Whether you’re building a brand from scratch or recreating a brand, your brand voice is one aspect of your branding that can make or mar the success of your brand.
In fact, your brand voice is not only critical to the success of your brand, it is also an important denominator when it comes to getting the right results from your content marketing effort.
So, you want to get it right from the on set.
But then you might be wondering, what exactly is a brand voice
A Brand voice is the personality you embody as a brand, the feeling people get when they come in contact with your content (or products) and the lasting impression that stays with them when they leave.
That’s the simple definition of a brand voice.
Literally, your brand voice revolves around everything you do as a brand. From the words you use in your content, to the imagery you’re trying to project as a brand.
A lot of content creators do not see the need to have a distinct brand voice. And out of the few that have seen the need to have one, many are yet to figure out how to create a unique voice for their brand.
If you’re one of the former or the later, then this post is going to show you why you need a brand voice and how to create one that stands out.
Why your Brand Voice is Important
As a content creator, having a distinct voice humanizes your brand. It gives your brand the human quality that makes it easier for your target audience to relate with your content or product and services at a deeper level.
Also, the consistency and repetitiveness, that comes with a unique brand voice has a way of solidifying your brand in the minds of your audience, helping it to be recognized across board.
Now, besides your brand voice, there’s also the brand tone of voice.
A lot of the times, these two are usually lumped up together but your brand tone of voice also plays a distinct and very significant role when it comes to creating the right effect with a particular piece of content.
Difference Between a Brand Voice and Tone
The major difference between your brand voice and brand tone of voice is that your brand voice represents your brand’s unique perspectives and what you stand for. It is more consistent and it’s a part of your permanent brand identity.
On the other hand, your brand tone of voice is most often influenced by the purpose of the particular piece of content.
And for that reason, your brand tone of voice can change, based on the particular kind of content you’re creating and the effect you want to create on your audience.
Specifically, this is what it is…
Voice: Your brand voice is part of your permanent identity as a brand. It is the way you generally communicate with your audience based on what you stand for and usually, it is consistent over a long period of time.
Tone of Voice: Brand tone of voice is the way you (or the way you are perceived to) sound while passing across a particular piece of content.
Brand tone of voice is usually employed in content creation in order to create a specific effect on the audience.
Unlike a brand voice that may be well identified across all your content, your brand tone of voice will definitely be influenced by the kind of content you’re creating at a particular time.
How to Identify your brand Voice
The following are steps you can use to identify your brand voice…
Review your Brand Goal
Literally, your brand goal is everything you want to achieve as a brand. Many content creators usually create brand goals alongside their business goals before ever creating their first content.
Having a quick review of your brand goals can help you to understand specific steps you can use to create a brand voice that will help shape your goals as well as help you in achieving such goals.
For example, if your overall goal is to come off as an innovative brand, using a certain kind of voice can help position you as such, before your audience.
Same thing goes for a brand that wants to sound more authoritative or be recognized as the leader in a particular niche. Using your brand goals, you can always shape your brand voice.
Evaluate your Mission Statement
Your mission statement embodies your core values and the reason for your existence, as a brand.
Taking a closer look at your mission statement you should be able to find out clues on what you stand for and why you’re standing for that.
To get this clearly, take a look at brands like Nike whose mission statement is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
To achieve a brand voice that reflects this mission, Nike continues to create content that aims at finding ways to inspire their audience.
With a good understanding of your mission statement, you can also use this approach to create a brand voice that is more authentic to your brand.
Analyze your Existing Content
If you already have some existing content, then it’s very possible you have a brand voice, even if that might not be consistent with your intended brand voice, in some cases.
Taking a critical analysis of your existing content can help you to understand the way you sound through your content.
With this understanding, you can then fine tune the voice to meet up with the kind of brand voice you really want to be known for or create a new one entirely.
Check out your Competition
Where you can’t figure out the right voice to use for your brand, your competition can give you clues on what’s working in your niche.
To get started, check out successful brand voices in your niche; find out how they sound.
If that adds up to what you want to represent as a brand, you can use that to evolve your own unique brand voice.
Besides the steps mentioned here, you can also research your audience to find out their disposition or the kind of brand voice that will appeals to them.
This research can be done either on a social media forum which has a good number of your ideal audience, a competitor’s page or any other location where you can find data on what works with your target audience.
