Ever notice how parents know the sound of their child’s cry even when surrounded by groups of children or how a dog owner knows their pet’s bark? Those familiar sounds make us stop what we’re doing and pay attention to that loved one. The tone of their “voice” cuts through the noise and grabs our attention. The same is true for your business voice.
When you use a recognizable tone, your customers listen and respond. Your clients get to know your voice and associate it with the positive feelings they have about your business. Your voice helps them get to know you. It also connects them to you in much the same way they might recognize the voice of a friend in an email or text.
You never want to create any copy that creates a disconnect for them. Customers should never say, “That doesn’t sound like them.” If they do, they may think something about your business has changed. Your voice is as important as your brand and it should be as tightly tied into it as your font and colors are.
5 Places to Use Your Business Voice
The only way for your customers to get to know your business voice is to use it consistently in all aspects of your marketing including:
Often we’re so busy finding the right content to share that we when we find anything amusing, we simply hit the schedule button and we’re done with it. If that’s what you do, you’re missing a connection opportunity. Instead, tell your audience why you’re sharing the content, what resonates with you about it (as in a specific quote or example), or your opinion. Most people don’t do this so when you give insight into why you’re sharing, people will be more likely to click. Plus, you look like less of a bot.
A business blog without a voice is as exciting as listening to one of the adults from the Peanuts cartoon read a bedtime story. Blogs are a place to shine, to lend your personality to issues regarding your industry, share how-to’s, talk about best practices and more. Blogs are not meant to be stoic, “just the facts” iterations of events. Breathe life into each post with your personality. After all, people do business with those they know, like, and trust.
Throw away your business communication textbooks from the ’80s. Emails aren’t formal business letters. Every email you write should allow for some of your business’s tone and personality to shine through. Subject lines can incorporate emoticons or emojis. Sentences can be phrases. Emails are not college essays. Make them interesting. Use bullets to make them easy to scan. Then ask the reader to do something. They’ll be more likely to do it if they feel like it’s a personalized communication. One of the ways to achieve that is through voice.
You don’t have to record the same boring hold message that every business has. You can, and should, incorporate your voice in your greeting and auto attendant. If employees have a phone script, use your tone in that as well.
Your business tone should be incorporated into your web copy as well. Not just the text but forms, landing pages, giveaways, even your redirect pages. You want everything to “sound” like you.
Before You Go … A Final Word about Your Voice in Your Business
Before you rewrite all your content and business communications around your voice, it’s important to figure out what you want that to be and what appeals to your audience. Brainstorm the words you want associated with your business. Do you want to be seen as helpful, but irreverent? Fresh but knowledgeable? Place parameters around what you want and don’t want to be. Does it fit your audience and industry? Tweak it until it does. Here’s more information on how you can create a brand voice and tone.
Next, share it with your staff. Make sure everyone in contact with your customers knows your company tone and voice. That “sound” will be how they recognize you. It becomes part of your brand so be consistent in its usage.