Have you ever realized that a successful brand tends to have human attributes? If the brand were and actually a person you could even imagine what they may be like. This is because a business tends to take on its own identity when effective, and consistent branding is in place. Make no mistake, this is not by accident. It is a very intentional, well thought out part of the marketing strategy.
The brand’s voice is created by all of the outgoing communication. Whether that is through advertisements, product info, or customer service standards, every piece of external communication flows together to create a brand’s voice. So, it is pretty easy to see that in the wide world of online marketing it can be very easy for things to become misaligned. Online marketing offers more outlets than ever before, a greater need for ongoing communication, and an enhanced ability to communicate directly with your consumers. All of those attributes make keeping a consistent brand voice that much more important.
Why Does Brand Voice Matter?
A consistent brand voice is an important piece of your online marketing for several reasons. In fact, one survey showed that 76% of online users would disengage with a brand after one bad contact experience. Let’s take a brief look at a few of those reasons.
- Connection – When an individual follows you online it is because they have connected with your content at some level. If your brand is vocal on certain issues, or uses a particular tone, then suddenly shifts that stance, it can throw people off and cause them to lose interest. Since many of your competitors are also focused on online marketing, your audience has other options if your brand suddenly changes their tone.
- Trust – Online marketing opens up the door for building relationships with consumers more than any other previous medium. With that level of connection, consistency becomes a core element of building long-term relationships. If an individual can see that your brand is consistent in its values and communication that will build trust, which leads to life-long customers.
- Aligning Values – Sometimes not taking a stance is the best stance to take with online marketing. Unless your brand is aligned directly with polarizing issues it is better to leave them out of your communication. Picking sides that may not align with your audience, or switching your side can turn people away from your brand.
Crafting Your Brand Voice
Remember, every piece of outgoing communication shapes your brand’s voice. With that in mind it is important to set the tone for your brand’s voice as part of your initial online marketing strategy. That way you will be able to maintain a consistent voice throughout every piece of content. The goal is to start your online marketing with a clear voice and maintain that voice throughout, this will take getting everyone on the same page initially and that expectations are made clear for all new hires as well.
Here are some tips on defining your brand voice:
- Create a Storyboard – By approaching your brand voice like you would a character in a story you can develop all of the necessary nuances that are sure to arise amidst your online marketing. What does your brand like and dislike? How will it respond in a variety of scenarios? What is your brands start and where does it plan to end up? By writing this out in a storyline format you will have the opportunity to create a more thorough personality.
- Customer Service Strategy – Knowing how your brand will respond to a variety of customer service scenarios from the start is crucial. Since online marketing creates and opportunity for increased engagement and much of that engagement will be customer service focused, it’s important to decide your responses from the start.
- Terminology – Will you speak in common terms or industry specific language? This is an important decision depending on your specific market, and deciding from the beginning is important too. If you market is segmented and requires more expertise than industry specific jargon will be important, but if you are reaching for the average consumer then inside-industry language could be confusing.
A Brand Voice is Strengthened By Listening
Your brand’s voice can be effectively refined if you’re actively engaged in listening to your audience. Initially, you listen by paying attention to your audience’s comments, replies, and messages. However, your online marketing efforts might not always elicit a direct reply so you will have to listen by paying attention to actions as well. There are a few areas where direct interaction will be important to crafting your brand voice.
- CTAs (Calls to action)
- Post Captions
- Direct Messages
- About Section
Beyond these areas, make sure you are monitoring how your audience is responding to your posts. Impressions and engagement can indicate when a particular piece of content is working, or if you need to adjust your online marketing efforts.
Plan, Enact, and Follow Through
Hopefully by now you can see why your brand voice is important and you have a better idea on how to manage it. Online marketing is only effective when it is well planned and implemented. Don’t shy away from taking the time necessary to craft a thorough understanding of your brand’s voice. It will take consistent effort, but that consistency is sure to pay off in the long run.
To Your Best Online!
Ingrid Griffin, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®
Keeping Your Brand Voice Consistent in Your Online Marketing