While many businesses place precedence on the design of their branding, some of these may see their tone of voice as a less important consideration. Yet, brands with a weak voice will find it difficult to maintain brand consistency and properly resonate with their audience.
So, what does tone of voice apply to? Basically, it’s every single thing you write. Every email header, every blog, every newsletter, every social media post, every flyer, poster and banner you create. To ensure you maintain a strong voice, everything you create needs to adhere to your unique tone of voice created from the outset. It all comes together to create an individual company persona that speaks to your audience.
Aligning your brand
Imagine you work for a sports brand. Your branding embodies the spirit of youth culture and is aimed at teenagers and young adults. Without researching and refining your tone of voice, you may risk alienating your audience and creating a disconnect between how your brand looks and how it sounds. Perhaps you write some content in house and outsource other aspects to freelance writers. If you don’t brief them correctly, the content you get back won’t fit in with the style of your brand.
Knowing your audience
Knowing who your tone of voice should appeal to is important. Many brands fail to deliver a relevant and successful tone of voice as they aim to appeal to all people from all walks of life. To work well, you need to establish your target audience and shape your voice to appeal to that particular demographic. Tone of voice isn’t simply what you say, it’s how you say it.
We take a look at some ways you can shape your tone of voice if it hasn’t already been established:
Do some research
To hone a voice which speaks to the people you want to appeal to, take a look at how your competitors do it, read content from other related brands appealing to the same demographic and find out how individuals use their own voice on social media platforms.
Think about how you want to use grammar. Does your brand present all headlines in lowercase? That’s fine, just make it consistent across the board. Consider whether you want to use conjunctives, or if you capitalise certain words. Do you use your full name, or do you shorten it in your marketing materials? Your audience will notice, so make sure you get it right.
Informal vs. formal
If you run a professional accountancy firm, your tone of voice will likely be very different to a new fashion brand or an artisan bakery. That’s not to say you need to adopt a corporate tone of voice without any prior consideration though; think about who you want to appeal to and what will set you apart from the crowd. Think of your voice on a formal/informal sliding scale; you don’t need to be on either side of it, you can place yourself somewhere in the middle dependent on your boundaries.
At Skein, we can help you across the board with your marketing initiatives. To find out more about how we can help your business, get in touch here.