In the world of advertising and marketing, “tone of voice” is simply the public persona that your brand decides to take on. It is all about the use of written copy, images, videos, sound, lighting, and other elements to establish a specific tone and atmosphere. This is why if you are a business owner who wants to establish your brand identity and get the word out about your products or services, you need to invest in a unique tone of voice—one that consumers can easily recognize and distinguish from the rest. It’s the only way your brand can leave a dent in your industry, especially if it’s saturated. Here are some tips for improving your brand’s tone of voice.
Consult with professionals
If your company does not have an in-house marketing or advertising team or point person, consider hiring a third-party firm for it, especially if you’re a business-to-business (B2B) company. A B2B digital marketing company to help you understand the ins and outs of the competitive world of online marketing can help you navigate an ever-evolving online landscape and provide insight into how B2B services have changed and continue to change. They can use strategies that will help you connect with potential clients more effectively. More to the point, experts can help you craft a tone of voice that helps achieve your goals and distinguishes you from your direct competitors.
Understand the kind of tone that suits your business the best
Here are some adjectives we can use in the advertising world to describe a certain mood or atmosphere:
These are just some examples of tones that are usually projected in advertising and marketing materials. If your brand is all about helping others, then you want to use a hopeful and poignant tone. If it’s all about providing insurance, then being realistic about what the consumers can lose might be the best way to get them engaged and interested in what you can offer.
Don’t try too hard
This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of brands who have had blunders trying to appear “cool” and “relatable” to their target demographic only to fall flat in their face and appear tone-deaf. One major example is Kendall Jenner’s TV commercial with Pepsi. Another less egregious example is when Taco Bell randomly tweeted, “Taco Bae,” with no context whatsoever. When brands try too hard to appear cool and hip, it shows.
Understand your audience
To avoid this mistake, you need to do extensive research on your market base. Your target demographic’s values, priorities, and purchasing habits have to influence the tone of voice you go with. If your tone of voice is your brand’s public face or persona, then you want to make sure that it’s someone your target market would want to talk to and engage with. Don’t forget that how you speak to your readership—and not just your content—will help decide how engaged they will be. The tone of voice of all your content must embody and encapsulate all that is valuable to your brand and your readers. Your tone of voice should also reflect that of your consumers and must always be appropriate to the audience you’re trying to win.
Be consistent across platforms
Once you’ve decided on the tone of voice that will help propel your brand forward, you want to ensure that you use this tone consistently across all channels, regardless of what type of content or material it is. Establishing a fully distinguishable brand tone will help cultivate and foster familiarity. This means that when your customer is reading an interview with your CEO or PR representative, they must feel the same thing they feel when they see your brand’s captions on Instagram. The tone of voice is crucial to building and creating that continuity.
Observe peers who are doing it well
Taking a page out of successful brands’ tactics is not about blatant copying; it’s about taking their best practices and applying them to your brand’s unique context and mission. The industry your brand is in will ultimately help you map out the exact tone of voice needed to move your message forward, and looking at how your peers are doing it might help you make a roadmap for your own.
It might take some time to establish a unique and distinguishable tone of voice for your brand. But if you keep at it, you just might build the reputation you are aiming for.