When I start any copywriting project, the tone of voice is central to the client discussion. After all, to create good copy, you need to write for the reader, not the company.
The tone of voice is an essential part of your brand strategy. Simply put, your tone of voice is your company’s personality as written in print or online; it reflects your brand and values and helps you stand out from your competitors.
Why tone of voice is important
Companies tend to have detailed brand guidelines covering everything from colour palettes logo specifications, and brochure layouts, but they often fail to include the written word.
Giving your company a consistent tone of voice helps build trust, encourages interaction and discussions, and creates recognition. Think about it. If a person speaks to you the same way each time, you feel comfortable with them, but if they talk to you differently every time, you’re less likely to trust them. You cannot understand who they are and what they’re about.
Tone variations for your audiences
The tone of voice will vary slightly depending on when, how, and where you’re communicating, in the press, by email, or online and who your audience is, particularly if you target various people or professions. We speak to people differently depending on their age, gender, our connection to them, etc. A company or brand’s tone of voice is no different.
A building products manufacturer may want to communicate with architects, contractors, and sole traders. While the messages will be consistent, how you address each sector may differ. Architects may require a more formal, respectful style of language that focuses on technical points. At the same time, a sole trader will react better to a warmer, helpful style that speaks directly to them clearly and concisely.
Tone variations for your channels
Different media will also require a variation in tone. When writing on LinkedIn, the tone should be relatively formal and professional but still friendly, whereas Twitter tends to be more conversational. Your website tone needs to be direct and concise. You want to provide information that shows visitors you have the information they want or need. If you write Blogs, you want your tone to establish authority and knowledge but be more conversational than formal.
Tone of voice matters
At the end of the day, you want to improve your audience’s experience with your company and make them feel valued.
Language is a fantastic and powerful tool.
Your tone of voice will help you connect with your audience and build recognition, not a fancy logo or flashy website.
Finding and then defining your brand’s tone of voice should be essential to your brand guidelines and marketing strategy.
Get in touch if you need advice or help to define your company or brand’s tone of voice.