Establishing a unique brand voice is key to any successful content marketing campaign. Each piece of content you share, whether it’s a blog, a Facebook status or even an email, should adhere to a specific voice and tone. We’re going to take a look at:
- What a brand voice means
- How a brand voice and benefit an online business
- How do you make it unique?
What is a brand voice?
Your brand voice is essentially to the way you communicate with your audience through your content – this includes things like vocabulary, rhythm and pace. It also refers to your style, whether that’s informative, witty or something else.
Your voice will depend on your brand personality and how you want to come across online. Once you’ve defined your voice, it should generally stay the same. Your tone may change depending on the context, for example:
The media you use – You will likely be more concise and straight to the point on your social channels but more detailed on-site.
Your audience – If you’re talking to a specific audience, you might alter your tone slightly to suit them. For example, you may choose to be more professional on LinkedIn.
Your aim – Your tone may change slightly depending on the purpose of the content. For example, an ‘evergreen’ how-to guide would differ from an news story or newsletter.
Your brand voice is essentially similar to your logo. It can quickly set you aside from other brands by being unique and representative of your business.
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.
- Build relationships – It’s about creating a sense of familiarity, once people recognise you, they’ll begin to 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. As long as your brand voice is consistent, it can help to build long-lasting relationships with customers.
- A sense of trust – A consistent brand voice can also 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 off your personality – An established brand 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.
How to define a brand voice
Choose your target audience
Your voice will depend on your target audience. It would be tricky to find your brand voice without really understanding who you are trying to reach. We recommend creating a buyer persona to help align your brand voice with your target audience. Picture your perfect customer , in terms of demographics, interests, job title etc. How would you use your language to connect to that person? You may have more than one buyer persona, i.e. for different channels or platforms.
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.
Conduct 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.