Why Finding (and preserving) Your Brand Voice is Vital to Your Content Strategy
On November 13, 1989, Disney released The Little Mermaid--a tale about a red headed mermaid who trades her voice to an evil sea witch in return for legs that will allow her to walk on land.
Now, if you remember correctly, Ariel was royalty. Her father was King Triton after all.
That means that Ursula, the evil sea witch, could have asked for anything--gold, pearls, rubies, etc., in exchange for legs.
But no. She wanted Ariel’s voice.
Because Ursula knew something that Ariel was too naive to understand. She knew that Ariel’s voice was the most important part of who Ariel was.
After all, it was her voice, and her voice alone, that gave her the ability to…
Communicate with people.
Take a stand for what she believed in.
Without her voice, it made it incredibly difficult--and even impossible--to do some of the things I’ve listed above.
Now, I’m pretty sure that singing to your prospects isn’t part of your marketing strategy.
(Although I do have a great idea along the lines of one of Ariel’s most famous numbers… “Look at this stuff, isn’t it neat?” )
That being said, having a brand voice that allows you to accomplish everything on the list above is pretty dang important for your business.
How do you find your brand voice? And how do you protect it from evil sea witches who want to take it away from you?
Here are a few thoughts…
Uncover Your Brand Tone
Much like people, different types of businesses have different “vocal” tones.
Some are silly and playful, while other are more serious and down to earth.
Personally, I’m a playful person. For that reason, you will never see me marketing myself as someone who wants to write heavily technical copy for things like, oh, I don’t know...software.
Oh! But, aren’t you limiting yourself? (I can already hear the cries of agencies across the country).
The short answer is no.
The longer answer is…
Being true to who I am allows me to shine and excel with what I’m good at.
Believe it or not, there are people out there who like to write instruction manuals. I’m not one of them and that’s totally OK!
While you’re figuring out your brand voice, it’s important to take time to reflect on what’s important to you and allow your personality to shine through your company content.
You can have as much fun with it or be as serious as you want. That’s up to you.
I know, I know…
I’m a special snowflake blah blah blah!
Hearing that you have to differentiate yourself to stand out in a crowd might sound like a broken record. But here’s the truth...there’s likely at least 101 people that do exactly what you do.
For that reason, it’s your job to discover what makes you or your brand special, then use those differentiators to develop your brand voice.
Perhaps what makes you unique is that your business donates a percentage of its proceeds to those in need. Knowing this, your content might have an empathetic, compassionate tone.
Or maybe you were voted class clown in high school and have always had a way with humorously connecting to the people around you.
Figure out what makes you special, then--if it makes sense--incorporate those traits into your brand voice.
Listen to Your Prospects
As business owners, we often get really excited about building our brand. So excited that we don’t always take the time to stop and listen to what our audience sounds like.
You can learn a lot from someone by watching their habits and reading what they post online.
This information can all be helpful for determining how your brand needs to speak with those who are going to buy your products and/or services.
So, my piece of advice here is to take some time to just “listen” to what people are looking for.
Stay True to Yourself
By far, the most important thing I can tell you about brand voice is to stay true to who you are.
There’s a lot of stuffy people who will tell you to change yourself and adapt to cater to those around you. But, I personally believe that’s a very slippery slope you don’t want to go down.
In fact, it’s like going on a first date and pretending to be someone you’re not.
It might work out ok in the beginning. But, it’s not smart to let someone fall in love with a version of yourself that isn’t authentic.
You might not be the right product/service for everyone in the world and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Find your people. Build your following. Rest easy knowing that your customers are raving loyal fans who truly love your band for what it is.
Keep Your Brand Voice Consistent
Once you’ve figured out what you want your brand voice to sound like, consistency is key!
The reason: You don’t want to confuse your audience.
This isn’t to say that everything you write has to be serious or playful or data-driven, etc.
But once you find a style, lean into it and really own it.
Over time, people will get accustomed to how you speak to them--and that’s a good thing because it triggers recognition.
The voice you give your brand is incredibly important. Without it, you’re just another product or service in a market flooded with other products and services.
Voice and tone can be tricky to nail, but once you’ve hit your sweet spot, stick to it and I guarantee you’ll reap the benefits of it.
Struggling to find your tone?
Have an old sea witch that’s stolen your voice?
I’m here to help.
Click here to discover how I can help bring voice consistency to your content marketing strategy.