The way that you portray your brand is not only conveyed through your website layout, your logo or the style of the illustrations of images on your site. Your content construction can say a whole lot about you and if the copy on your blog or information pages doesn’t align with your brand ethos or objectives, it can be confusing for potential customers.
Determining your content angle, tone of voice and how it will be exercised should form part of your ongoing brand management strategy.
Tone of voice
Your tone of voice is the way in which you speak to your audience. This may differ slightly across your website copy, ebook copy, copy on social media and even the channels within that. You might have the scope to be more fun and off-topic on Twitter but on LinkedIn, you might need to ensure you’re all business whilst still remaining friendly. But ultimately, the tone will be consistent.
It’s not as easy as some might think to determine a tone of voice. After all, it’s far more complex than saying we will be friendly, approachable and genuine. Lots of brands are those three things, but how you will speak to people will ultimately aim to appeal to a certain audience using a more unique approach.
You can set your brand apart from others by using language that identifies your brand specifically. Some brands need to use complicated language and words which align with their audiences existing knowledge and will make sense.
For other brands, simplifying their language to help people understand their process and offering is key, even if the offering or product is complex. It all comes down to understanding your audience, their demographics and existing knowledge.
It’s okay to go off-topic every now and then, depending on your industry of course, but it is important to ensure relevance within you’re creating content. For the benefit of your users and your search capability, you want to ensure that your content is relevant to your industry. You can ensure this through a number of ways;
- Topical research – Look at what’s going on in the news and on social media, can you write something or create something to align with trending topics and offers a unique insight or analysis?
- Competitor research – What are your competitors or industry colleagues doing? If everyone else is talking about a topic, you probably should also be talking about it too, but try to find a new angle or your own insight to make it unique.
- Keyword research – Using your existing service terms, your website and competitors sites, you can dig up a whole bunch of terms, including long-tail keywords, that users who might want your service or product, use to search.
If your brand has a point of view, which it should, you need to ensure that the author(s) of your content also shares that point of view or is able to effectively convey that to your readers. This means that if your company is passionate about eco-friendly practises, the author of your content should understand this when creating the content.
Equally, you need to be able to determine if the point of views that are being portrayed in your content, for example, on your blog, are opinions of your company or the writer. If the opinions of the writer are coming across in the copy, but the company cannot back up the opinions or social point of view, it could result in criticism.
Instead, there should be an agreed ethical approach to the stance that the company take on particularly prominent subjects. Through doing this, any writer can author the posts with an understanding of how the company wish to portray their views and opinions, with an agreed standpoint across the board.
For more information on creating guides for your copywriters and social media managers, check out our blog on evolving your brand guidelines.
Also published on Medium.