Words matter. The words you use matter. How you use the words you do use matters. Good words can be game-changers. Good words work.
The power of your words is so strong that when you use them with the incorrect tone of voice – your brand, blog traffic, social media accounts, and digital reputation self-destruct. Harsh, perhaps, but think of how you react when you read a website that you can’t relate to or a newsletter that uses brash language or read a Tweet that you find offensive.
This is exactly why you need to learn how to find your digital tone of voice and know how to use it to make words work for you and your customers.
Why Your Tone of Voice Matters
Your digital marketing content is your first impression. The tone of voice you use in this content is the first thing your potential clients and followers notice. Instant connections are made to your brand and business based on your tone of voice.
While we were all told not to judge a book by its cover – this rule of thumb doesn’t apply when it comes to your digital presence. Use the wrong tone of voice and you risk alienating clients and losing social media traction.
Think of this very blog post you’re reading. We’ve written it in a friendly and conversational tone of voice. We’re trying to establish an emotional connection with you that establishes a feeling of trust and engagement. We’re also aiming to remind you that there are real people working at Know Agency with real personalities and smarts.
Who Are Your Clients?
Your tone of voice needs to appeal to your clients. It needs to represent who your clients are and really speak to them.
Before writing your website content, planning social media posts, and crafting newsletters – you need to know who is reading, clicking, and following you.
Without knowing your clients, you don’t know what to say and how to say it.
Maybe you sell running shoes and assume your clients are in the 15 – 18 age range, so you write content that uses slang and references to teenage popular culture. But, your brand is not gaining traction and you seem to lose blog subscribers and social media followers with every post and Tweet. Turns out, your actual clients are in the 25 – 30 demographic and cannot understand or relate to a word you’re using.
You need to know your clients, there is no way of getting around this. Not only does knowing your clients help you establish your correct tone of voice, it guides and informs your business decisions, website design, and SEO strategy.
To find out who your clients are, you need to do deep digital analysis – learning who is clicking, following, liking, buying, and sharing. This is not a guessing game. Get your clients wrong and well, you can guess what happens.
What Does Your Brand Represent?
Now that you know who your clients are, you need to determine what your brand represents. This is how and why your clients relate to you. Remember, most people want to feel that the companies they support represent their ideals and beliefs.
This is why movements such as #MeToo or environmental causes are so popular with every type of brand and company. Smart marketers are behind-the-scenes, telling these brands that their key demographic cares about people and the environment.
This messaging must be consistent across all of your digital marketing (and non-digital) collateral. It’s important that you use the same language and tone of voice in every advertisement, web page, social media post, etc. Your clients are smart and all it takes is one misstep and you’re in recovery mode, trying to salvage your brand and customer base.
You need to work with your digital marketing team to learn what is resonating with your clients and determine how this fits with your brand. With this knowledge you can create your brand personality and use the right words in the right way to communicate this to your clients.
Who Do You Want to Be?
You know your clients and you know what your brand represents – but who do you really want to be? This is kind of like trying to fit in with the jocks in high school but deep down knowing that you wanted to be in the library club (true story, from our very own content wizard).
Smart brands and companies know who they want to be and understand that this deep understanding of who they are is key to brand longevity. Think of brands that have stood the test of time: Nike, Samsung, Apple, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet.
Through-out their history, they’ve made mistakes, but because they’ve stayed true to who they are, they’ve been able to recover. These long-lasting brands have built such a strong relationships and emotional connection with their clients that they have the confidence to take risks and to recover from an error in judgement.
Yes, we know that these example brands have huge budgets and massive teams behind them, but at their core, they know who they want to be and have stayed true to this ideal. You need to do the same.
Finding Your Tone of Voice
You need to know how you’re going to say sorry when you make a mistake.
You need to know how you’ll say thank you when someone subscribes to your newsletter.
You need to know how you’ll promote your brand in the body of your blog posts.
You need to know what content is appropriate for social media content and what isn’t.
You need to know that finding your tone of voice is as important as your SEO and organic and paid search strategies.
Whenever you write a Tweet or write a blog post, ask yourself: who is going to read this, what does this say about my brand, and who do I want to attract to my brand.
Are you using the right words in the right way at the right time?
If you’re uncertain about who your clients are, what they want, who you are, and what your brand represents – you need to contact us. After all, we’ve got a pretty good feel for who you are and what you want – so let us help you find your digital tone of voice.