Whether you’re a content powerhouse or just dipping your toes in the water, it’s important to keep in mind that your tone of voice builds trust and provides consistency to prospects, customers, employees and other stakeholders throughout their journey with your brand. Is your organization fun and quirky? Irreverent and flippant? Or professional and authoritative?
The Reasons Why
The larger your company grows, the more difficult it is to maintain a consistent tone without having a solid brand book. The CTO might write her blog posts in a terse, highly technical style while your marketing coordinator uses sarcasm and jokes to make his point. You might think this is all well-and-good. After all, your CTO is talking to customers in a different part of their lifecycle while the marketer is focused on brand awareness.
However, will your customer or prospect know it’s your company without seeing your name or logo? If the answer is no, we need to have a discussion about unifying your tone of voice across content channels.
The unifier here is that your brand is your most important business asset. There will always be competitors with different offerings, trying to undercut you on price, support service or features. What makes Coca-Cola stand out from store-brand generic cola isn’t the taste. It’s the brand.
Don’t fall into the trap of letting your tone grow randomly, without direction.
Building a Consistent Tone of Voice
Now, an important caveat is that each distribution channel is different. Speaking to stakeholders in a newsletter will be different than looking for web developers on Reddit. No matter where you are though, your company needs to use the following five tips in order to maintain consistency and protect your brand.
1. Your brand values
Are you changing the industry or providing much-needed stability?
2. Use similar language
Do you describe your product as an app or mobile experience?
3. Focus on similar grammatical styles
Are your sentences long and descriptive or short and pithy?
4. Avoid clichés and corporate double-speak
Do all your competitors say they’re “best-in-class?”
5. Zero in on what your customers actually want
Are they here for the cat GIFs or the industry insights?
So, how do you even go about determining a tone for your business? What should it look like?
A good tone of voice seamlessly matches your visual and brand identity guidelines and encourages your customer to engage. The latter doesn’t have to mean you focus on cute cat GIFs and Buzzfeed-style quizzes. Instead, your tone of voice should foster feelings of authenticity, build trust in your company, humanize your team and include a dash of humor for good measure.
Sometimes, we forget that customers are people, too. They’re looking for value in your content and your product or service, but they also want to have fun. Give ‘em something interesting, and they’ll stick with you – through thick or thin.
Want to learn more about building a persuasive tone of voice for your brand? Grab a virtual cup of coffee with the Digital Brand Lab team at DBL@HotwirePR.com.