Your brand already has a voice – but did you create the right brand voice?
Many people confuse the term “brand voice” with a bunch of other things – jingles, logos, slogans, theme songs, language, etc. However, your brand voice isn’t actually a sound – it’s the tone of your communication and the style of your writing. Think to yourself right now – do you have a brand voice, and is it engaging enough?
What Is Brand Voice?
You can think of your brand voice like the personality of your brand. It’s a purposeful, consistent expression of your brand through words and a specific style. It’s meant to engage and motivate your audience and fit in with what your company is all about. Of course, brand voice is just one part of your brand. It works together with your visuals, social media content, digital presence, product packaging, and all other marketing tools. It’s mostly driven by your brand strategy and marketing fundamentals. If you don’t have this yet, let us help with our amazing online course Market Research Made Easy. Also keep in mind that your brand should have its own writing style guide to use with all of your marketing. Brand voice guidelines are different from writing style guidelines, so be sure to get that in your head.
Create The Right Brand Voice
Now that you have an understanding of what brand voice is, let’s apply it to yours. Below are 5 tips to help you create the right brand voice that is both clear and strong.
1. Define Your Voice
You have to have a clear definition of what your brand voice is before implementing it everywhere. A good place to start is choosing three words that capture the personality of the voice you want for your brand. For example, if you choose “fun, girly, and conversational,” then think about using phrases such as “Hey girl!” or “Hey Chica” in your marketing.
Here are some examples of different brand voices you can choose from:
- Cheerful or Positive
- Frank or Unapologetic
- Fun or Humorous
- Playful or Girly
- Upbeat or Inspirational
2. Know Your Audience
Besides defining your voice, you also have to define your audience. This is SUPER crucial for it will affect a lot of your writing styles. For example, you can’t use the “Hey girl!” above in your marketing language if you’re targeting men. Especially if your brand persona or products are more serious, you need your brand voice to match this. Be sure to take into consideration your target market’s gender, age, interests, and location. There’s also a lot of “trendy” language out there that only millennials will understand, such as “slay, woke, salty, thirsty, basic, trolls, bae, goals, on fleek, fire, ratchet, I can’t even, FOMO, dead, lit” – the list honestly goes on and on. Pick a brand voice that is relatable to your audience so they 100% understand it.
3. Differentiate From Your Competition
A good market strategy includes looking at a list of your competitors. Therefore it’s essential to know what they are doing so you can distinguish yourself from them. What’s their tone or attitude? What are they saying in their marketing strategies? How can you be different to your target market? You don’t want to write like everyone else, because that’s basically saying your product and brand is just like everyone else’s. Really think of a creative brand voice that will make your company stand out from the rest.
4. Listen Before You Write
We discussed that your brand voice is written, but that doesn’t mean you can’t speak it out loud or listen first. Really think to yourself how your customers would communicate. Is it more formal and serious, or more casual and conversational? This is what will determine how to write your brand voice. Pay close attention to what people are saying to create the right brand voice. Your goal here is to build something that’s appealing to your audience so again they understand it, but it also has to be authentic to your offering. Additionally, reading what you write will help tremendously. You can hear it for yourself if your brand voice sounds too cheesy or silly or doesn’t fit in with your brand product.
5. Always Evolve
The times and language are always changing, as should your brand voice. We want you to create the right brand voice for your company, but know you shouldn’t create the PERFECT brand voice. Brand voice isn’t fixed, so it’s very fluid. You have to constantly keep up with your audience, work across new communication channels, and constantly communicate in fresh new ways. Never stop analyzing the voice of your competitors and your very own brand, on top of new lingo and technology. What’s “hot” and “in” today can be history tomorrow.
How to Develop Content Using Your Brand Voice
Now that you know how to create the right brand voice, it’s time to figure out how to use that brand voice in your content. Below are some ideas to get you started!
1. Engage Your Audience
Your brand voice can and really needs to engage with your audience. And the best way to do that is to stop trying so hard. Allow your brand voice to relax, be real, and solely speak the truth. Even if your brand is super serious, you shouldn’t avoid a conversational or friendly tone. You still need to be approachable in order to be profitable! The easiest way to do this is to ask your audience questions, always following-up with their responses, and get a conversation going.
2. Inspire Others
On top of being engaging, your brand voice can be inspiring and bold. You want to speak directly to your audience. A great way of doing this is to use action verbs, short phrases, and alway leave a call-to-action. You want your audience to take your brand voice and do something with it, whether it leaves them thinking or leads them to buying your product. Just inspire them to do something with what you are telling them through your brand voice and key messages.
3. Community & Conversation
The best way to demonstrate your brand voice is on social media. Having a social media voice lets your community – both new and old – know what to expect when they interact with you. Your followers are your community and tribe of people, so truly listen to them first. Find out their problems and concerns, see how they voice their feelings, and most importantly make sure you know what they want from you. Basically, you want to speak their language and on their terms. Then with culture and community comes conversation. Determine what you’re bringing to your audience and then communicate with personality and authenticity. The key here is to NOT hard sell with your language. Talk in a way that’s comfortable, conversational, and relatable.
4. Educate Them
Another easy way to use your brand voice is when you are educating your customers. People love learning new things, so give them as many interesting facts as you can! Starting off with a new piece of info will leave your audience intrigued and willing to learn more. They’ll find your brand interesting and one to follow-up with time and time again. So always keep your information relevant and new.
5. Express Your Culture
Every company and organization has something that makes it unique, whether it’s philanthropy or a founding story, etc. Think to yourself: What do you stand for? What do you talk about? What makes you stand out? This is your organization’s personality and can be part of your new brand voice. Make those elements the inspiration for your online voice and take your audience inside your brand’s experience.
So, what’s your brand voice? Which tip was the most helpful to you? Let us know in the comments!
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