It would be tricky to find your brand voice without really understanding who you are trying to reach. Having a buyer persona is a huge part of defining your voice – meaning you need to work out who your ideal customer is. Imagine your perfect customer as one person, in terms of demographics, interests, job title etc. How would you use your language to connect to that person?
Once you’ve established who you want to connect with – you can begin to look at how they communicate amongst each other. One way of doing this is on social channels. Look out for common words and popular topics – then make your content and brand voice more relatable as a result.
Establish brand values
Identifying your central values is also a key part of developing a brand voice. Once you have a clear understanding of your own brand values, you will find it much easier to showcase them throughout your content. We’ve listed a few questions you might want to consider when you’re getting started:
- What makes your brand unique?
- How can you help your customers?
- What do you stand for as a brand?
When you understand your brand values and your audience combined – you’ll be able to make better-informed decisions when it comes to your language and your tone. Deciding whether you’ll come across as informal, professional or light-hearted will depend on both those things.
Do a content audit
Before creating your brand voice, you should evaluate what your brand sounds like right now. Looking over your current content is a great way to check if your brand voice is up to scratch. Think outside the box and don’t just scan through your blogs; there are also things like:
- Site content
- Social media posts
- Radio or tv ads
You can look out for any common themes, phrases and other consistencies. If you notice a lack of consistency, then you can note this down as an area for improvement. Other things to consider are:
- Does your current voice match your brand values?
- Does your current voice resonate with your target audience?
- What pieces of content perform the best?
- What content has the least engagement?
A content audit will give you a clear view of what you sound like now and what you need to adjust to achieve your ideal brand voice.
Following these three steps and putting your findings into a document (i.e. a spreadsheet) will help you to maintain your brand voice across all your content. Your brand voice will start to come more naturally in time – but it’s worth taking the time to review all of your content. An established brand voice will give your audience a good understanding of what you stand for as a brand and make you more recognisable in your industry.
If you have any questions or would like any help shaping your brand or tone of voice, please get in touch.