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Having a strong brand voice is useful for helping you reach the right people and establishing trust with your audience. Another benefit of branding your business is that it can also help you in building a recognizable brand and getting more sales from loyal customers.
But, to reap all these benefits, you need to know the process for creating your brand voice. So, in this article, we will look at five tips that will help you develop the perfect brand voice for your business.
Define your audience, so you can keep them in mind
One of the most important steps in developing your brand voice and identity is defining your audience. These are the people you’ll be speaking to in everything you publish, so you should keep them in mind every step of the way.
To define your audience, you could look through your website and social media analytics to see the demographics of the people who regularly consume your content or engage with your brand. To help with this, check out SocialPilot’s round-up of social media analytics and reporting tools that will give you an insight into the audience you serve.
You could also send out a survey to your existing customers to get more information about them, or you can hold brainstorming sessions with your team to come up with a picture of your ideal customer.
When developing your brand voice, it could also be helpful for you to create buyer personas. These are fictional representations of the people who have the characteristics of your target audience, and they can help you develop the most suitable voice for your business.
Pay attention to the industry standard
Another important step in developing your brand voice involves looking at what similar companies are doing. You want to find the right balance between doing something different to grab people’s attention but not so different that it will make people feel uneasy.
For instance, most businesses in eCommerce, like fashion stores or kids’ toy stores, use an upbeat or light-hearted tone that can help them engage and connect with prospective customers.
But, for brands in the financial sector, like banks or investment companies, they usually go for a professional and competent tone of voice. For example, let’s look at how a company like iCASH uses its brand voice to stand out against other competitors in the financial industry.
iCASH is a financial lending company that provides financial assistance to people residing in Canada. On their website, they do a great job of using a helpful and understanding brand voice and you’ll see this in the way they provide detailed step-by-step instructions on how people can apply and quickly secure loans with them.
Even though some companies in the financial sector tend to use an overly formal tone of voice, iCASH has been able to inject more empathy into theirs, which sets them apart and allows their prospects to know that they are a company that actually cares about helping people solve their money struggles. If you are in a similar sector and are looking to stand out, you can also emulate their technique of using a helpful and supportive tone so people know they can trust you.
As for companies in the legal sector, they might prefer to use an authoritative and professional brand voice to show that they have the necessary expertise and are knowledgeable about their industry. To give you a better idea, let’s study the kind of brand voice used by a company in the legal sector.
Blumenshine Law Group is a team of personal injury attorneys in Chicago, Illinois. On their homepage, you’ll find that they adopt a professional yet friendly tone of voice. You’ll see this in how they provide valuable information about the services they offer and encourage prospective clients not to worry about whatever case they want to get settled.
But, even though they use a friendly tone to draw prospects in, they also use a professional and authoritative tone of voice when talking about the variety of successful cases they’ve handled for past clients. And this can help them build trust and credibility as experts in their field.
And, when it comes to the educational sector, some schools like to use a mixture of a light-hearted and authoritative tone, while others prefer their brand voice to be serious and formal. Let’s take a look at how a website in the education industry ensures its brand voice is appropriate for its field.
Best Value Schools is an online resource for people trying to find the best colleges to further their education. Their website comes off as incredibly helpful and informative, and their tone of voice shows that they understand how stressful it can be to look for a good school. School websites, in general, tend to be very informative, and this website does a great job of sounding very helpful and understanding.
If you also want to develop a brand voice that truly stands out, you can’t overlook the importance of doing some research to see what similar companies in your industry are doing so you can get some guidance.
Study your existing content to see what works (and what doesn’t)
If your company has been around for a while, but you’re only just starting to think about your brand voice, you might have already published a lot of content without one in mind.
So, it’s worth taking an audit of this content, whether it’s the copy on your service pages, the posts on your blog, or your social media posts, to see what works and what doesn’t.
You should make a note of what you wish to continue doing and what you would like to avoid in the future. This will also allow you to decide which pieces of content you would like to revisit and update once your new brand voice is set in stone.
Before starting your content audit, you should make sure you’re setting goals so you know what you want to achieve. To help you perform a successful audit of your website and social media platforms, check out Semrush’s step-by-step guide to conducting a content audit.
Ensure consistency by creating clear guidelines
Many businesses have multiple people creating content and, if your brand is like that, you should create clear guidelines that everyone can follow to ensure consistency. Make sure you include information like your brand values, tone of voice, and brand personas, so your team members know the type of audience to write for.
You should also add details about specific fonts, font sizes, and brand colors, especially if you create a lot of visual content. It’s important to ensure that your team uses these guidelines when writing everything from your homepage copy to your Instagram captions so that you can maintain consistency across all platforms.
To help with all of this, we have some useful SEO templates that you can use. You’ll find that the content strategy and content brief templates, in particular, will help you in establishing consistency when it comes to your copy.
Don’t be afraid to adapt your brand voice over time
As your company progresses, it might outgrow its brand voice. So, it’s worth revisiting and adapting this on a regular basis to ensure it always reflects your audience and what you want to convey.
For instance, you might find that your target audience has shifted slightly, or even entirely, to a new generation of people. So, you’ll need to find a way to establish a new brand voice that will resonate with the people you want to serve.
To determine whether your brand voice is still suitable, make sure you go over your brand guidelines every six months or so to ensure they still work for your company. Also, try to talk to the people who manage your social media platforms and website to discuss how your audience is responding to your brand voice so you can work out whether you need to make any changes.
Having a clear brand voice holds a lot of benefits for your business. It will help you stand out and also make it easy for customers to recognize your content.
Start by defining your audience, paying attention to the industry standard, and studying the existing content on your established platforms. Then you can decide which direction you would like to go in.
Author bio & headshot:
Aaron Haynes is CEO and co-founder of Loganix. The company is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals, which provides the services businesses need to improve their online visibility and grow. If you liked this article, check out the Loganix blog, where you’ll find more SEO guides full of expert advice.