Everyone’s different, do you know your brand voice?
Creating engaging, quality and quantity content can be tough but without a brand voice your hard work may not have the impact it deserves.
Especially longer form content for people to read or download.
No doubt you have whitepapers or blogs for your audience but how do they read?
What is your brand voice?
Do you have one?
Or does each piece of content you publish read differently depending on who created it?
Know your brand voice.
A quick google search will give you no end of articles about brand voice, for good reason!
There are articles from well established companies and start-ups alike.
But only your company can really decide on its voice.
This is how it wants people to think of it!
Perhaps it wants to be smart like Microsoft or confident like Apple…
You see we all speak differently, our voice and our tone directly relate to who we are, to our personality.
And this is what you want your prospects to feel when they read one of your articles.
They will know how this will make them feel.
They will come away with a picture of who your company is.
Whether your company is smart, confident, fun etc.
As the head of the marketing team you must establish this!
Even once you have decided on a voice and started using it the changes take a bit of time.
It is not an overnight thing.
Start researching for your brand voice internally.
As a marketer it is no good for you to simply decide what voice to use.
This must be driven by your company.
By your company culture, the product and services that you offer, why you were created, how your company behaves.
As with anything that impacts on your brand you must start internally.
Speak with stakeholders, engage management, most importantly you need to ask people from across the company!
Don’t rely on sales or marketing but ask researchers, ask developers, ask human resources, ask everyone.
Start asking how they think and feel about your company.
Ask them for a few key words to describe the business (not sentences, these will become unmanageable later!)
As always, note their answers as these are the start of the process.
Anyone that engages with your customers ask them what they feel they would say!
Then look at any feedback you have from customers, check testimonials, check recommendations on LinkedIn and dig for insights.
The more of a picture you can build internally the better.
Then ask your partners and clients.
This can be tougher but is as important as step one!
Ask your partners how they would describe your company, find out how they feel about you as a team.
Your business partners can deliver great insights into your company.
Especially those that you work with regularly.
Then the toughest audience for some…
Ask your customers!
Try and ask the ones with who you have a great relationship and ask the ones that you are not so close to.
If you can, try asking some that are no longer customers or prospects.
The more people you ask the more understanding you will gather.
Understanding of how people think of you as a business.
Store the negative for another day.
What you are looking for is positive traits not negative ones.
Make damn sure you don’t lose the negatives though as this information is vital for other things!
The positives are what you want to focus on, how do people think about you in a positive way?
What are the things that you are best at?
Compile this information and use this to understand where you are now.
Which words come up most often when you have asked these audiences? And are there a lot of words that are very similar?
It is always easier to take steps from where you are than to try and create a brand voice from scratch!
This information will be the starting point for you to work from. After all, there is very little point in creating a brand voice that doesn’t match your brand.
Whatever your voice is, do remember that this may change and evolve over time. Apple of the 80’s and Apple of the 10’s are very different.
Evolution and change over time are to be expected and celebrated.
And this can happen for any number of reason. checking that your brand voice still matches your company is something you need to regularly do.
Not every month, or year, but if there are fundamental changes to your business or audience.
Use the voice!
When you have established how you wish to speak, how your company wants to be portrayed you will need to make use of this.
As you spend time uplifting existing or evergreen content take the time to write it in your newfound voice.
When you are creating new content ensure that this is done in your brand voice.
Use this when you create messages on social media or whitepapers or videos and vlogs.
The more you use your brand voice the stronger it will become. It will be seen by your audience and by your colleagues.
Your aim is to be able to tell your messaging apart from your competitors if neither have their logo in place.
What is important is that this voice becomes your constant.
For everything that you re-purpose and create. For everything that your audience sees and hears.