The tone of voice in marketing refers to the style, attitude, and personality conveyed through written or spoken content used to promote a brand, product, or service. It encompasses the choice of words, sentence structure, grammar, and overall messaging style employed by a company or organization in their marketing communications. The importance of tone of voice in marketing cannot be overstated.
In the world of marketing and digital branding, ‘tone of voice’ is a phrase that you will often hear used. It describes the way in which the character and brand values of a business come through to anyone making contact with it, in both written and spoken communication. It is less about what is said than the way it is said, and the impression that is left on anyone who hears or reads your company’s messages.
Adhering to a well-defined writing style helps you maintain a consistent brand. It helps you write efficiently, and ensures consistency in style, spelling and grammar. It also helps your customers feel as though they are talking to the same person every time they engage with your brand. Choosing the right tone helps ensure that the intended message is effectively conveyed and understood.
Your tone of voice should be adaptable to different communication channels and formats. Whether it’s social media, email, website content, or customer support, the tone should align with the medium while maintaining consistency in the overall brand voice.
Multinational firms including Google, Microsoft, O2 and Philips have all engaged tone of voice consultants in recent times to look at the language they use to get their messages across to their customers and to help them become brands with a strong tone of voice. So why are companies so focused on this?
Let’s take a look at six powerful reasons why tone of voice is important:
What is your brand’s unique selling point or USP? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition and draw in customers? What makes you the best choice? By following clear tone of voice guidelines, you can transform your use of language and open up enormous opportunities for your business.
Tone of voice can greatly impact how a message is received and interpreted by the audience. It can influence whether the content is perceived as friendly, professional, authoritative, humorous, or any other desired attribute. A well-crafted tone of voice resonates with the target audience and captures their attention. It helps to establish a connection by speaking in a language that aligns with their preferences, interests, and aspirations. This engagement can lead to increased brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, higher conversion rates.
People like it when a brand seems to have a personality that they can get to know, recognise and form a relationship with. This has its challenges digitally, but both businesspeople and customers are only human themselves and don’t always operate rationally! People tend to want to deal with a brand they feel a bond with and feel good about if given a choice, perhaps in preference to a more ‘obvious’ choice for their stakeholders and business priorities.
This ties in with the recent trend towards honesty, openness and authenticity in business and the fact that emotion, not solely pure, hard logic, will often win the day in attracting customers to your brand. A consistent tone of voice template will make people feel that they are always dealing with the same familiar person whenever they engage with you.
Because content marketing is becoming more and more popular and saturated, substantial volumes of text are being generated which often lack a clear, recognisable voice. You can really connect with your customers by developing a distinctive tone and be recognised even when your logo is not visible. This is very powerful on both your website and social media channels.
Tone of voice has the power to evoke emotions and connect with people on a deeper level. By using language and messaging that resonates with the audience’s emotions, brands can create a lasting impact, foster brand loyalty, and drive customer advocacy.
With online interactions increasing and fewer opportunities than ever to talk face to face, your written communications need to work harder and smarter than ever. The majority of buyers are most of the way through their decision-making process before they have ever spoken with a company and so it is important that the foundations of a good working relationship can be built through your marketing material and website. If you can think of tone of voice examples that help to subtly build trust and familiarity with your brand, you are on to a good thing.
Consistency in tone of voice across all marketing channels and touchpoints builds trust and familiarity with the audience. When customers consistently experience a brand’s distinct voice, they develop expectations and can rely on the brand to deliver a consistent experience.
Thinking about tone of voice prompts really good discipline as you reflect on your company identity and arrive at some clear and concise guidelines. By drilling down to the simple truths about your brand, you can cut through the clutter and perhaps see your strategic direction more clearly. This is a great technique for getting to the core of what you are about and identifying and capitalising on any niche appeal for business may have.
The tone of voice plays a significant role in shaping a brand’s identity. It helps to establish the brand’s values, culture, and positioning in the minds of consumers. By consistently using a specific tone across all touchpoints, a brand can reinforce its identity and create a cohesive brand experience.
If you think of the great communicators that you’ve seen presenting or performing, they all fill their audience with passion in some way. They might be lively, funny, charismatic, stirring or have many other traits, but they will all be memorable for their unique style of delivery. Personality comes through when you have confidence in what you are saying. This additional authority is precisely how brands with a strong tone of voice will benefit.
Actively listen to customer feedback and adjust your tone of voice accordingly. If your audience finds your tone inappropriate or misaligned with their expectations, make necessary improvements to enhance customer satisfaction and engagement.
Remember, the tone of voice is a powerful tool, but it should always align with your brand identity, values, and the needs of your target audience. Continuously evaluate and refine your approach based on feedback and evolving market dynamics to achieve desired results.
Everyone you meet has a special way of expressing themselves that makes them unique and recognisable. Give your company a tone of voice of its own, as if it were a person with its own individual personality and style speaking directly to your customers. And ask yourself “What is your brand personality?”
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