How to create a strong brand voice that connects with your ideal customer.
Building a clear, consistent brand voice can help you build a powerful connection with your customers. It can make your business instantly recognisable, build trust, and keep your product or service front of mind.
Just think about any business you know, like, and trust – they’re consistent. They sound the same whether you’re reading their website, social media post or email. They make you feel heard and somehow, they seem to talk directly to you.
So if you’re wondering how they do that and how you can do the same for your business, this is the post for you.
What is brand voice?
Before we get to the tips, let’s get clear on what exactly brand voice is.
Also known as your brand personality, brand tone of voice or just tone of voice (TOV), your brand voice is essentially how your brand speaks to your audience. It’s the words on your website, your brochures, your social media presence, and any other form of written communication that comes from your business. Your brand tone of voice is the extension of your business that helps you connect with your ideal customer.
Here’s some example of different tones of voice describing the same service:
|Friendly||Hi! Are you looking for website copy your customers will love? Writing for websites and working as a partner with my clients is my thing. I’ll get to know your business and your customers, then use my writing and SEO skills to help you build a website that will grow your business.|
|Fun||Needs words for your website that sells your stuff and has customers queuing at your virtual door? |
I love taking your big-picture fluff (vision, goals), getting to know your customers (only the good ones! no tire-kickers allowed) and blending it all together in website copy that just makes a whole lot of sense. To you, to your customers – and their credit cards
|Straightforward||I write website copy that gets your business noticed by your customers – and Google. SEO optimised, backed by research, and tailored to your business goals, I’ll help you stand out from the crowd.|
|Professional||My website copywriting service will help you rank in Google, attract your ideal customer, and increase traffic to your site. |
I write copy that engages and persuades, while also incorporating SEO techniques, keyword research, and strategy.
If you’re looking for a website your customers will connect with, get in touch.
Why is brand tone of voice so important?
Getting your brand voice right helps to establish strong foundations for your brand:
- It creates consistency – Consistency helps people recognise who you are and what you stand for. With the ever-growing ways avenues we have to reach our ideal customers, consistency across different channels is more important than ever.
- It builds trust– One study showed that 64% of customers said shared values are the main reason they trust a company. Just like connecting with an individual on a personal level, customers can be drawn to your brand voice, and the language you use can help customers feel that they know, like, and trust you.
- It helps you stand out from the noise – A clear and distinctive tone of voice can help you stand out from the constant media and messages being consumed, and help keep your brand top of mind.
5 practical steps to nail your tone of voice
(1) Get clear on who you are and what you have to offer.
Are you clear on what your business does and what you have to offer? This is the time to focus on your vision, your unique selling proposition (USP) and your values. Here are some questions to get you thinking:
- What does your business do? Define your product or service in the eyes of your customer. What problem does it solve for them?
- Who do you do it for? Think about who you would ideally like to do business with.
- Why should someone choose your business? Think about the strengths of your business and what makes your business different. It could be your staff, methodology, product feature, customer service, or a combination of these. Be specific.
- If you had to use just one sentence to describe – and sell – your business, what would you say?
(2) Really know your ideal customer.
Now that you’re clear on what your business is offering, it’s time to think about who would be drawn to your product or service and what this ideal customer would look like.
Why are we referring to ‘ideal’ customers? It’s one thing to get your brand out there and build a customer base – and another to build a customer base that gives you the revenue and progress your business deserves.
Customers that are the wrong fit can be draining on your resources, are difficult to sell to and won’t become advocates for your business. Ideal customers, on the other hand, want what you’re selling, become advocates, and help grow your business.
Things to think about when considering your ideal customer:
- Demographics – Look at fundamentals such as age, where they live and income.
- What would your ideal customer say about your business? Think of how you’d like your business to be perceived and what you’d like customers to say about your business.
- Beliefs, fears, and desires – This is the kind of profiling where you can really create some magic. What are your ideal customers beliefs around your industry, product or service? What are their fears and how can you address them? How can you tap into their desires and make it easy for them to choose you over your competitors?
Here are some examples of how your customer might want to feel and help you think about how that would sound for your business:
Example: If you were a real estate agent and your ideal customer wanted to feel educated, you could keep your customers informed of the latest market updates, be quoted in local media to demonstrate your knowledge or provide practical, educational tips on your social media platforms.
(3) Find out how your ideal customers speak.
Doing some research into how your customers speak is a valuable exercise to help you shape a tone of voice that creates a real connection and makes your customers feel heard.
How do your customers talk about your product or service? What features and benefits do they value the most? What language do they use when dealing with your industry, and what could incorporate into your brand voice so that your message resonates with them? You can explore this through:
- Product/service reviews.
- Social media comments (also known as social listening).
- Customer correspondence.
- Surveying your customers.
(4) Think about how you want to sound – and not sound.
‘It’s not what you say, but how you say it’
How you say something can have a big impact on what you actually say and how this is interpreted. The challenge is that you aren’t actually saying the words in person, where someone can read your body language, facial expressions and inflexion – but instead, in your written marketing material. Without these other ways of communicating, the words you choose to use – and not use – become more important than ever.
To choose the right words and develop your brand tone of voice, you’ll need to consider a mix of the below:
- Your business – Going back to your vision and USP – think about the kind of words and statements would best showcase what you have to offer.
- Your industry – What is the standard and what is expected in your industry? The tone required by a family law expert, for example, would be very different to that of a wedding event planner.
- Your customers – Use the research to pull out the words and phrases that will best connect with your customers.
(5) Create clear guidelines.
You’ve done all the research, so now it’s time to put them together. As well as the above, you can include:
- A list of ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ phrases and words.
- Sample copy across different channels.
- Personality traits of your brand – are you quirky? Educational? Approachable?
- What are your principals and how does this sound like? For example, if you believe in excellence, you might write about awards you’ve won, share customer testimonials or talk about standards your business chooses to adopt.
Think you might need some work on your brand tone of voice?
One of the best things about going through this exercise is that it gets you crystal clear on your marketing and forms the basis for all of your content. Brand voice guidelines can also be given to anyone in your team or business to help create one strong, clear and consistent tone of voice that connects with your ideal customer – and save you a lot of revisions and re-writes.
Have you thought of your brand tone of voice? Are you – and your team – clear on what it is and is it consistent across your marketing channels?
If you need help with this, get in touch. I can ask the right questions, give you an outsider’s perspective and develop clear guidelines for you and your team.