A company voice is the style in which your company communicates with its audience. The words, phrasing, tone and content matter are all a reflection of your company’s voice. A clear and developed voice is important for marketing, as it creates engagement with your audience, builds a following, and strengthens your brand. (More on this concept in my blog Why Your Business Needs a Marketing Voice)
Here are a few ways to help you identify and refine your company’s voice:
1.Company Culture – “ There is likely already an organic culture in place in your business, you just have to pinpoint it. What do you stand for? How do you stand out from your competitors? What is the work environment? Answer these questions and you’ll get a better sense of your culture.
2. Who Is Your Audience/ Who Are You Talking To? – “ Familiarize yourself with your audience as much as possible. What is their knowledge base of your business or industry? How do they communicate? Knowing this will help you determine if your voice should be more informal or formal, casual or professional, and how much industry jargon to use in your messaging.
3. How Do You Want Your Customers To Think About Your Company? – Come up with words or phrases to answer this question. For example: reliable, trustworthy, fun, welcoming, safe, informative.
4. Find The Adjectives & Key Words That Describe Your Values – How would you already describe your business? For example, Apple Computers is innovate, inspire, dream. Those words are clear in all of their messaging. Find yours!
5. Search For The Reoccurring Themes – Oftentimes your company’s voice is already apparent, but you might not even notice it. Look at how you and your staff already communicate with your customers and with each other. Are you informative and educational or friendly and personable? Is there a lot of motivational or growth-centered language around the office?
Marketing Channels to Best Express Voice
Though your company’s voice should be apparent throughout all of your marketing efforts, there are several channels that will allow your voice to shine brighter than others.
1. Newsletters & Blogs – The best are content heavy channels like these that reflect your voice in both the topics you write about and the way you present those topics.
2. Website Content – This includes every written and visual message on your website, as well as the way it’s presented. For example: the About Us page, Events pages or links, “contact us” messaging, pictures, and service descriptions.
3. Social Media –“ This is another big one for voice since social media allows you to directly interact with your audience. Therefore, your accessibility and communication style with your audience carries as much, if not more weight than your post content and topics.
4. Internal Client Communications – Every communication you have with your clients is another chance to reflect your voice and increase engagement. For example: reminder emails, calls, postcards, and automatic replies.
BE GENUINE & AUTHENTIC
The most important thing to remember is to be genuine and authentic with your voice. If you’re not genuinely fun, laid-back or funny, please don’t try to be. People will know when something is forced and your efforts and your bad jokes will fall flat.