Tone Of Voice In Marketing

Tone of voice in marketing

Tone Of Voice In Marketing

Tone of voice in marketing

There’s a subject that comes up again and again when we’re talking to business owners looking to outsource social media to us – and that’s how we can maintain and protect their tone of voice. How do we make sure we’re writing content that sounds like them? Obviously, we have a process in place that allows us to capture that tone and define it. However, I’m extremely aware that for many, this is probably the first time they will have really considered how they define their tone of voice… which almost seems strange given what an intrinsic part of your brand it is!

What is tone of voice in marketing?

Your tone of voice is how you say what you say – how you communicate your message. When we think of it, we think of the written word as well as the spoken word. When your prospects read your content or hear from your brand, they’re left with a perception of you. Your tone of voice helps create that perception, so it’s essential we know what we want that to be.

How do you define your tone of voice?

I can give you lots of instruction here, point you in the direction of books to read or surveys to complete but to keep things simple – I’m just going to give you the key points and also give you an insight into the strategies we use when we’re working with new clients.

Step 1 – Listen

And I mean REALLY listen. We’ll get you talking about your brand with some broad questions and then literally listen to how you communicate the passion you have for what you do. The more you talk, the more we start to hear how you phrase things and the words you use when you talk about the people you do business with.

If you’re doing this yourself, then grab a pen and paper and start writing freely. It will feel a little weird but just starting writing about what you’re in the business in, who you help, the how and the why, and you’ll start to recognise key elements of your tone of voice.

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Step 2 – Tell me about your competitors

We all have them! There will be those we aspire to, and those that make us cringe should we ever be compared to them! What is it about them we like or dislike? Quite often, things come up when you look at this that are more emotionally driven. These are clear indicators of what your tone should or shouldn’t be!

Step 3 – What’s out there already?

There’s likely to already be something out there in the ether, so go and look at existing social media content and existing blogs. If it’s a new business, you probably have some documents you can look at, and if you don’t – you need to start writing them anyway! Take a look at this content and identify its style from an emotional perspective, as well as recognising any nuances in terms of wording, grammar, etc.

To give you an example, my tone of voice is human, informative, casual, uncomplicated, a little cheeky, and fun too! I try not to use overly long sentences. When you read my content, I want you to feel that I’m talking directly to you. At least that’s everything I’m trying to achieve anyway!

Step 4 and beyond – Well, I’m not going to give away every step, am I?!?

In all seriousness, there are a whole lot of other steps you can do in order to dig deeper so that you can define and document the tone of voice of your brand. (We can help you with that – of course.) One of the things that is worth doing is essentially testing your tone.

If you were to sign up for our social media management service, one of the things we do is write some sample content before we launch – that’s our test. We put what we’ve understood to be your tone into a document for you to read and approve. If the sentence structure isn’t right, if the nuances aren’t correct; it all gets dealt with before we start working live on your social media accounts. Think about how you can replicate this ‘test’ within your business.

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