In a digital world where content is king and consistency is key, the importance of voice in your marketing efforts increases.
Everyone from huge corporations to social media influencers use their platforms and marketing tactics in a specific way that shows customers, followers, and prospects what they can expect from a brand.
But what is a brand voice? And how does it affect your personal or business brand’s marketing efforts?
What Is a Brand Voice?
Many marketers like to compare brand voice to the signature voice and personality one sees in their friends or family members – each personality is unique, with hallmarks in their behavior that make you think of them when you see the same behavior or mannerisms in others.
But building and maintaining this voice is more like creating a character for a TV show – you need lots of human elements – communication, emotion, engagement – but they have to serve a specific purpose or speak to the desired narrative.
When you think about the voice and personality of a friend, you are seeing everything they are, whether it’s intentional or not. And this means that different people will see your friend in different ways. The goal of a brand voice is to share the same persona across all platforms and interactions.
What an individual’s voice lacks that a brand voice must deliver is consistency.
Brand voice is the way you use your marketing efforts to speak to your target audience. Your brand voice is a part of every piece of content you (or others) create for your brand.
A consistent brand voice is what makes your brand easily recognizable to your audience, and even to people who may not know your brand yet.
For example, Wendy’s has a powerful Twitter presence and its tweets have amassed a huge following on the social media app. Because humor and concern for their customers top the list of attributes promoted by Wendy’s social media personality, people follow the brand voice. They may later decide to try out their latest menu items.
But if Wendy’s suddenly started tweeting very formal messages, those who follow the brand would be confused. Creativity and the ability to use trending topics to draw views, clicks, and engagement is great – but you can’t forget your brand voice when you do it.
Why Is Brand Voice Important?
Brand voice is how you talk to your customers, prospects, and the public at large. This means all your content across platforms and different media types should be easily recognizable to your target audience.
A consistent brand voice is a powerful tool that not only helps your current customers know what to expect from your products, services, and customer support, but it also – when done well – can create a public persona that reaches prospects organically as well.
Consistency in brand voice becomes even more important in a growing digital landscape. The Internet is forever, and that means your brand voice has to continue to show consistency across trends, platforms, and more.
A brand voice is to content marketing what a logo is to visual marketing. People recognize your logo, and they associate it with certain feelings or thoughts: loyalty, transparency, professionalism, or other core tenants of your brand.
Your brand voice does the same thing: you use your content to communicate those same attributes across platforms.
The Benefits of a Defined Brand Voice
Many marketers and business owners struggle to represent their brands in a cohesive way. Social media, blog content, website content – each of these content types offer a glimpse into your brand, and carrying a consistent brand voice across all of these channels can be a powerful asset that keeps your audiences informed about what type of business you run.
One of the biggest benefits of a consistent brand voice is that it can impact and elevate your brand tone. While brand voice shouldn’t change, the emotion and sentiment behind different messages should reflect the situation you are addressing – this is your brand tone.
For example, your brand voice should be the same whether you are posting about a promotional event or the loss of a team member – but your brand tone should be very different. When you think about your brand voice, imagine you are giving your brand a persona – what three words would describe that persona? If you say transparent, friendly, and enthusiastic, your messages will use language that highlights those attributes but creates specific emotions that work for each situation.
That language will be different than a brand with a voice that is more matter-of-fact, scholarly, and sophisticated.
A defined brand voice can also effectively identify and connect with your target audience. Just like your brand has a persona, so does your customer base.
If your ideal customer is someone in their early 20s who cares about sustainability and pop culture, your brand voice should speak to that: it should be casual, trendy, and entertaining. But if you are looking to attract single moms in their 40s, your brand voice will likely be more mature, straightforward, and helpful, for example.
With strong brand voice-based content, you can speak to these diverse and specific audiences without having to spell it out at the beginning of your content. We’ve all seen the infomercial-like blogs and social media posts that start with offputting phrases like, “Are you a young pet owner who is tired of cleaning dog and cat hair off your precious possessions? Have we got a product for you!”
Using a defined and consistent brand voice as a guide, you can craft content (or hire someone to craft content for you) that will instantly connect with the right audiences.
Create and Refine Your Brand Voice with SharedTEAMS
SharedTEAMS is your on-demand marketing department. And our Communications team is well-versed in creating all kinds of content.
We work with a variety of members, each of whom is at a different place in their brand voice journey.
For businesses or marketing departments with a well-established and consistent brand voice, we have a host of Communications projects that can augment your current content or create new content aimed at capturing your audience’s attention.
And for those who need to revamp their brand or establish a set of guidelines to home in on a powerful brand voice, we also offer Brand Positioning and Messaging. Our Communications team can help you define or refine your brand voice and create recognizable content that highlights your company mission, vision, and values.
Interested in becoming a member? Here’s how it works.