Why does tone of voice matter?

WRITTEN BY: LU SMITH, COPYWRITER

The tone of voice you use in all your communications, spoken and written, expresses your unique identity and personality. Used correctly, your brand will be able to effectively communicate its values and mission. All of your content must have the same tone of voice so that it reflects the character of your business. This consistency in style and tone throughout the myriad of content you provide, ensures your audience’s brand experience with you remains constant, which in turn portrays you as reliable and builds their trust in you.

Put simply getting your tone of voice right, determines whether audiences will continue to follow your brand and to engage with your business.

WHAT you communicate and HOW you communicate with your target audience is directly connected to WHO your ideal audience is. A successful tone of voice derives from understanding who your ideal customers/clients are and speaking directly to them in your content. Your tone of voice forms the basis of all your content marketing and HAS to come across as appropriate, recognisable, personal and articulate. You want your audience to read your content, find it resonates directly with them, prompting them to take action in some form to connect with you.

From serious, traditional and formal to relaxed, conversational and funny – really consider what works best for your brand and imagine how that comes across to your ideal customers/clients.

 

What does the right tone of voice do?


Builds recognition and recommendation

Tone of voice is a crucial factor in forming the impression your brand creates on others. Whether friendly or formal your tone directly impacts your audience’s understanding of your brand’s personality. This in turn, affects the likelihood of whether or not your business is recommended by them. Ensure that your tone is appropriate to the industry you are in.

Tone of voice must remain constant throughout all of your business communications, both internally and externally. Your staff and clients/customers have a perception of what kind of company you are, and therefore what it might be like working for/with you based on your tone of voice.

Credibility

A consistent tone of voice shows that you have considered who your target audience is and understood their needs and expectations in the content you produce. Carefully wording your marketing materials shows you are communicating respectfully and in a way that reassures your audience. Done consistently they won’t actually notice this, however they will if you communicate your business in a variety of different tones.

Trust

Having a defined tone of voice, ensures that all customers/clients receive the same experience whenever they come across your brand, building familiarity and trust and bringing them one step closer to becoming a client and/or retaining their custom.

Authenticity

Allowing yourself to come across as authentic in your tone of voice reflects the personality and values of your business. This not only sets you apart from your competition but enables you to build on the attributes with which you want your brand to be associated with.

 

How to get your tone of voice right

Values: Choose characteristics that best describe your brand. What are your values? What does your brand mean, and how do you want to come across as a business?

Personality: If you are an individual, your business is often more about you. Consider how much of your own personality you want to communicate.

Passion: How do you talk about your business to others? Remember it is not just the message you want to portray; it’s how YOU say things that can be transferred to your brand’s tone of voice.

Engage your audience: Consider how best to engage with your target audience. Write as though you’re talking directly to them and consider what they may be thinking or feeling as they read it. This direct tone helps them to see themselves as someone using your services/products. It shows you value them as individuals because it engages with them directly.

Be clear: Each sentence should have value. They should be clear and concise to be easily understood. Even better, try to use short sentences and break up paragraphs for maximum impact. Never assume knowledge and always avoid jargon. Use simple language and explain any technicalities and acronyms. Really think about how you are phrasing your content and remove all unnecessary words.

Be memorable: There is no point having the right tone of voice if you don’t have useful, informative content for your audience.

If you want to look authentic and trustworthy in your customer’s/client’s eyes, then a clearly defined tone of voice is key to your content strategy. Understanding what motivates and drives your audience will definitely help you to find the right tone to communicate with them.

 

About the author

Lu Smith is a copywriter based near Henley-on-Thames. She looks to unearth the character at the heart of a business and uses this to craft an engaging story to position that business with clarity and impact. A master distiller, she’s great at reducing the complex to something simple and clear.

www.lsmithcopy.co.uk