A brand’s tone of voice is one of the many factors we have to constantly think about when creating brand content as a digital agency. Getting the wrong tone of voice can have negative effects on brands, so it’s important that we get it right every time. We spoke to our SEO content writer, Samantha Hall, about the importance of nailing the right tone of voice and what it can mean for brands. With experience writing for globally recognised brands, Samantha knows her stuff when it comes to brand representation, but how can you turn your web content into something special?
What exactly is a brand tone of voice?
When you think about a brand’s overall tone of voice, you need to split that up into two different parts; the brand tone and the brand voice.
The brand voice is the brand’s own personality, whereas the tone is how the voice is adjusted to suit a range of different contexts, making it appropriate for the situation.
Both of these come together to create the overall brand tone of voice and are an incredibly important part of content writing; something I have to think about every day when creating different pieces of content for my clients, whether that be blog posts or page descriptions.
How important is it that you get the tone of voice right when writing for a brand?
It’s incredibly important. The right tone of voice allows the brand to be portrayed in the correct way, whereas the wrong tone of voice can give off negative connotations and disallow the brand from getting their personal message across.
Every brand has its own tone of voice whether that be friendly, professional or even sarcastic, and I have to reflect that through the content I write for them.
Keeping consistent when it comes to tone of voice is key as it has many benefits for brands. These include: helping the brand become easily recognisable and familiar, helping the brand provide a good first impression for new customers, and also helping to build customer loyalty and brand confidence. It’s important that I do this well as it can really have a major impact on a client’s success.
How do you approach the tone of voice for different clients?
Each client’s tone of voice needs to be approached differently as every brand has their own personality and their own significant features.
One of my clients sells meat products online while another one sells high-end fashion. These two both have completely different tones of voice, and I need to use different phrases and words simply because they are very different brands with their own different quirks and qualities.
It would be ineffective to use the same tone of voice when writing about beef brisket as it would when writing about the latest designer pair of heels, so I have to really think about the brand and the products I’m writing for.
I look closely at the brand’s background and how they aim to come across to consumers, which helps when approaching their specific tone of voice. It’s important to take a brand’s heritage into account, as a 60+-year-old family brand client with family values and a niche consumer market will always have a very different tone of voice to a client with a wider target audience and more general values.
How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected how you use tone of voice when writing for clients?
During the COVID-19 outbreak, I have definitely had to alter the way I write to suit a more sensitive climate.
It’s evident that brands have needed to reassure consumers and provide them with as much friendliness and support as they can, which has not only benefited consumers in whole but also heavily benefited brands as it’s helped consumers put their trust in them.
In this instance, it’s been important to maintain a consistent brand voice, but alter the brand tone to suit the needs of consumers during a very anxious and uncertain time. Using tone to assure consumers that the brand is looking out for them and still providing them with services has been a big part of my role, and has seemingly deemed effective.
Hopefully, when we can get back to normal, consumers will remember the brands that reassured them during such a tough time, which is why it’s so important that I’ve been writing appropriately and suitably throughout.
Do you think your own personal writing style helps you when writing for brands?
I’d say it definitely does. I think it’s important that brands don’t come across like emotionless robots, but like real human beings, and letting your own personal writing skill seep into content written for brands is a good way of preventing any robot-like content.
For most modern-day brands, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in casual and informal phrases and words. Obviously, you have to make sure its appropriate and suitable, but I think now more than ever it’s important for brands to appear as friendly and human as possible.
A lot of the world’s biggest brands have a friendly, casual tone of voice which makes consumers feel instantly at ease, therefore increasing the brand’s level of success.