Everyone needs a voice. In personal interactions, your tone of voice suggests to others the type of person you are, and what they can expect from the conversation.
In brand communication, tone of voice is just as important, helping to differentiate your company from competitors and showcasing your brand personality.
Keep reading to learn how to find your businesses tone of voice on its website, and why that matters in the first place.
Why Do You Need a Brand Voice?
WordStream.com best sums up the need for businesses to create their own, unique brand voice:
Brand voice touches virtually all aspects of corporate communications, from advertising and slogans to blog posts and visual assets. In today’s highly competitive business world, it’s simply no longer enough to publish blog posts and hope for the best. Your content should be instantly recognisable, convey your brand’s core values, and be entertaining, useful and relevant.
In other words, a brand voice is all-encompassing - and it is absolutely crucial for your content to stick in your audience's mind, and help distinguish your brand from its competitors.
That brand voice should permeate all of your externally directed communications, but is nowhere more important than on your website. Because most potential customers now find out about your business through your online presence, creating consistent text and images that all speak to the same voice is crucial for your brand.
Creating Your Brand Voice through Your Website Branding
The branding experts at Larsen have developed a simple, 6 step process to creating a voice that matches your brand and target audience. These steps include:
- Define your brand personality with three simple words.
- Differentiate your communications from that of your competitors: how are you different?
- Listen to your target audience and how they communicate. Your voice should blend into their vocabulary and tone.
- Aim to Inspire with your messaging, making not just everyday statements but bold, future-oriented claims.
- Engage with your audience through personalised communication and topics/phrases that matter to them.
- Evolve your brand voice as necessary: if your audience or their vocabulary change, adjust with them.
Following these 6 steps helps you create a tone of voice that allows your business and brand to stand apart, and remain in your audience's mind long after they've visited your website.
Crafting a Style Guide for Future Consistency
A consistent voice through all of your web content sounds straightforward, but can be difficult. Especially if multiple people work on and update your page, you need to make sure that your voice is consistent not only during your site launch, but in every new piece of content you publish.
To help you accomplish that feat, consider creating a brand-internal style guide for everyone who may publish content on your website.
The style guide should be as comprehensive as possible, letting publishers and contributors know exactly what your brand voice consists of. The Content Marketing Agency consists including express notes for 12 individual elements, which range from word and sentence lengths to specific exceptions on when it's okay to break the rules.
Looking for inspiration on what that style guide may look like? Here is one example from MailChimp that aims to help anyone working at the company adhere to the brand's voice. A very different example comes from government of the United Kingdom, which has set specific grammar and style rules for its content publishers, editors, and maintainers.
Regardless of the type of style guide you create, don't forget the reason for the exercise: to give your brand and its website a unique and powerful voice. To learn more about brand voice and its connection to your website and online presence, contact us.
Speak to the experts at Pixel Fish