Traditional and reliable? Casual and chatty? Empathetic and supportive? Bullish and confident?
How would you describe your brand’s tone of voice? If you’ve never really thought about it, you’re missing a trick. Because your tone of voice communicates an awful lot to your target audience.
What is tone of voice?
Think about the people you know and the different ways they communicate. Some may be bracingly direct while others ramble on. Some may exude warmth while others, well, don’t. Like people, companies each have their own way of communicating – and, just as we do with people, we form an impression of companies based on these subtle (or not so subtle) clues.
Tone of voice, therefore, is what communicates your brand’s distinctive character. It’s how you make an impression. Through the words that you choose and the way you use them, you show what it’s like to do business with your brand. This, in a nutshell, is your tone of voice.
Why does tone of voice matter?
Apart from communicating your brand’s character, there are other reasons to prioritise tone of voice. For one thing, so much communication takes place in written form these days, across social media, your website and email comms. You have to make those written words count.
What’s more, in an age when businesses are creating more content than ever, a strong, recognisable tone of voice can really help your business stand out. It also conveys authority and confidence, which inspires greater belief in your brand.
Nailing your tone of voice
First up, you need to know what impression you want to give. In other words, if you had to boil your business’s identity down to one snappy description, what would it be? This informs your tone of voice. For example, at OCTOPUS, we make marketing accessible – so our tone is professional and knowledgeable, but above all conversational, with the odd cheeky wink of humour. Because we’re human beings, dealing with other human beings.
Having decided on a clear tone of voice, it’s vital all communications use the same tone. This creates a consistent identity and shows that customers can always expect the same fantastic level of service, right across the business. Creating a tone of voice style guide will help keep things consistent.
Need help refining your tone of voice? Chat to OCTOPUS. We’ll work with you to pinpoint your brand’s identity and create an easy-to-follow style guide to inform your comms.
(Woman photo created by wayhomestudio – www.freepik.com)