Ah.. The infamous "tone of voice"... And no, I don't mean the smooth talking Bogart was such a master of... I'm talking about a brand tone of voice that needs to be consistent across all channels. How do you achieve that? You've come to the right place.
Ever been to a party where someone's talking to you, but all you hear is "blah blah blah"? That's how your readers feel when your content's tone of voice is flatter than a pancake.
Equally confusing is your favourite chocolate company being all cosy and informal on social media, making references to Lady Gaga and the latest Netflix tv show but then their website is full of corporate lingo and useless information that nobody cares about.
According to a study conducted by Sprout Social, 40% of respondents believe that a memorable brand voice makes branded content more enjoyable, and 34% are more likely to engage with brands that exhibit a distinct personality (especially on social media).
In a nutshell, it's important.
Let's go over the 5 most common questions I get asked by my clients and what I tell them.
1. Why should I care about tone of voice in content creation and communication?
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but your tone of voice is the color palette that brings them to life. It's the secret sauce that makes your content flavourful, engaging, and oh-so-memorable.
A killer tone helps you forge an emotional connection with your audience, build brand loyalty, and strut down the content catwalk like a pro.
Basically, it influences how readers perceive the information, whether they feel engaged, and how they respond emotionally. A consistent tone helps establish brand identity, fosters trust, and encourages audience loyalty.
2. How do I find the tone of voice that's just right for my content?
To determine the right tone of voice, consider the following factors:
Know your peeps: Get cozy with your target audience's likes, dislikes, and guilty pleasures.
What's the sitch? Align your tone with your content's mission: Is it to inform, persuade, or entertain?
Brand vibes: Your tone should be the BFF of your brand personality.
Be a context chameleon: Adapt to the platform, context, and format of your content.
3. How can I keep my tone of voice as consistent as my love for pizza?
Good question! To maintain a consistent tone of voice you'll want to:
Craft a style guide: It's like a recipe for your brand's tone, language, and content formats.
Train your content squad: Get everyone on board with your style guide and its oh-so-important rules.
Edit, edit, edit: Keep your content in check, making sure it fits your tone like a glove.
Feedback frenzy: Bring on the input from colleagues, editors, or your audience to fine-tune your tone game.
4. How does my tone of voice give me an SEO boost?
Your tone of voice is like the secret ingredient in grandma's famous cookies – it's what keeps everyone coming back for more.
An engaging tone can boost user experience, retention, and even those sweet, sweet search engine rankings. It can also increase audience retention, leading to better user signals, such as time spent on page, bounce rate, and social sharing.
Additionally, using a clear and concise tone can improve content readability, making it more likely for search engines to feature your content in rich results.
5. Can I switch up my tone of voice for different content types or platforms?
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!
Just like a superhero with multiple alter egos, your tone of voice can adapt to different content types and platforms while staying true to your brand. Blog posts can be chatty, whitepapers formal, and social media posts casual and inviting.
Flex those tone muscles and let your content shine in every context BUT always keep a common ground. That's where the magic touch of a copywriter comes in.
But that’s just me…thinking out loud.