How do you think your business sounds? More importantly, how do you want your business to sound?
Nailing down your company's "voice" is one of marketing's greatest mysteries—no two businesses sound alike.
Your voice represents your brand at its most fundamental level—your product, your expertise, your personality, your values—and determines what impact you'll have (and on who). From emails to social media, mission statements to executive biographies, the tone you adopt and the language you deploy will determine the way your target consumer identifies you.
The fundamental question is: What do you want your business to say? Consider the following three things when you’re developing your company voice, and you’ll be bringing in leads as you speak.
Consider Your Industry
Unfortunately, the products and services you offer won't speak for themselves—that's where effective copywriting comes in.
What industry are you in—and how will you rise to lead it? Communication is key, and without it, you won't be interacting with your customers, your audience, or your competition. More importantly, they won't be getting the message you're trying to send.
You've heard the old adage, "Actions speak louder than words." This rings true for anyone (read: everyone) looking to maximize conversions. Your voice serves as a vehicle for customers from awareness to action.
Targeting your voice is only one step in the process, but it's not to be undermined.
Consider Your Audience: Are You Their "Type"?
Let's try something—a thought experiment. Imagine your company personified. How do they present themselves? Picture their clothes, their age, what kind of career they have (if they have one), whether or not they specialize in a certain industry.
Now listen. What do they sound like?
Maybe you picture an executive in an expensive pantsuit putting on a board presentation, explaining the intricacies of corporate social responsibility, or a college student in yoga gear at a coffee shop gushing over a new recipe for kelp-based smoothies. Maybe you imagine an industrial process developer in full protective gear, explaining the different safety protocol they employ in manufacturing.
In most cases, the image you conjure is an accurate portrayal of how you'd like your audience to see you, and how you see your audience. Developing accurate buyer personas is a pivotal part of developing your voice. Effective content will amplify your brand, allowing you to be heard over your competitors.
Whether you're drafting your first About page or celebrating publication of your 1,000th blog post, find your tone and keep it consistent.
By giving your business a voice, you're creating your brand's identity. The voice you adopt should show what you do—and that you know how to do it—better than your competitors.
Consider Your Values
Customers value companies that love their employees (and when employees love them back), but more importantly, they value transparency.
Have you ever spent so much time with someone you like that you start to actually sound similar? Effective marketing reverses this process. Keep the language your audience likes in mind when developing content, and before you know it, they'll want to spend time (and money) with you.
That's not to say that you should be putting on airs. Authenticity has become a higher priority for customers as of late. The companies adopting transparent marketing practices are winning, and if you have a brand that you as an employee would stand behind, then the core values of your business would naturally echo those.
Customers want to know what they're purchasing and from who. Mostly, they look for value alignment when making purchasing decisions. It's important that they relate to you—that your content says "trust me" and means it.
Your company voice shouldn't hypnotize leads to make sales. Be thoroughly transparent with your clients from the start—transparency harbors trust—and in all likelihood, they’ll provide positive feedback you can cycle back to attract other customers.
Keep your language direct—offer facts, show value—and if you should succeed, conversions will follow.
There's no need to shout to be heard.
Yelling over your competition doesn't work. Bombarding your customer base with oversized fonts, eye-peeling colors, flashing images and loud, impossible promises can be obnoxious, and will likely scare them away.
An engaging voice grabs their attention, and effective content keeps it. Focus on the elements of your business that differentiate you from your competition. Showcase your expertise to your audience, gain their trust, and leads will follow.
- Trust us…we’re the experts. Explain how and why you’re industry leaders in your field. Your brand should speak clearly and fluently as a go-to source of timely, relevant information.
- We’ll draw you in and keep you here. Who hasn’t sat down with a good book, and looked up only to realize that hours have flown by? Be their favorite author. Make it so your audience “literally can’t put it down.”
- I know that voice... The most important thing to remember when developing your brand language is consistency. Your audience should recognize the sound of your voice across your outreach efforts: emails, blogs, web copy, product description, etc.