Online Marketing can be a tricky endeavour. There are plenty of factors to consider, including both the technical aspects as well as the style in which your message is delivered. Finding your online voice is possibly one of the most important components to ensure your brand has an effective online presence.
Finding your voice is the first step. Establishing and perfecting the tone of your voice comes next.
Think back to your school years. Some teachers were just simply better at teaching than others. Much of this has to do with the personality and tone used when delivering information to their students. Using the right tone of voice has a massive impact on just how effectively information can be absorbed. Then of course, this has the flow-on effect of encouraging action, after learning this new information.
You’re the Voice (try and understand it)
The voice of your brand can be defined using a short list of one-word adjectives that broadly represent the personality of your brand. This can depend greatly on the products and services you provide but also relates to how you operate your business, as a person.
A few examples could be:
These can then be broken down further, to describe each word in more detail.
- Fun – outgoing, energetic, playful, happy
- Bold – brave, unafraid, unique, strong
- Genuine – honest, trustworthy, responsible
If you’re following along at home, at this point you’ve now discovered the voice of your brand. These are the words you came up with in the first list. You’ve also gone a long way to establishing your tone of voice, using the subset of words gathered in the second list.
Remember that this is just an example. The words that relate to your brand could be very different and the list much longer. Try to keep the list of adjectives at a sensible and manageable size though and be sure to use at least 3 descriptive words to begin with.
Using Your Voice
To use your online voice most effectively, you will also need a thorough understanding of exactly who your customers are. The audience you are speaking to ultimately determines the type of language you should use to engage with them. For example if your brand is Fun, Bold and Genuine – you may like to do things a little differently.
Taking an unorthodox approach to marketing can lead to great success, however it can also backfire spectacularly, causing severe damage to your brand image and reputation.
Let’s say you have an amazing product, something that is simply irresistible. Your target audience are folks aged 30-50, who have disposable income and like to travel. “OMG, our product is like totally amazeballs LOL” is probably not the appropriate language to use, if you’re looking for a positive result. In fact anyone who uses language like this, ever, needs to reconsider whether their voice is appropriate for business.
Some other tips on how to use your voice (particularly on social media):
- DO – Be authentic. Be real. Don’t force it.
- DO – Be consistent. If you’re usually quite serious, then try to be all cute, then serious again, it’s going to look silly, fake and cheap.
- DON’T – Try to be funny – because you’re probably not.
- DON’T – Make assumptions. “I bet you wish you were here right now.” Actually, no I don’t.
- DON’T – Write a 3 page novel. Keep it simple, to the point. Most people browse on their phone these days. They will scroll right past your 3000 word essay in a heartbeat.
BIG DON’T – Do not ever use your personal social accounts to argue with others, talk down about others or engage in heated political discussions. Basically don’t act like a jerk. You are always representing your brand and the damage this type of behaviour can cause may last forever. You have a right to an opinion, yes. You also have the right to choose to keep your opinion to yourself and help protect your brand.
Go on, find your voice and sing to the world!
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