A well-defined voice is absolutely crucial to connecting with your online communities through all your content marketing. Remember when we talked about finding your ideal client? Can’t recall? No worries, check it out here ‘6 easy steps to identify and define your target audience’.
Consider that the first step on your journey to improving your social media and content marketing. This blog is all about your next move – finding your brand’s authentic voice. And guess what? We’ve got a value-packed, incredibly helpful free download to help make it easy for you too because that’s what we do here at Storm Teacup Social [wink, wink].
Do you know the difference between voice and tone?
Your brand’s voice is your ‘who’ – it shows your brand’s personality. Whereas tone is your ‘what’, aka the mood your brand has at any given point in time that it wants to express.
What is a Brand Voice?
Voice is your style and personality, it’s your unique point of view on everything. Imagine your brand is a character in The Bachelor. You have those first precious moments when you step out of the car for the first time when meeting the Bachelor to establish who you are – will you be sweet, genuine, and compassionate? Or perhaps you’re punctual, brash, and just a tad bit sassy (so you leave that lasting impression, leaving the audience wanting more…). Whatever persona you adopt, you need it to be authentic to your brand. Let’s pretend your brand’s voice is the smart, independent, and ambitious type character in The Bachelor (think a classic black dress with sleek hair, striking red lipstick and a piercing gaze).
What is Tone of Voice?
Using the above example of The Bachelor, we’ve established your personality and style (the polished look that is timelessly classic yet still sexy). Her tone would be her attitude and demeanour when interacting with everyone in the house, she would never mince her words, she’s authoritative in nature, a voice of reason with a dash of sass and alluring ways.
Your tone can change, depending on what mood your brand is in. However, your brand’s voice is a constant and can’t change (unless your brand wants to be viewed as the unstable drunk friend at the networking event, who everyone gives a wide berth to! We’ve all witnessed that train wreck, and let’s be frank, you’re not her).
Why should I care?
Apart from the tragic scene depicted above, a sign of good messaging is consistency. Successful brands set themselves apart by establishing tone versus voice and using both to communicate with customers across all marketing channels and platforms.
Right, got it. Tone is my mood, voice is my unwavering personality. So, what next?
If you need help finding your brand’s personality, we can help with that. Stop what you’re doing right now and give us a call to schedule a 1:1 coaching call.
Imagine your Ideal Client and what language they use every day. Are there certain words and slang they use when talking to their friends? Here are a few questions which need to be considered:
- Does your Brand’s Voice encapsulate your personality?
- Is your Brand’s Voice demonstrating the rhythm and pace?
- Does it clearly outline the vocabulary to be used?
A really great way to cover this off is shown in our workbook, in the ‘We are, we are not’ Exercise.
So we’ve shown you things to do to help you find and create your brand’s authentic voice, but here are some REAL BIG FAT MISTAKES, when it comes to your brand’s voice:
Avoid Bait and Switch Communication
This might seem like an obvious thing to point out, but it’s pretty easy to communicate to your customers one way, but then send them down your sales funnel with completely different language. In our digital age where time is precious and attention spans are incredibly short, it’s easy to deceive your customers with paid content. As a rule, don’t use any bait and switch methods. For example, if you’re promoting a sale on your Facebook page, ensure all messaging is clear and consistent across all other channels.
Not sure what bait and switch style communication is? No problem! Send us an email, we’d be happy to talk you through it.
No clearly defined Brand Voice Guideline
If your business has already been operating but you’ve not yet got clear Brand Voice Guidelines, then please stop everything right now and go look at all the content you’ve created so far (research is key). Look for consistency in your posts, marketing, advertising, etc., but if you’re struggling every day to create content for your social media, then that’s a sure-fire sign that your brand is lacking a Brand Voice Guideline.
Having a Brand Voice Guideline written ensures you have something to reference to help keep you on track but it also allows your team (if you’re lucky enough to have one) to become familiar with it too. As well as being a handy document to have if you need to employ external companies to collaborate with.
All content created must have consistency, without it your social media will be a shambles and will most likely seem very disjointed (remember that drunken networking friend…). Here are some key areas to check to ensure your brand’s voice is maintaining its consistency across all social media platforms.
Your Bios: These are prime real estate to showcase your Brand Voice. Most people may only ever read your bio and look at the first few posts – and we all know first impressions count! So make sure your bio is a killer one. (Psst! We have a blog on how to write a killer bio, check it out here).
Captions, Posts, Stories, and More: Drawing in your audience in with personalised captions/posts, with meaningful content is an absolute must. Social media allows you to showcase your brand’s creativity, but don’t be fooled into thinking social media is a place to be complacent or casual. Your brand’s voice needs to be consistent on social media and still resonate with your website or other branding documents, marketing collateral, and advertising.
Replying: Knowing your brand’s voice will help you quickly and easily reply – no matter if the comment you’re replying to is a positive one or a negative one. The brand’s voice guideline means you’ll know what tone is necessary to adopt when responding. No faux pas happening under our watch!
Calls to action (CTA): CTAs on social media must maintain the same Brand Voice as everything else. Don’t switch tones with your CTAs and landing pages, because your audience will be put off by it (this goes back to our earlier point about consistency).
Visuals: A Brand’s Voice isn’t just limited to written words. After all, a picture can speak a thousand words! So make sure you’re thinking about what imagery, videos, music, and media you’re selecting – ensure it’s consistent with your brand’s voice.
Know the difference between your brand’s tone and your brand’s voice. Using our workbook, you can incorporate this knowledge into your blogs, advertising, marketing, and social media content. Knowing the difference between the two can mean the difference between maintaining a consistent brand versus an unorganised one.
THIS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT POINT: Be Proud of your brand and its voice!
We don’t know about you, but there’s so much screaming and shouting on social media (okay maybe not screaming) but you know what we mean, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd when there are a million other people doing the ‘same thing’. Right? Wrong! There may be other social media agencies, or perhaps you’re a photographer competing in a highly competitive market, or a makeup artist struggling to get your break. Whilst there may be others out there offering similar services there is absolutely no one who is you!
Developing and sticking to your Brand Voice, means your social media engagement will be easier, but more importantly, it makes you stand out. Instead of being just another business peddling your wares you’re now a brand with a personality and some spark (hopefully a bit of sass and hustle too). Having a Brand Voice and being proud of it will be positively reflected in all your social media and engagement, it’s what people are actually going to connect with and like.
So, our final parting advice? Go and download our comprehensive workbook (link is below) and start right now on finding, identifying, and creating your Brand Voice guideline. Then make sure you implement it into all your communications, be proud of it and more importantly stick to it!