Everyone, absolutely everyone, is content marketing. Even people without businesses are creating content and establishing personal brands left, right, and centre. So how, in this sea of noise, do you get your business noticed?
You define your brand voice.
Brand voice is the way you communicate and connect with your customers. It’s the style of writing that humanises the face of your business. A strong brand voice builds a brand personality that reflects the type of business you are in. Does your company want to be a friend to its customers and speak informally? Or should it take a more authoritative tone to guide its followers? Will this even help gain any traction?
Valerie Khoo, CEO of the Australian Writers' Centre, and author of "Power Stories: The 8 Stories You MUST Tell to Build an Epic Business," knows why building a unique brand voice is key to establishing your brand in a very crowded marketplace.
“These days, brands need a "voice" because it's vital to be able to cut through the many other messages out there vying for the attention of your target customers,” she says.
“When a customer can connect with and relate to the "voice" of a particular brand, this helps to build that all important "know, like and trust" factor. If you can foster a connection in that way, then it becomes easier for the target customer to choose your brand when they are finally ready to make their buying decisions.”
“These days, brands need a "voice" because it's vital to be able to cut through the many other messages out there."
A strong brand voice remains consistent across all channels, from your website to your social media. Using the same tone and language each time you connect with your customer creates a cohesive personality. This makes it easy for your customers to relate to.
Khoo explains, “When you have a strong brand voice, this can mean that a customer develops a real connection with the brand. If it truly resonates with them, they become advocates.”
“It's even better when they become raving fans who are ready to buy whenever you release a new product. Or who are so happy with their connection with you that they become de facto marketing machines for your business. You end up with a volunteer sales force and can reduce your marketing costs.”
“When a customer can connect with and relate to the "voice" of a particular brand, this helps to build that all important "know, like and trust" factor."
For any business to succeed today they need to clearly differentiate themselves from the competition. And the competition is fierce. “If you don't do what you can to differentiate your business or make yourself memorable, then competitors who do understand about the importance of having a strong brand voice will overtake you” says Khoo.
So, who is your business? How do you set the right tone to draw in your audience and turn them into raving fans?
Khoo has four key strategies for creating a strong brand voice.
- Understand who your target customer is: You need to have intimate knowledge about them - their interests, age, passions, fears, demographic characteristics and so on.
- Determine what kind of role you would have in their lives: Is your relationship like that of a teacher, a best friend, a sister, an authority. Figure out how your target customer is going to best respond to you.
- Give that "voice" a personality: Determine what they would say and how they would deliver this message. Would they be inspiring, chummy, nurturing, didactic.
- Ensure that your "voice" is consistent across all mediums: So whether you are communicating with your customer on Twitter, your web page, or in a printed brochure, ensure you maintain the same personality in all your channels.
Your brand voice is your key to creating a strong connection with your customers and differentiating your brand from the rest. It’s time to let your brand speak for itself.
Aja is Sydney-based writer and serial entrepreneur. She regularly writes about small business, entrepreneurship, and health and wellbeing. Her latest entrepreneurial adventure is Yomama.world!