09 / 04 / 24

Tone of voice in marketing: 5 ways to bring your brand to life

You may have heard 'tone of voice' discussed around the marketing water cooler. Other than speaking with you in person, it’s one of the most important tools you have to communicate your brand’s message and identity to potential customers. Your brand’s tone of voice sets the tempo for how you are perceived and gives your marketing team clear guidelines for keeping communications consistent.

The term “tone of voice” is used in marketing all the time, but what exactly is it? Why is it important? And how do you use it effectively? 

In a nutshell, your tone of voice encompasses the way you write and speak to your clients and customers: what you say and how you say it. 

Tone of voice is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competition. It lets your clients know what you value, what the most important aspects of your brand are, and how you want to be seen by them. 

You can communicate a lot about who you are without using dry, formal, overly descriptive language. 

No matter your business, engaging your clients on a personal and emotional level will make them more likely to give you their trust and therefore, their business. 

One of the best ways to do this is with a consistent tone of voice. Adding this consistency throughout your website copy and promotional materials gives your business a personality that is readily identifiable, memorable, and unique.  

How to use tone of voice to bring life to your brand message 

1. Choosing your tone of voice –  

How you want to be perceived will depend on a few vital factors: your business sector, the size of your business and where you want to position yourself in your industry. 

Authoritative, humorous, friendly or stern, the choice is yours.  

Your decision may be dictated by the industry you’re in; if you need to communicate a lot of accurate technical information, being sarcastic or flippant will work against your intended audience.  

However, you can still project an air of authority in a fun and exciting way. Finding your tone of voice is all about discovering the best ways to communicate who you are.  

So, who are you? 

2. Make sure everyone is on the same page –  

There’s no point creating a tone of voice for your business if only half your marketing team adopts it. Once your tone of voice is decided, create a document that explains what it is and also what it is not, so everyone is singing from the same song sheet. 

Include example paragraphs of your ideal tone, as well as descriptive bullet points that outline your voice so it’s easily digestible to anyone who reads the document. 

As well as positive examples of how you want to sound, it is also helpful to include how you don’t want to sound. This can be as simple as a bullet-pointed list of descriptive or emotive words that describe what to avoid. 

Once you have your document, ensure it’s distributed and understood by your team. If possible, make the process of deciding your tone of voice a group effort; through collaboration and discussion with your entire team, finding your tone of voice becomes an inclusive process that considers all viewpoints, allowing you to pinpoint your strengths much quicker. 

3. Consider updating old pages with your new tone of voice –  

If you have an established business, changing your tone of voice overnight will be jarring to your customers. The bigger your brand, the harder it will be to ensure consistency across all communication channels.  

Depending on the size of the task, retroactively updating old content to reflect your tone of voice can prove an inefficient use of time. If you have pages with an historic amount of good and consistent traffic, however, prioritise updating the copy to ensure the consistency of voice remains throughout your site. 

Ideally, you should choose a tone of voice before creating your website, but things don’t always go to plan! 

4. Your tone of voice reflects how your clients will see you –  

As the old saying goes; may you live in interesting times. For better or worse, we are undoubtedly living through interesting times.  

The internet bombards us with information every second of every day and it’s easy to forget the human factor. 

What people are craving more than ever is genuine connection; they don’t want to be condescended to or diminished to nothing more than a series of statistics. 

Infusing your content with empathy, compassion and understanding is more important than ever.  

Finding the right voice to connect with your clients creates that most elusive of commodities, one that cannot be bought: trust. 

5. It doesn’t have to be perfect –  

Finding the right tone of voice is a process, one which you may need time to get right, especially as different members of your team come to grips with finding the right voice. 

This is a natural part of the process and almost unavoidable, especially in larger companies. As mentioned above, if you are able to involve your whole team when deciding what your tone of voice is, then you’ll have an easier time with consistency. 

The main thing to bear in mind is not to sweat the small stuff; how you want to be perceived is like projecting your personality onto your company, giving it a living, breathing voice. 

You have a brand, and you know how exemplary your service is; you need to engage your clients and excite them, but you can’t quite reach the right voice that accurately communicates who you are. 

That’s where we come in. 

We have a team of wonderful wordsmiths ready to weave their magic and help you form a lasting relationship with your customers. Here at Formation, we make it our business to create SEO optimised copy to engage, inform and innovate. 

Contact us today to find your voice and stand out from the crowd. 

Written by Formation Formation