There are countless elements to consider when it comes to building a brand – from web design to logos and everything in between. While the visual aspect of your brand is undoubtedly a focal point, creating an engaging tone of voice (TOV) can immediately help you to stand out from the crowd.
Why is TOV Important?
Why is oxygen important? Because we need it to survive.
At the risk of sounding a little melodramatic, TOV is essential to the success of your brand. More than words on a web page, it echoes your entire brand personality. By investing the necessary time into developing a distinctive TOV, you can ensure that your messaging resonates with your target audience.
Consider Your Brand Values
There’s a method to the madness when it comes to building the right TOV for your business. Before you race ahead settling on one, we strongly advise aligning your messaging with your overall brand values. This will help to shape how you communicate when connecting with your audience.
|Tone of voice
|Honest, welcoming, authentic
|Reputable, concise, confident
|Vibrant, playful, personable
|Empathetic, warm, inclusive
In a nutshell, your TOV should emulate your brand persona and values wherever possible.
Hosting a brand TOV workshop is the perfect opportunity to get the team together to spitball ideas around what you think your brand TOV should be. However, sometimes looking at your own brand TOV objectively can be difficult. In this instance, it can be beneficial to draw on the advice of a third party, such as a creative agency that specialises in this area and is able to provide expertise and direction to help you settle on a TOV that is perfectly suited to your brand.
So, what’s the next step to finding the right TOV for your brand?
Get Googling! Do your research and collate a list of the brands whose online presence stands out most to you. Pinpoint precisely why that is. Equally, what TOVs make your toes curl? We recommend checking out both big and smaller brands for inspiration. From here, you can dig deeper, deducing exactly what you wish to convey with your own brand personality.
A great advantage of having a strong TOV is that it allows you to cut through the noise in any competitive market. If direct competitors haven’t adopted an appropriate brand presence, this is where you can take the lead in winning over your target audience. Having a carefully curated TOV allows you to humanise your brand, creating lasting impressions on your clients and/or customers. It’s this level of connection that will boost overall retention and help you to harness relationships that stand the test of time.
Top 4 TOV Tips
- Consistency is key – Whatever decision you come to on your brand TOV, one of the more important factors is simply sticking to it. This is especially important when you have several people writing across one page, channel or website, as there should be one cohesive voice throughout – no matter how many people may contribute to it over time.
- Engage your audience – We understand not every product or service may sound colourful and shiny on paper, but that doesn’t mean your words can’t be engaging. For example, unlike creative B2C brands, B2B businesses should avoid being overly fluffy. Instead, they can create an impactful TOV by writing with clarity, in a straight-talking way that makes content easily digestible for the reader.
- Write to inform – Try to avoid over-explaining points unnecessarily or trying to jam-pack paragraphs with keywords. This won’t boost your SEO rankings, quite the opposite in fact! Google’s algorithm sees straight through this, ultimately resulting in a lower position in the SERPs. Instead, do your keyword research but only use these terms if they naturally fit within your sentences.
- Be concise – It’s easy to get lost in your content or go off on a tangent – especially when talking about a topic that you’re passionate about. The trick is knowing when to pull back and show a little restraint. Be concise. Question what your objective is, whether that’s to inform, persuade, evoke an emotion, or simply entertain the reader. By keeping this in mind when drafting content for your brand, you’ll instantly find snappier ways of saying what you need to say. Remember, less is more.
For further inspo, we asked our Flaunties what some of their all-time favourite brand voices are, and here’s what they came up with:
“Fast reactive content with a touch of great British humour, bantering with public figures like Piers Morgan!” – Mackenzie Brook.
“Humorous, relatable content that’s super reactive!” – Kaitlyn Magarry.
“I really like Thursday, the dating app. Really original campaigns. Very witty and reactive on socials.” – Laura Kirkton.
“I love Meguiars, a car detailing retailer. They are accessible but professional. Their YouTube is what got me into car detailing. Where every other channel offering from competitors is very serious, they capture a more relaxed and comical tone that makes them instantly more relatable to their audience.” – Callum Corrigan.
5. Innocent Drinks
“The king of TOV, strong marketing campaigns, irreverent content that is consistently reactive across different social channels.” – Joe Hryszko.
“Brilliant sense of humour, not afraid to get involved in relevant conversations, and great use of billboards!” – Reece Taylor.
B2C vs B2B
There are often clear differences in TOV between B2C and B2B. When writing B2C you want to captivate the user with unique content that feels authentic and down to earth. This can be achieved through humour or by making the copy more fluffy and relatable. Find ways to be different. Captivate your audience by getting creative!
A B2B TOV should, generally speaking, be much more straight-talking and to the point – after all, the main goal is often to inform. Fluffiness makes it more difficult for users to decipher the information they require, so it’s best to be direct and concise. That’s not to say you can’t still find ways to be original though. Your content can still be every bit as engaging and impactful by simply giving the reader what they need, in an easily digestible way.
Our final piece of advice? Take your time to nurture and develop your TOV. Once you’ve found one that feels true and authentic to your brand, it can become a potent tool for standing out against the crowd.
Need a hand? Get in Touch!
It’s no secret that developing a unique TOV can be a difficult task. Working with a brand expert can help you discover a distinctive tone of voice perfectly suited to your brand. Whatever you need, we’re always on hand to help!
Give us a call or check out the Flaunt Digital blog for more digital marketing advice. Alternatively, head to our Facebook and Instagram channels to fill your boots with more Flaunt content.