First off, why do you need a brand voice? Well that my friends, is an extremely important aspect of your business. The voice of your brand is how you communicate to your audience and will determine who your audience is.
It is the human behind the brand and what people will connect to. In a world that is dominated by social media, knowing how to communicate is extremely important, so below I’ve listed 3 important aspects of developing a strong brand voice.
1. Know who your audience is and how to speak to them
Do you know who your target is before you answer that, no it isn’t everyone? It is so so SOOOOOO important to know who your target audience is, for a number of reasons; one of them being age, think about how you would speak to an elderly person in comparison to a millennial. When speaking to millennials you need to speak how they speak in order to cut through the clutter. Be fun and engaging, use pop culture and slang, though be careful not to go over the top, because they will be all over you like a dad cracking a joke in front of his teenager and their friends #uncool #dontbelame #backawayslowly. Now compare that to how you would communicate to an elderly person, the first example was just used, try using a hashtag with this audience and they’ll look at you like you’re a fool. It’s a completely different language, you need to be clear and precise with how you communicate and it works across all ages. It’s the same case for gender, ethnicity, locations and so on, which is why it is SUPER important to know who your target audience is.
2. Show personality and connect
BE A HUMAN. There is nothing more disengaging than reading a robotic piece of communication that has no emotional attachment. Bring in some personality, it doesn’t have to be funny if that’s not what your business is about, but it needs to be engaging. Think about how you can communicate whatever it is you want to say in a way that makes people want to read it, you literally have a split second to catch a reader and hope that they read on. This is why I always stand by the saying ‘simplicity is key’ keep it short, keep it simple and keep it engaging. People do not want to read an essay of wishy-washy rubbish that sprinkles on a few important details, cull the crap and get straight to the point. If they want to know more, add in your CTA (call to action) and get them to get in touch or refer them to your website. Check out my other blog on ‘why it’s important to tell your brand story‘.
Bring in emotional points, we are emotional beings so find something that directly relates to your audience and reel them in. Take a look at how Nike communicate to their female market, the emphasis is on strong female empowerment, a big ‘WE CAN DO IT’ movement. It’s about making their audience feel like they are part of something by associating with that brand. They feel they share the same values, therefore, they relate to Nike (the brand). This is done with how Nike communicates with that specific market, and you will notice they have different marketing segments to capture multiple audiences. Sometimes they don’t even need to say anything to voice what they are trying to communicate see this ad here
Below are also a few print examples:
3. Proof your content
There is nothing like a typo to detract the value from what you are going to say. BE SURE that you have spell checked and have used words in the right context. As much as everyone hates a grammar nazi, it is so important that in order for you to be taken seriously, that you come across as a professional organisation, even if you’re not. To be seen as reputable, you need to act reputable, and correct grammar and spelling is a must. Before you finalise your messaging, do a test and get a sample of people to go over and read it, because the more eyes to read it, the better the chances are in getting it right in one.
In conclusion, the voice of your brand basically shapes the attitude of your business. Before you publish/print anything, get someone you know in your target audience to read over anything you want to publish (like you would do for spelling) and get their honest opinion. Just because you think it’s perfect, doesn’t mean your audience will and they are priority number 1. Another thing, if you don’t feel comfortable writing, outsource and brief a copywriter who does, that way they can articulate exactly what you want to say in the way you want to say it.
The world we currently live in is very content hungry, so make sure that your content is easy to digest and engages the reader. Not only will you see results, but you will have a guide as to how to communicate moving forward on all of your marketing material and that creates continuity with your branding, where consistency is key. Remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.