Creating content in your brand tone of voice is a must.
The more our experiences take place online, the more crowded the marketplace becomes. So, if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to be creating unified and consistent experiences for your customers. And that starts with your content.
It’s never been more important for all your enterprise content to be written in your brand tone of voice. In today’s digital marketplace, tone of voice helps customers understand and connect with your brand. So that means every digital touchpoint is another opportunity for your content to show your brand identity, and the value it provides to your customers.
If you’re not familiar with how a consistent brand voice can benefit your enterprise content, here are six important ways:
It Speaks on the Behalf of Your Brand, When People Can’t
According to Forrester Research, customers don’t connect with suppliers directly until they’re almost 90 percent of the way through the buying process. This means lots of different departments at your company produce content that replaces face-to-face communication.
So your written words have to work harder than ever. And with fewer opportunities to talk face to face, your tone can help build trust with your audience from the very first interaction with your brand.
We’ve evolved to be highly attuned to subtle signals such as body language, gesture, and voice. In content, whether it’s technical documentation, a case study, or a script for your company podcast, tone of voice is the best way to show your identity and purpose. Digital content is increasingly replacing human interaction, and a distinct, consistent tone of voice can be a competitive differentiator.
It Helps You Cut Through
There are billions of pages of online content. So it isn’t surprising that we’ve seen a 33 percent rise in the number of content creation jobs. And companies are creating content at incredible speeds, which is then consumed on a variety of different channels. But often, so much of that content doesn’t have a consistent brand voice.
A distinctive tone gives you the best chance to connect with your audience. Ideally, you want your tone to be immediately recognizable, even if you take the logo off your website or social media feed — and to still be distinct from your competitors.
What’s more, an original writing style can compensate when visual brand identity isn’t available. Previously, companies maximized branding efforts for advertising channels. But today, digital content touchpoints are the main way for brands to connect with their customers. And although tone of voice has always been important, now it’s critical.
Tone of voice is a force multiplier. Present your content in a flat voice and you might make your budget back. Use a breakthrough voice that draws people in and you’re maximizing your ROI.
Doug Kessler, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Velocity Partners
It Makes You Human in a Digital World
People like to deal with people. Which means consumers like a brand with a personality they can recognize and bond with.
Increasingly, brands are shifting their tone of voice to show more compassion, empathy, and authenticity. Regardless of the industry, many enterprises want to resonate with their audience in a competitive online marketplace. We’ve written about the importance of empathy in business communication before, but it all starts with consistency of brand voice.
IBM has historically been a great example of this:
- In the late 1990s, they decided to work harder to reach small businesses, and harnessed the power of tone of voice to help.
- They spoke about how to use information technology to help solve problems, instead of getting hung up on technical details.
- They understood customers want to use technology to get things done, like getting rid of paperwork, improving customer relationships, and reducing inventory.
- In the “Solutions for a Small Planet” campaign, IBM adopted a new tone that positioned itself as the champion of small-business owners around the world.
- Instead of speaking to a technical audience, IBM adjusted its tone to make the company more accessible to people.
It Builds Authority
Tone of voice can bring your company’s personality to life, while establishing your authority and value.
Think of some of the best conference presentations you’ve seen. Did the speaker stand perfectly still, reciting dull but convincing facts in a monotone voice? Or were they lively and memorable, conveying their message in a concise, bold, and impactful manner? Harnessing authenticity and truth in tone of voice helps position your brand as an industry leader in your respective field.
Tone of voice has always been important, but it’s critical now.
Chris West, Founder, Verbal Identity
It Gives You Focus
Working on tone of voice can be an excellent discipline for thinking about and defining your brand identity. You have to boil everything down to something anyone can understand, and that helps cut through the clutter and confusion.
Your tone can even help you set strategic direction! Markets are getting more crowded and competitive, so you have to decide who you are and use a consistent tone to convey that. You have to demonstrate your relevance and core values to your audience. Which means this isn’t just a marketing trend, but something that applies to your product, services, and support.
It Makes You Different
Most companies haven’t woken up to the power of tone of voice in building relationships with customers. And even fewer have taken strides to harness that power.
The way companies use language has a massive impact on customer experience, for better or worse. Which means language and brand voice are great opportunities to show your audience you care about their problems, know their needs, and can help them.
Providing amazing customer experiences makes you different — in the best possible way. If you want to learn more about the role of content in customer experience, check out The Content Guide to Better CX.
So where do you go from here?
Tone of voice is important. So, if you want to cut through a crowded, digital marketplace, and still connect with your customers, you need to care about your tone of voice. But how do you go about defining or refreshing your tone and developing brand guidelines? We can help with our eBook, Watch Your Tone! Why Your Company’s Tone of Voice Matters and How to Get it Right.
Considering the current focus on digital communications, you might also consider how empathy plays a role in your tone and brand personality. Our guide Empathy in the Workplace: Humanizing Content For A Better World shares important research that Acrolinx is doing on empathy and content. You’ll learn about machine learning and empathy, some surprising examples of empathetic language, and the importance of ethics in AI empathy analysis.