If what you’re reading is a bit abstract, below is a Brand Voice Chart by CMI and CoSchedule that can also help you in defining your brand voice…
How to find a Brand Tone of voice
Now that we’ve discussed about how to find your brand voice, I want you to also know that your brand voice cannot be completely fixed without a brand tone of voice because, these two works hand in hand to give you a unique brand identity.
Below are the steps to find your brand tone voice…
Identify your target Audience
Considering that you have now identified your brand goals, the next thing you want to do is to identify your target audience.
You’ll want to ask yourself; who are my target audience. And how can I communicate in a way that will appeal to them, in line with my own brand goals.
Now, let’s bring this into perspective…
In the real world, if you’re making a presentation to the board of directors of a corporate organization like Apple Inc. for instance, there are certain ways you’d want to communicate with them so they can really listen to you.
You won’t want to address the board of directors at Apple Inc. the same way you’d address a collection of undergraduates freshmen at Oxford.
This is the same approach you need to take, whenever you’re thinking about creating a unique voice for a particular piece of content.
There are instances where you may not need to use some slangs, pop phrases or sound too formal because of the audience you want to target.
To create a more compelling and relatable content, think about your audience and identify a style of communication that sits really well with them based on their needs, experiences and exposure, before creating your content.
Doing this will lead you towards creating the kind of content they can really connect with.
Understand your Audience’s Pain Point
A brand tone of voice is used to create an effect.
Often times, one of the easiest ways to create a strong effect in an audience is to understand their pain points or their specific needs or finding out what they can deeply relate with.
So, you want to ask yourself, what do I want to help my audience achieve with this particular post? And what’s the best way to achieve this?
Understand that your audience’s primary needs will to a large extent affect your brand tone of voice, at any given time if you really want to create an effect with your preferred tone of voice.
Take for instance, if you want to create better results with your content, you can’t really communicate with a job applicant who’s about losing his accommodation to unpaid rents the same way you’d communicate with a final year college student who’ll be looking for a job in two years’ time.
There are certain adjectives that will work with these groups based on their level of need.
These are the elements that will make them feel like your content is really written for them or capable of addressing their needs.
So, it’s a good thing to have this in mind while finding your brand voice. If you really want to create a meaningful connection with your audience.
Identify the Effect you want to Create
Having a uniform tone of voice for all your content is usually not realistic. Or even advisable because sometimes, there will be need to sound a certain way so as to create a specific kind of result.
If you’re creating a copy content that is supposed to lead to a sale ( or a sales magnet) for instance, you have to sound more authentic and trust worthy so your potential client can have a reason to consider buying from you.
With this in mind, if you want to create an effective content, then there’s need to pay attention to the tone of your content, the words, adjectives and phrases you use and generally, the way you sound.
To do this successfully whenever you want to, you will have to tweak your brand voice to meet the particular purpose of the content and the needs of the audience.
Humanize your Content
Now, here’s one thing you should know. Your brand voice will achieve one of the two things for you. It will either create a connection or create a disconnect with your audience.
To create real connections with your audience, you need to humanize your content.
Through your words (for written content) or facial expression, body language and voice (for videos, audio etc.), you need to express your feelings in a way that your audience can actually imagine or feel the experience you’re trying to create.
If you’re producing a video content for instance, you can’t start smiling when you want to create a very serious content. Because it won’t create the right connection with your audience. And no one will take you serious.
Equally, you don’t want to sound over the top if you’re trying to convince someone to subscribe or buy from you. You want to sound as convincing as possible.
These are some of the important elements that needs to come into play, if you want to the right brand tone of voice, as well as the kind of content that stands out with your audience.
Creating the right brand voice can amplify your brand, reshape your perception and improve your impact as a brand.
With the right kind of brand voice and brand tone, you can create more meaningful content that connects with and inspires your audience to take specific call to action.
While all these are some of the direct results of what a well structured brand voice can do for you, you’ll have to take these steps to create a brand voice that will actually work for you and your brand before you get to enjoy these results.
As a parting shot, I want you to understand that creating a brand voice your audience can relate with is one of the first steps that will help you create content your audience can connect with.
As part of our commitment to helping content creators create content that drives results, we have set up Smart Content College to help Creators learn the nitty gritty of Customized Content Marketing that works.
And yes, you can sign up for our content marketing training to learn about content marketing that works, including how to find the right brand voice that will deliver results for your content here.
So now, it’s over to you, what’s your brand voice and if you’ve found one, how’s it been helping your brand?