Brand tone of voice is likely one of those buzzwords you’ve seen touted everywhere. Everyone seems to be talking about its importance (and I agree with them wholeheartedly), but is anyone telling you how to actually create one? I didn’t think so! You’ll be relieved to know that I’m here to change that for you right now.
Establishing your brand voice is an absolute must, but that doesn’t mean it has to be an overly complicated process. Before you can understand how to define it, you must first understand what it is and why it is important.
What is this brand voice thing anyway?
Your brand voice is exactly what it sounds like. It is how your brand “speaks.” Brand voice is much more than the word choice in your copywriting, however. Your brand voice focuses on the manner in which you use words to craft your messages. It should be consistently implemented across all communication, regardless of the medium. All social media marketing content, for example, should sound the same as your advertising campaigns and sales materials – even though the particular messages may be completely different. The goal is for your audience to recognize right away which brand is sharing the content before ever seeing your logo!
Why should having a distinct brand voice matter?
You are adding another thing to my list, Ines! Is this really necessary? The short answer is – yes! Though having a brand voice is important across all channels, it’s especially important in social media marketing. Here are just a few of the many reasons why this should be a non-negotiable part of your marketing strategy:
· Your brand voice helps bridge stronger connections with your audience as it personifies your brand.
· Consistent use of your brand voice will develop instant brand recognition no matter where your content is seen.
· Using a distinct voice makes your brand feel familiar and easily identifiable.
· Your brand’s tone of voice gives off an impression of credibility and seriousness about what you do.
· A strategic and consistent tone of voice is much more persuasive.
How do I create my own brand voice?
Now that the what and why are (hopefully) pretty clear, let’s dive into the how. Here are five steps to establishing a solid brand voice you can start implementing now.
1. Define your brand’s personality.
The best way to do this is to think about your brand as a person. Try to answer these questions:
· What type of personality traits does your brand have?
· How should your brand sound when communicating with friends?
· How would your brand introduce itself to someone for the first time?
2. Connect with your brand values.
Think about the core values of your company. Much of what you say will stem from these pillars. For example, if one of your brand values is social justice, many of your brand’s conversations will revolve around this topic. Weave your company’s values into your tone of voice and brand vocabulary. All elements of your messaging should be aligned.
3. Consider your audience.
When creating a brand voice, you should always have your audience in mind. You want to be able to speak their language – literally and figuratively. Perhaps your ideal clients (link here to social media strategy post) prefer to use language that is more to the point or professional. On the other hand, you may have an audience that relates better to a conversational tone that makes them feel like they are sitting amongst friends. At the end of the day, you are only as strong as your brand messages. Make them resonate.
4. Nail down your vocabulary.
What types of words will you use? Think about specific phrases or words that can help make your brand voice stand out. There are some simple areas to differentiate your brand voice in a memorable way, like with what you call your current customers, how you greet potential clients in emails/phone calls, and which phrases you use in social media posts. Be sure to apply your brand voice and special vocabulary across all areas of your business, both written and spoken.
5. Craft your tone and approach.
Will you be punchy and witty? Perhaps being informative yet informal is more aligned with your brand style. No matter which direction you choose, know the one you pick is the one you will need to use consistently. If you have more than one person creating copy and content for your brand, I highly suggest putting a brand guide together that includes a well-defined tone of voice document. This will ensure that all written communication on behalf of your brand always sounds the way it should, no matter who is communicating on its behalf.
6. Break some rules.
When developing your brand voice, I give you full permission to bend (and even break) some rules. Though you always want your copy to make sense grammatically, it is totally ok to keep things more casual. As long as it’s on-brand, feel free to use your own words, slang, abbreviations, and sentence fragments. This helps keep your brand voice fresh and unique.
No matter how you decide to establish your brand voice, have fun with it! You’ll see a big difference in how you connect with potential clients and bring your brand to life for current ones. The more you communicate in your unique tone of voice, the more easily recognizable your content will become! Are you ready to take your brand’s content to the next level? Then book a 1:1 Strategy Call with me, and I will coach you on exactly how you can use your distinct brand voice. Let’s work together to elevate your online presence and grow your social media audience.