In marketing, it’s important to have a clear voice for your business and for your brand primarily because of the humanizing element it offers. A voice will help you connect with your customers because people respond to a connection, not just information. If your customers sense a human quality behind your messaging that they can relate to, they will care. Then your business’s message is suddenly heard. You are talking to people, not at them.
What is a Brand’s Voice?
A brand’s or a business’s voice ties in with their mission and their purpose, but it’s more than that. “The voice is the expression of a company’s mission and purpose” and is formulated and displayed through several qualities. The first is the personality or character of the company. Is the company friendly, warm and playful, or more authoritative, formal and professional? Other qualities in a company’s voice are the tone and language used in their communication. For example, a business in the medical field might have a tone that is clinical and scientific with complex and jargon-filled language. Or a company could have a personable and humble tone with fun and light-hearted language. Both of these examples have a clear voice, which will relate to their specific audience in different, but very clear and deliberate ways.
An example of how voice is shown through clear word-choice and phrasing is buffer’s apology message. It reads, I’m so sorry for the hassle, we’ll be updating soon. You can tell from their word choice that they are personable and value their customer’s time. This is a much warmer and relatable way of saying, “We apologize for the delay”, which sounds too formal and nearly callus.
Why Develop A Voice?
The primary reason for a company to develop a clear voice is to build a loyal customer base and community. Creating this community for your customers is crucial for several reasons: repeat business, referrals, and free marketing advocacy. Obviously every business wants to create a positive customer experience, which encourages those customers to keep returning and inviting their friends to come back with them. There are multiple elements that nurture this type of relationship with your customers, but having a clear voice for them to relate to and care about is certainly one of them. In addition to this, your customer community will shape into marketing advocates who share your information to their networks for free. This is most evident in the online space when your followers share your blog, retweet or share your posts, and add their own content to your online community. When each person has an online network of several hundred, you can see why creating and nurturing a community that will care enough about your business to volunteer their time to spread your business’s message is so important.
Developing a clear voice will also help guide your business’s marketing efforts by directing you to the marketing channels that parallel with and best express your voice. For example, if you are a local business with a mission to give back to the community and have an inviting and friendly voice, you might want to sponsor community events or create your own community outreach program. If your business has an educational and informative voice, an excellent marketing channel to express this voice is a newsletter or a blog.
Also, the content you create and share should reflect your voice. Businesses with a blog or newsletter who don’t know what to write about can easily reference their voice to guide them in their content ideas.
And lastly, a voice will help you create continuity in your messaging. Your marketing message should not only be consistent throughout all of your outbound marketing efforts, but your customer experience as well. If your customer’s actual experience with your business contradicts your marketing messaging, you will lose the opportunity to connect with that customer and possibly even lose the customer. For example, if a physical therapist has an educational voice and sends out frequent newsletters and blogs designed to educate their customer in therapy techniques and healthy advice, the office environment should nurture this educational voice as well. If their customer asks a question in their office and the staff is cold and not helpful, their voice is inconsistent and the customer will be left feeling unimportant and will likely not come back or recommend a friend.
Stay tuned for ways to develop your business’s voice.
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