Having a unique company voice has become more important in recent years. Companies big and small struggle to find the right tone of voice to use on social media, in content marketing campaigns, in advertisements, when being interviewed by the press, and even in personal interactions. Anything that negatively affects the overall brand voice is problematic. Whether it’s a leaked video of a CEO arguing with an employee or a spokesperson for a brand making bigoted comments online, everything public about your company can affect its reputation.
1. How important is finding the right brand voice?
Every company must determine the right tone to set for themselves. While beer companies can get away with humorous advertising and social media campaigns, security companies would be panned for using that tone since most people don’t find the idea of having their identity stolen funny. Some companies are good at taking advantage of trending topics and current events by using them in their social media and content campaigns — Taco Bell is famous for this — but companies in smaller niche markets likely need to avoid anything that might divide their customers. Striking the perfect balance can seem like an impossible task to a small company, but it is possible.
2. How do you determine the right brand voice?
The best way to determine what will work for your company is to know your audience. While some humor is almost always appreciated, it can be jarring if your customers expect you to be informative and straightforward in your communications. If your target audience is mostly millennials, commenting on current trends in social media or using memes should probably be part of your strategy. However, if your target audience is an executive at a fortune 500 company with money to invest, you probably want to take a more direct, benefit-driven approach to your communication. Companies with a broad audience are generally the hardest to gauge. In this case, testing different communication strategies might be the best way to determine your long-term voice.
3. How do you get all communication on brand?
In small businesses, it’s usually easier to keep all your materials on brand since the marketing department is often small — or even just one person. However, it’s still important to think of everything as being connected. If your advertising campaigns focus on how knowledgeable your staff is, your company blog should have useful information for your customers rather than just listicle-style collections of memes and comics about your industry. While diversifying your content is good and can engage your customers, customers should get the same overall tone from your company website, blog, guest posts, social media and advertisements.
4. How do you make your voice stand out?
With so many ways to communicate today and so many companies competing for a customer’s attention, it can be difficult to find a way to stand out from the crowd. The best way to be unique for your customers is to be honest and to speak their language. Know what is most important to your target audience and speak honestly to them about it. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll reap the rewards.
by PHILLIP THUNE