Creating a consistent brand voice tends to be a pretty low priority for most businesses: if it’s even a priority at all. Business professionals can sometimes make the common mistake of thinking that a “brand voice” is just another term for marketing or social selling, but this misconception can lead to trouble as their companies grow.
In actuality, a clearly defined brand voice should be utilized throughout your entire company to avoid misleading or confusing potential clients. It should seamlessly cross all lines of communication, including your company’s:
- Calls to action. Even simple promotional materials or CTA buttons on your website should be similar in style. Randomly switching up your tone for different parts of the sales process can be insincere or untrustworthy.
- Captions. Instagram captions can definitely encourage you to be creative, but you might want to think twice before you post a cliché statement that doesn’t really represent your brand.
- Emails. An email should generally be more formal than a Tweet (especially if you’re responding to an upset client), but your brand’s personality should still be noticeable. For example, you shouldn’t use a thesaurus for every other word in an attempt to sound more professional.
- Social media posts. This can be especially challenging if your accounts are run by different people, or if there is no regular posting schedule. As your brand attracts more followers, consistency is crucial for maintaining their attention and trust.
- Original content. Your photos, videos, blogs, and any other content your company produces should accurately represent your brand’s voice. For instance, it would be jarring if Apple suddenly released a colorful, boisterous ad that completely opposed their well-established minimalistic aesthetic.
Before you start to have a second-hand personality crisis on behalf of your brand, know that creating the right voice for your company doesn’t have to be an intimidating task. If you take the next few suggestions to heart, your business will be well on its way to having a strong, recognizable persona.
Start With Your Values
Begin by reviewing your company’s mission statement and core values. It can be refreshing to get back to basics and do a little brainstorming with the “we’re __, not that” exercise. It’s a pretty straightforward technique, but it can help your team get on the same page about what your company really stands for. Content Cucumber’s voice, for example, is:
- Entertaining, but not misleading.
- Knowledgeable, but not cocky.
- Helpful, but not condescending.
- Quirky, but not disconcerting.
Another great place to start defining your brand voice is by thinking of the mantras that are commonly repeated throughout your workplace. For instance, our writers often remind each other to “Write blogs that you would want to read,” and to make sure each article “Informs, entertains, and inspires” our audience.
Do Some Character-Building
Sorry to burst your bubble if you thought you’d be free from using personification and character archetypes after your 9th-grade English class. However, since you’re using these tools for your own business, it should be slightly more enjoyable than analyzing the bad poetry of your high-school classmates.
Begin the character-building process by asking yourself this: if your company were a person, how would you describe their personality? Look through your recent blogs, social media posts, emails, and direct messages. Do you think that everyone you interacted with would use the same adjectives to describe your tone? If not, start thinking about how you would ideally like your brand to be perceived, and how you can best interact with your customers.
Get to Know Your Audience
Brand and marketing strategist, Alex Honeysett, says that considering your target audience is a useful strategy for building a loyal following. “Getting into the heads of the people you’re ultimately trying to woo is a great way to get started thinking about your brand voice,” Honeysett writes. He suggests asking yourself these questions about your average customer:
- What do they look like?
- What do they care about?
- Where do they work?
- What do they do for fun?
- And, most importantly, what do they want from your brand?
Set Up Some Guidelines
Anyone who posts on your website, social media pages, YouTube channel, blog, or other media outlets should all be on the same page regarding your brand’s voice. Work with your team to set clear communication guidelines based on the following specifications:
- Length of words and sentences.
- How you address followers.
- How you refer to your company (for example, do you say “we” when talking about your brand, or do you refer to it in the third person?)
- Spelling and grammar preferences (such as email vs. e-mail).
- The use of informal language (abbreviations, hashtags, jargon, etc.).
Establish Your Voice Through Blogging
Creating content is how you can firmly establish your brand’s voice, show off your industry expertise, and attract new clients, but it can be hard to squeeze in the time to update your blog several times a week. This is where Content Cucumber can help!
Our professional writers are dedicated to strengthening the brand voices of numerous businesses by creating high-quality, relevant content at a flat monthly rate. Content Cucumber will make sure that the content we deliver will truly reflect your brand and keep your audience engaged for the long run. Check us out and request your own sample article to see how our team can help your business thrive!