A unique, recognizable and memorable brand voice always helps you stand out from your competition. Without a brand voice that stands out, your company could get lost in the noise of a crowded marketplace full of similar products and services..
Brand voice is about more than just writing with a consistent tone throughout your content. It’s about establishing your brand’s personality - one that connects with customers emotionally and speaks to them in a way they understand and appreciate.
But how do you create a consistent brand voice, if you aren’t sure where to start? What if you want to review and revise what you already have established?
One way to solve the problem of establishing and maintaining an effective brand voice is by hiring a dedicated and professional copywriter.
Having one or more copywriters working regularly for your company helps ensure consistency across your content. Professional copywriters also have a skill set that is tailored toward taking something elusive like a company's brand voice, and making it concrete.
Like it or not, first impressions matter. Not only that, but people form their first impression of your brand extremely fast. At most, you have about 7 seconds before a person sizes you up and decides whether they want to find out more about what you have to offer.
This is most relevant when it comes to getting prospects to take that first step of engaging with your content and your business. If you don’t capture your prospect’s attention, they’ll quickly lose interest and move on.
A brand voice that falls short could mean your prospect will choose to do business with your competitor, instead.
What is it that sets you apart from the rest of your competition? By having a brand voice that is unique to your business, you instantly answer this question for the reader, inviting them to discover what you and your company are all about.
Having consistency in your brand voice across all platforms is also important for customer retention. A consistent tone builds a sense of familiarity with your brand. And research shows that familiarity is an important part of building trust, which is critical for any business transaction.
Finally, you should think of your brand voice as your company’s personality. Even in a B2B setting, you’re still selling to people, and people are social creatures. We value our relationships, and the stronger the perceived bond between a customer and a brand, the more durable that relationship will be.
To create a brand voice which is distinct, consistent, and emotionally compelling, copywriters use the following three techniques:
Attract leads by speaking their language
Engage prospects emotionally through storytelling
Retain customers through consistent style
No self-respecting adult wants to be spoken to like a child. Nor is it a good idea to try to engage a toddler in conversation about global politics.
In both cases, it’s a problem of using the right language in the right context.
The same goes for how you communicate with your target market. You may have a preconceived notion about what your customer likes most about your company. But odds are, you’ll miss the mark more often than not.
That is, unless you take the time to find out the exact language your customers use.
A good copywriter knows that people like to be spoken to in their own words. They gather these words into one place, either through the use of social listening tools, testimonials, or direct correspondence with existing customers. Once gathered, these words directly inform both the content and tone of your marketing materials.
By using the exact words that your customers use to describe both their problems and their appreciation for the solutions you provide, you connect with them on a personal level. They feel understood, which deepens their brand appreciation.
“Remember, people don’t buy from you because they understand what you sell—they buy from you because they feel understood.” - Dan Lok
Storytelling is easily one of humanity’s oldest and most universal pastimes.
Stories have the power to distill complex, abstract information into a format that is immediately understood by the reader.
When building a brand voice, stories serve two purposes:
Paint a clear picture of how the customer can benefit from your services
Convey a company’s values without resorting to abstract, technical jargon
The power of storytelling is summed up in the old adage, “facts tell, but stories sell”.
By harnessing the power of narrative, a good copywriter knows how to convert the nuts and bolts of a company’s offerings into something that resonates with the target market.
A prospect is much more likely to understand what a product or service can do for them if it’s presented in story form. Be careful not to use stories only to toot your own horn, however. Remember that your prospects are always asking themselves the question, “What’s in it for me?”
A good example of how copywriters use storytelling to build brand voice is through case studies. Done properly, case studies paint a clear picture of how your brand helps real people solve real problems. If a prospect resonates with the character in this story, they will immediately assume that you can solve their problems as well.
Another way that top copywriters use stories is by communicating a brand’s values.
Many businesses are tempted to use the jargon and buzzwords of their industry in their copy. The problem is, no one wants to hear about how “disruptive” or “innovative” your company is.
They want to know what your company really, truly values.
Through the effective use of stories within your content, a good copywriter can clearly articulate your company’s core mission and values, without resorting to overly technical or abstract concepts.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 64% of customers feel that they have a relationship with a brand if they feel they have shared values. By sharing your values through the power of stories, you are sure to establish and strengthen those highly valuable customer relationships.
Think about one of your closest relationships for a moment. Odds are that if you’ve known that person for a long time, you’ll notice right away if they are acting differently.
If you have a coworker who is always buttoned up, prompt, and clean-shaven, it would be a shock to see them walk into work wearing sweatpants and a three-day beard.
When someone violates our expectations, it immediately arouses curiosity - or in some cases, suspicion.
This is the last thing you want your customers to feel, especially after you’ve worked so hard to build a bond of trust.
The way to avoid this fatal mistake is by maintaining a consistent tone throughout all of your content, marketing materials, and messaging. You need to decide what words, phrases, and tone define your brand voice.
Perhaps more importantly, you need to decide what not to say to your customers.
If you decide that your brand’s personality is authoritative, helpful, and conversational, it’s probably not a good idea to use slang or crude humor in one of your emails.
If your brand is more cheeky and fun, then a long-winded blog post with highbrow vocabulary will leave your customers feeling puzzled, even betrayed.
A style guide serves as a helpful guard rail for your tone and voice, giving you a clear idea of what “say this, not that” means for your company. Through close collaboration with your sales and marketing teams, as well as your best customers, your copywriting team will soon have a clear picture of how to present your brand’s personality to the public.
It’s hard to over-emphasize the importance of developing a unique brand voice. Without one, you will have a difficult time being noticed, selling your products or services, and retaining loyal customers. All of these elements are critical to staying in business, let alone being profitable or scaling your company.
A well-rounded copywriter knows this and can help you unify your messaging into a coherent, recognizable brand voice through the following methods:
Using the language of your target audience
Harnessing the power of story to build emotional connections
Maintaining a consistent style in all content and marketing materials
Now that you have a better idea of how to establish and maintain a unique voice for your brand, it’s time to put a professional copywriter to work for you. Through the power of a recognizable brand voice, you will stand out from the rest of your competition, and build a following of die-hard fans.
Ready to hire a professional copywriter? Click here to get started with one of our dedicated copywriters today.
Ian Pettit is a sales copywriter and content writer from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Ian brings a diverse background to all his writing, including experience in manufacturing and design, music production, psychology, personal development, entrepreneurship, and green technology. He specializes in writing compelling, insightful copy with a personal feel, aimed at both educating and entertaining the reader at the same time.Hire Ian