What can a good brand do for your business?
Good branding differentiates you from the competition. Good branding can help build trust and loyalty. It has the opportunity to provoke emotions and feelings. It creates an identity that’s instantly recognisable, like a brand that communicates its ethos and values, all of which are part of the brand strategy. Branding also, crucially, helps you stand out.
The value proposition is the number one most critical part of building a really effective and successful brand. Brand voice and personality is critical to achieving this.
What do we mean by brand voice?
Content marketing is sometimes seen as an objective affair, and in some ways, it is. Conversely, one of the most important qualities of your content is one that’s almost impossible to objectively measure: your brand voice.
Brand voice is the tone and personality of your written words. The strength of your brand voice in large part depends upon the appropriateness of its personality, and your consistency in implementing it across all your content channels.
It’s easy to lose sight of the “human” element of your brand voice — if you want to engage your readers and make a lasting impression, you’ll need to make sure your voice has a personality.
Use these strategies to shape your brand voice in a way that reads as human:
1. Identify Your Brand’s Characteristics
To identify your brand’s personal characteristics, consider what they stand for as a person. How does your brand speak, behave, interact with others.
This exercise will help you identify the key aspects of your brand’s personality that will appeal to readers as they get to know it and the exercise is directly related to the customer journey exercise we have explored on previous webinars in which we have explored how to create a customer profile. The two need to be able to communicate directly with each other. Which leads me on to the next strategy…
2. Learn What Your Audience Wants
A critical part of the branding journey is to identify your customer and understand their needs and wants, to be able to offer solutions to their pain points. By doing this exercise, you will start to figure out what your audience wants in a voice. Look at some of the most popular blogs and content marketing strategies in your industry. What types of personalities do you see? How is yours going to be the same? How is it going to be different?
Remember, your goal is to be consistently appealing — and if your customers tell you what makes content appealing to them, you should do what you can to give them what they want.
3. Tell a Story
Once you start creating content in your brand voice, you can start making regular adjustments to keep your voice on track and ensure that it is full of personality. One strategy that can help you stay personally appealing to your readers is the art of storytelling in your content.
Brand storytelling is any narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end. Weaving stories into the body of your blogs, social posts, and long-form posts is a perfect opportunity to show off your brand voice and make yourself seem more human to your readers. Conferring a story instantly makes you more naturally appealing and more approachable as a human—even if you’re speaking as a brand.
The more consistent you are with a personable, relatable voice, the more your audience will grow to become familiar of you, and the more likely you’ll be to convert them to be loyal brand ambassadors and customers.
Tips to help you find your brand’s social media voice:
1. List your brand characteristics
2. Avoid jargon so that you are, and sound, real.
3. Avoid clickbait. Social is a slow return on investment and social media platforms hate clickbait.
4. People buy more on benefits rather than features.
5. Building up your brand over time with a story around fun, different, helpful, happy, exciting, and others are ways to connect with people.
6. Be truthful and honest.
7. Write from the reader’s perspective – think about the problem you are solving for them.
8. Be consistent across social channels. This is why brand guidelines and a set of rules for your brand voice and personality is so important – particularly if your marketing is looked after by more than one person in the business.
9. Listen and respond. Most people talk more than they listen and your audience wants to be heard and wants to know that you care. It is crucial that you use social media as an extension of your customer services and ensure that you respond timely and in the right tone of voice.
Where are you showing up on social media? Where do people have a chance to see your brand, comment on your brand, ask questions? It’s critical to be perceived in a deliberate way—consistently.
Your Final Checklist to Finding Your Brand Voice:
You should now feel ready and armed to create a strong brand voice for your business, but to wrap things up, here’s a final checklist:
1. Be consistent and authentic
2. Make your point of view clear
3. Be invested in your audience