The first thing you think of with a brand is often the logo. But a brand is so much more than just a logo. Because the entire way of dealing with your target audience forms the customer experience (or customer journey). It’s all about recognition; have you considered how you sound as a company? How does your brand voice come across to others?
What is a Brand Voice?
De term voice branding of brand voice wordt in de internetmarketing gebruikt om aan te duiden hoe je met behulp van uniformiteit bij de keuze van je woorden, houding en waarden je merk vertegenwoordigd, terwijl je jouw doelgroep aanspreekt.
In het kort; Het is hoe een merk zijn persoonlijkheid overdraagt aan het externe publiek, ongeacht het platform.
The term voice branding or brand voice is used in internet marketing to indicate how you represent your brand with uniformity in the choice of words, attitude and values, while addressing your target audience.
In short; It is how a brand transfers its personality to the outside public, regardless of whatever platform they are on.
Why should you use a Brand Voice?
Convincing your audience to purchase your services or products works best if you address them in the way that suits them. That is why determining a brand voice is so very important.
But it is also certainly about what you want to tell AND how you want to tell it. For this you must first have a good idea of what you want to tell your target audience.
Your mission / vision as a company should make clear what this is all about.
The how is an important part of what you could call the tone of voice. Here you determine things such as; do we deal with customer contacts formally / informally, is the language spoken Dutch, English or both.
But let’s go back to your target audience (and the demography, for example).
Only when you know what age category you are dealing with, what kind of distribution there is in terms of gender and for example what their interests are, can you really start to determine the tone of voice that should work for them/
With a tool such as Google Analytics ( https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/ ) you can gain insight into which target audience uses your platform. And with the help of that information you can get started!
How to determine your Brand Voice ?
It is difficult to determine the brand voice for any specific company in this item. After all, when writing, I know nothing about your product / services, the target audiences you want to reach and which ones you actually reach and so on.
But I can give you the necessary tips to determine it by yourself (or together with your team);
1 – Put together a representative piece of content
This can contain text, video, social expressions etc. View which expressions could also be from your competitor. Drop the ones that fall into that category. Make sure you include the things that make your company unique as a brand.
Because why do people have to choose your company? What makes you better / more unique compared to the others?
2 – Describe your brand voice in 3 words
Discuss with a broad scope of your organization, including PR team, sales, etc. the selected content / the best examples of the brand voice that you want to convey.
Try to summarize together with your team the things you want to convey in a maximum of 3 words.
That in itself is not easy task by any means I can tell you that but let me try to help you with that: If your brand was a person, how would you describe this person to someone (in a maximum of 3 words)?
Then discuss how you would describe your competitors as people. Continue this until you have your own unique person who is a fitting reflection of your company (with a nice word this is called; company enbodyment).
3 – Create a brand voice table
With the voice of your brand defined, by using a brand voice table you can make more clear how to use it. This table can be an essential reference to ensure that your content (text, images, etc.) consistently use the same tone of voice.
Take three rows for each of the primary characteristics, three columns for a short description and be sure to work out the do’s and the dont’s. Add a row if necessary for secondary features that need a little extra explanation.
4 – Make a REGULAR habit of using the brand voice
Make sure that the people who write your content understand how to use your brand voice properly. Once you have followed the previous steps, you have determined your voice and thus tone in an easy to understand table.
How do you get everyone on board when it comes to using this?
The easiest way is to go through the table with your writers at least once. View some examples of content that attract attention. Discuss immediately how you would review a number of existing issues that do not reflect the defined brand voice.
Ensure that a digital version of the created table is available at all times, so that everyone can fall back on it.
5 – Review and revise your brand voice periodically
A brand voice table is not intended as a one-time tool. As you grow as a company or when new competitors enter the market, it is good to review the table and update it based on these developments.
In most cases this will involve small adjustments or even nuances, but they are also important.
6 – Check what it does with your conversions
Let’s face it, in many cases it’s about making sure your actions lead to profit. Periodically test whether statements using a certain brand voice work better or not. For example, you can test this with A / B tools such as Google Optimize ( https://optimize.google.com/optimize/home/ ) to get a clear picture of this.
Does it get people to take action / convert? Great going, finetune and keep going.
Does it not trigger action / conversion, then find out why and if necessary, approach people why they have chosen to drop out.
7 – Ask your users / customers for feedback
You can prepare a lot, but evaluating is just as important. You need to know if your changes make a difference in the eyes of your users / customers. Please note that you must clearly distinguish between products / services and the way in which they experienced interactions.
So don’t just ask about things like; Was the service / product satisfactory?
Be sure to ask; Was everything related to our services easy to understand? Or did you still have questions? Suggest that you want to contact them personally in order to improve your service even further.
In closing and perhaps most important
If you have decided to use a brand voice, apply it consistently in all expressions you do as a company. How often I have seen companies communicate on their own website like Huey, on social media like Dewey and in direct communication like Louie.
You want to come over professional and that includes uniformity.
I do hope that this item helps you find your brand voice, if I can help you with that; just let me know!