Building a powerful brand in the competitive online world is a challenging task. There are many foundational elements that make up a brand identity, and it should go without saying that a tone of voice is one of its most important pillars.
Why? Because your tone of voice helps define your brand’s personality and can fuel all your online efforts, including your sales and marketing strategies. From lead generation and content marketing to sales and support, your tone of voice can help educate, inspire, and convert.
With that in mind, are you ready to start creating your brand’s tone of voice to help move your business forward? Let’s take a look at the key tips and steps you should consider.
Do You Know Your Audience?
First thing’s first, defining and creating your brand’s tone of voice starts with meticulous audience and industry research. After all, how are you supposed to optimize your voice, and all its complementary elements, if you don’t understand the people you’re talking to?
Consider the following:
- What drives and motivates your audience?
- How do they talk?
- What are their values and goals?
- What kind of relationship do they expect to have with their favorite brands?
- Is it a professional or a friendly relationship?
These are just some of the questions you should answer in order to create detailed buyer personas that you can use to adapt your tone of voice. That said, you should also keep your competitors in mind.
It’s important that you align your tone of voice according to your audience research, but you should be careful not to create a voice that’s too similar to your competitors. Poorly-branded companies tend to sound alike, and you want your voice to be unique enough to set you apart from the crowd.
Start with Your Values and Brand Promise
Before you can start creating the voice itself, you should remember that other elements of your brand’s identity play a role here as well. For example, your brand’s unique values and the promises you communicate to the world can greatly shape its voice. Why? Because different values resonate with different audiences and their sensibilities.
That’s why it’s so important to define your brand’s values early on, and to craft a brand promise that conveys those values in an impactful way. You’ll then want to phrase those values and promises carefully to fit your brand’s identity, and weave them into your messaging, mission, vision, and other brand elements.
To create your values and promises, you should first figure out what your audience truly cares about, so include that in your research. After that, you can start aligning your brand with the same causes and values, and derive a promise to achieve something that your audience can truly appreciate.
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Define Your Brand’s ‘Tone of Voice’
Now that we have the competitive research and the values taken care of, we can finally start crafting a brand ‘tone of voice’ that can echo throughout the industry. The way you define your voice depends on a number of key factors, such as:
- Audience preferences and target demographic
- Your competitors’ brand voices
- Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C sector
- Your industry and niche
- Market trends and forecasts
- How you want to position yourself
When it comes to positioning, you can be a trendsetter or a follower. There’s nothing inherently wrong if you don’t want your brand voice to go against industry standards, but you’ll risk blending into the crowd.
On the other hand, if you choose to transform your brand voice using humor, for example if you’re in an industry where a professional voice is the norm, you may be able to separate your business from everyone else. It’s a big risk, but one that may be worth it in the long run if your audience is tired of listening to the same old voices.
Perhaps they want an innovative brand in the industry to break the mold.
Weave Your Brand’s Voice into Your Website
Whether your brand’s tone of voice is 100% professional, or a little bit whimsical and melodic, it’s important to weave your voice into every aspect of your online existence. This means weaving your voice into your website and social channels, and everywhere else on the web where your voice can be heard.
Building your online presence is a difficult task in its own right, and while the cost of a website doesn’t need to be high, the real challenge is portraying your brand in the best possible light.
To that end, make sure to:
- Define a clear messaging you want on your site
- Define your values, purpose, and promises
- Structure content on every page for easy reading
- Optimize your content for SEO with relevant keywords
- Put everything together using your unique voice and wording
This process requires brainstorming and continuous testing, but also ongoing optimization through internal and external feedback. Keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to build a perfect website with the perfect voice on the first try.
Instead, focus on optimizing your online presence and the voice within by asking for feedback and listening carefully to what your brand developers, content specialists, and customers have to say.
Mind the Packaging
It’s important to represent and showcase your brand across all customer touchpoints, both online and offline. Let’s say you launch a product using social media, and you’ve given it a certain look and tone. When you’re shipping your products to customers, for example, you want to extend that approach to your packaging and go the extra mile by branding the whole experience.
Yes, visual branding is important here but so is your tone of voice and the messages you include with every package. From branded packaging all the way to custom packing tape that you can personalize with your company’s messaging and voice, you have an opportunity here to dazzle your customers and make a lasting impression.
If you go with the cheaper option and decide to use stock packaging provided by the shipping company, you may not be able to make the lasting impression needed to turn customers into brand advocates. With all of that in mind, consider going the extra mile and make a conscious decision to invest in branded packaging.
Ensure Consistency for Your Sub-Brands
Many businesses decide to acquire other businesses and bring them into their family, or to brand different product lines to give them a unique identity. This is a great way to approach business growth and expansion, but you should try to be careful when defining certain brand elements.
The first thing you’ll want to do is to define your brand architecture and create a structure that will allow all your brands to live together, as unique parts of a whole. This is a difficult task that can require months of strategizing and even outside help, but is nonetheless crucial for long-term success when you have multiple brands.
On the other hand, while your brands might have similar visual identities to symbolize their cohesiveness, you should try to give them different voices to let them stand out. Each of your brands’ voices should be consistent across all of their online channels and customer touchpoints.
So, give your sub-brands a unique voice, but make each brand consistent across the web. This is how each brand will be able to build loyalty and engagement, while remaining a part of your umbrella brand.
Over to You
The way you set up your brand can make or break your business in the long run. You can have the best products or services on the market with the most competitive pricing, but if you don’t have a brand, people won’t have a reason to stick around.
Without a brand tone of voice, you can’t engage your audience or inspire them to take action, either. So, be sure to follow the steps we have laid out for you today to create a compelling brand voice that will help your business stand out in a competitive industry.
For more information on creating your perfect brand voice contact us here or through the form below.
Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More