For any brand, whether large or small, it’s important to find your voice. When we talk about voice, we’re primarily talking about written words, whether online or offline. But, voice is intertwined with your brand’s personality, so it’s important to make sure that the written voice matches the in-person brand experience for your customers as well.
If you’re embarking on a new website, launching social media, or devising an email marketing plan, your first step (if not already done) should be to define your voice. If you’re starting a new business, sit down and define your brand and your voice early in the business planning process.
Start with exploring the personality of your brand. How do you want to be known? What type of relationship do you want your customers to have with you? Are you the quirky and fun local screen printing shop, or are you the direct and to-the-point promotional items guy? What makes you different from your competitors and from the ever-growing crowd of brands with an online presence? Gather your team (or some trusted strategic partners or friends) and brainstorm what words best describe your business and your brand. Formal? Weird? Nerdy? Passionate? Straightforward? Professional? Once you have a long list of words, talk about it and narrow the list to help define your voice.
If you already have a content marketing strategy in place, it’s a good idea to take a step back and review your voice for consistency. Do your social media posts sound like you in the same way your e-newsletter sounds like you? Sure, they’re different communications channels and the way you communicate on them will vary a bit. But if your e-newsletter is strictly business and your social media is mostly funny memes, it’s time to refine your voice across all channels. Would people know from your written communications what atmosphere and personality to expect when they visit your office? If your e-newsletter and website content is extremely formal and straightforward business, but the team wears jeans and t-shirts to client meetings, there’s a disconnect.
Defining your brand voice is especially important if you have more than one person creating content or managing different channels. Even if one person is in charge of every channel, it helps to have a document that outlines your brand voice to ensure consistency over time.
Need help defining or assessing your voice? Give us a call.