Does Your Brand Have a Strong Voice? | Social Joey
How’s it going? As more and more businesses across the country reopen and we start to carve out a new normal, how are things going for your business?
Let’s face it: COVID-19 has caused—and will continue to cause—us to pivot and change course more often than we’d like to think about. That applies to everything from our physical stores to our marketing!
If you’re taking a thoughtful look at your marketing efforts these days, you aren’t alone. That’s why we thought it would be good to hone in on an important part of any effective strategy: a distinctive brand voice.
Your audience can’t hear what you’re saying if your voice isn’t strong. Read on as our Social Joey team offers a deep dive into why a brand voice is so important.
Why a Brand Voice Is Important
As we step forward toward the post-COVID-19 future, it’s more important than ever to stand out from other businesses offering the same product or service.
People are spending more time than ever online and on social media specifically, making them more likely to be educated buyers. They’re looking for helpful, useful and relevant guidance and resources to help them make good buying decisions when they need something.
They’re also looking for something that helps them determine which brand is the best.
When you’re trying to stand out, your words and messaging play a key role in setting your business or franchise apart from your competitors. Having a distinctive and strong brand voice is essential for carving out your place in an increasingly digital world.
The Difference Between “Voice” and “Tone”
Before we dive into how you can build your own distinctive brand voice, let’s first clarify an important point. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, voice and tone are not the same thing.
Let’s break it down this way:
Your voice is your brand’s character, your personality. It stays the same and consistent, no matter what message you’re conveying. This is how your brand speaks and acts.
Your tone is the inflection you’re giving your voice in a particular piece of content. Tone will vary depending on the specific message and audience. It has to change in order to stay relevant to the people you’re trying to reach.
The Components of a Brand Voice
While you now know that a distinctive voice is important for your business, you may have no idea where to begin.
But there are some basic components involved in establishing and maintaining this voice. These components include:
What do you stand for? What are your values? What is your mission?
These are the underlying questions behind determining your brand voice. You need to know what’s behind your brand in order to know how it speaks.
It may even be helpful to think of your brand as a person. After all, you’re determining its personality!
What type of words does your “person” use? Is your person laid-back or energetic? Warm or cool? Formal or irreverent?
This is your brand voice. Making it clear who are you are as a brand will help you carve out a niche with your customers and potential customers. That’s what sets you apart!
We’ve talked about the importance of consistency many times before, but we usually discuss it in the context of maintaining frequent, regular social media posting.
Consistency also matters for your brand voice. You’ve carved out a distinctive voice. That’s step one. But step two is to carry that voice through everything you create.
This consistency should be maintained in all of our marketing materials, including your social media marketing. Keeping “on brand” can help ensure your target audience hears your voice loud and clear.
How can you make your voice shine on social media? It’s pretty simple, really!
Once you’ve nailed down what your brand voice is, you want to determine how it affects the various pieces of your strategy. This includes making sure that external pieces you’ll be sharing are still distinctively in your voice and ensuring that the posts themselves are crafted in the right voice and tone.
Because the only thing constant is change, it may also be beneficial to think through what your brand’s voice will be in times of chaos, turmoil or emergencies. While we don’t like to think of the worst case scenario, it’s still an important part of planning.
Does your brand have an established style guide? Yes? OK, next question—do you stick with your style guide?
Be honest! Believe it or not, your style makes an impact when it comes to your brand’s voice. Carving out an established set of style, grammar and other guidelines is vitally important.
We talked above about why it’s important to remain consistent in your brand’s voicing. Your style guide—and adhering to that style guide—is key to ensuring you are giving your audiences a consistent voice.
What’s involved in a style guide? Well, it’s everything that makes your brand a brand! It’s all the little tiny components that give you a voice.
A style or branding guide (the two terms are essentially the same thing) helps provide clarity and guidelines around your brand voice. It should include basics such as logos and color palettes and more specific guidelines related to style and grammar.
This can get as granular as whether you use commas in a simple series or as simple as words you prefer. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what a simple series is or why it matters—we’ve got that base covered for you!)
Why is this type of guide important? Refer back to the items we just talked about, clarity and consistency.
You’ve clarified your voice by determining the personality of your brand, and you need to be consistent in the use of that voice across all your content. A style guide provides a set specifics on how you do that.
In other words, it’s your user’s guide to raising your voice!
Whether you have a distinctive brand voice or need help putting one into action, we’re here to help! Let our Social Joey team go to work to transform your social media marketing.