Every word you put into your content, website, social media and marketing collateral defines how your business is perceived. Writing can emphasise who you are as a brand through the blogs on your website or product descriptions. However, content alone won’t build you long-lasting customer relationships. It’s all in how you engage your audience by having a tone of voice in your copywriting. So whether you like it or not, writing is branding.
In this blog, we’ll share about:
- What is ‘Tone of Voice’?
- What does that mean for your business?
What is ‘Tone of Voice’?
It’s what you choose to describe your brand’s personality and values to your audience, and it remains consistent across all the content you create. The tone, however, is changeable to convey different attitudes. It adds flavour to your voice and keeps your content fresh. Your brand can have one voice as well as many different tones to refine that voice. Your tone of voice plays a significant role in brand identity. Think of it like this, your content as the “what” and your tone of voice as the “how”. As different purposes call for other measures, your tone of voice may vary from time to time.
Now, what does that mean for your business and brand?
How can your company benefit from a clear and defined tone of voice?
Considering how crowded the digital landscape is, there’s chatter from both businesses and individuals alike. Everyone is competing to differentiate and stand out in the crowd. Moreover, there’s just so far you can go with a great logo, content and product features. Instead, you need to give your written content as much attention and consistency as the other elements of your brand profile.
Why you need a tone of voice for your brand
1. Establishes your brand
2. Builds trust
3. Creates an emotional connection with your audience (humanises your brand)
4. Keeps your messaging fresh
5. Gives you a competitive edge
Establishes your brand
The most memorable brands that pop up in our minds are often the more established brands, with a distinct logo, story and personality behind the brand.
Imagine your brand identity as a person, each having their own conversational quirk, personality and style flair. When you identify a clear tone of voice for your brand, people will come to find it trustworthy and dependable. How can you achieve that? Start by establishing consistent communication and tailor your messages to reflect your brand’s image while simultaneously addressing your customers’ needs. Don’t forget to be authentic and genuine, as well!
In fact, 86 percent of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. Around 91 percent of consumers have stated that they would prefer to buy from an authentic brand, and 63 percent of buyers surveyed would buy from an authentic brand over a brand that isn’t perceived as honest.
That’s a large percentage of consumers that prefer authenticity over what you think they want to hear! While it’s no surprise that authenticity builds trust and trust increases sales, many brands still diverge from their brand identity.
Whether inauthenticity is intentional or not, many consumers can sniff out even the tiniest missteps, and that alone can turn into the biggest debacles, like Everlane’s promises about transparency.
So, bear in mind about being truthful with your customers–own up to any mistakes made and avoid sugar coating. My advice is to care about your consumers and remain true to your brand’s core values. Be communicative and understand your customers’ needs. And don’t forget to deliver messages that are relevant to your buyers.
To stand out among your competition, focus on establishing your brand personality and building authentic relationships with your audience.
Have you ever heard this saying, “trust is earned”? It is not given, nor can it be bought, which leads me to build trust vital to a brand. To prove your brand’s “why” to convince people to buy, believe, and promote your brand, you must first gain your consumers’ trust. Building brand trust will also grow loyalty, engagement and advocacy amongst your customers, which means trust can drive sales. That’s why it’s imperative to use your tone of voice to express your brand identity with transparency when communicating with your customers because that will earn their trust better over time.
Building trust and relationships with your customers encompasses way more than customer service and mere interactions with them. Instead, building relationships is about the concept of shared values. Since everything you do is a form of communication to your customers, there are plenty of ways to express your brand’s philosophy and better gain trust and resonate with people. A study by Harvard Business Review found that of the consumers who said they have a brand relationship, 64% cited shared values as the primary reason.
No matter the industry or audience, we should remember that building and maintaining brand trust isn’t easy or guaranteed. It takes transparent messaging, consistency and authenticity in understanding and communicating with your audience.
That being said, brands must instil and build a trustworthy tone of voice into every piece of content they create. Even mistakes and hiccups from your organisation can turn into a great opportunity to build trust if you get it right. Mainly because the trend for honesty and transparency is still going strong in today’s day and age.
Creates an emotional connection with your audience
Although everything has moved towards digitalisation, it’s still nice to have a personal touch with people in our interactions. Knowing that we live in a digitally connected but socially disconnected world, brands with a distinct tone of voice can connect emotionally with their audience. It gives people the feeling that there is a human voice behind the content. With the right style, you can elicit a range of emotions from your readers.
Another thing worth mentioning is the importance of engaging with people through emotions. According to the Harvard Business Review, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers. These customers buy more of your products and services, visit you often, follow your advice, recommend you more – everything you hope their experience with you will cause them to do.
Studies show that we are 1.5x more likely to act based on how we feel in contrast to how we think. It’s particularly relevant because it shows that emotions play a big part in our decision-making process. And aren’t most objectives of brands to drive people to act? A brand that writes with authenticity and puts in the effort to make an emotional connection is more likely to succeed.
Keeps your messaging fresh
In a media-rich society, where we’re quickly bombarded with news, the last thing people want to read or see is the repetitive and boring content. It’s the same feeling as eating stale chips. It’s flavourless and not enjoyable. This applies the same with the type of content you churn and publish onto your website, newsletter, social media and so on.
How can you use your tone of voice to stick out from the sea of content creators? Why not take this as an opportunity to express your creativity in presenting yourself as a brand.
Focus on a unique writing style, and it will draw your readers and leave a good impression on your target audience. Plus, who says you can’t add the element of fun into your messaging too!
Gives you a competitive edge
Besides keeping your messaging fresh, content with a clear brand voice also makes it more compelling for people to read. Generally, users spend about an average of 15 seconds on a web page before deciding to leave. That’s the amount of time you have to catch their attention and leave a lasting impression. When it comes to grabbing users’ attention, it’s not about what you say but how you say it that matters. That’s why it’s imperative to create catchy content for your readers in a unique brand voice to stand out over competitors.
Have a think about how you want your customers to think of your company, and remember that a clear tone of voice helps you gain an extra competitive edge over others.
Behind every brand is a story worth writing. If you know what you stand for as a brand, why not share it with others too? You can use your brand voice to tell your target audience who you are and the personality that makes you uniquely you. So, it’s essential to be clear, consistent and authentic in your messaging. Because establishing your brand voice and status as a thought leader creates much deeper links with your audience. That way, people will begin to warm up to you, form emotional connections with you and begin to trust you too!