The tone of voice is fundamental for the communication of a Brand. Here’s how to define it in 5 simple steps. Find out more on the Blog.
In the world of online communication, defining what is called the tone of voice is a fundamental step within a winning and well-structured marketing strategy.
Literally, it is about the tone of voice you want to give in your communication. As a result of an in-depth study of brand identity, the tone of voice outlines the personality of a product or service. Basically, it represents the way in which the target audience perceives the brand.
In a digital environment that excludes non-verbal communication, every single element of the transmitted message must be defined with extreme care, and the correct tone of voice must be applied harmoniously to all the contents created, whether they are texts, images, or photos, or videos.
In the online world, it is essential to focus on what is communicated and, above all, on what users perceive. Developing a particular sensitivity toward one’s target audience is the key to the success of any communication: to understand it thoroughly, define the most appropriate language to speak to it, to avoid misunderstandings and incorrect interpretations.
The tone of Voice: 5 steps to do to create it
Whether you are in the process of building a personal brand or a complex corporate identity, a mistake in defining the tone of voice can drastically change the result of your online communication. It is therefore essential to accurately establish what to say and, above all, how to say it, infusing its own unique character in each element used to express the desired message.
The definition of identity must be planned in advance and trained to cultivate an unmistakable and personal nuance of language. There are some essential steps to follow to bring your tone of voice to life. The five most important concerns:
- the definition of the target
- the style of language
- the clarity of their values
- the set of rules that will guide the work
Let’s see them together in detail.
FIRST STEP: understand the target audience
The first question to ask yourself to create a well-studied tone of voice is related to your business’s target audience. Which is the target audience of the service or product you want to offer to the market? What is the main audience of the sector in which the company operates? The sensitivity to identify with the target is of vital importance: a product aimed at an audience of millennials will have certain contents and precise preferential channels, as well as a style in line with a young audience.
The case of a professional who turns to other experienced professionals or that of a service designed specifically for women of advanced age is completely different. In short, the contents are naturally to be modulated according to the market to which one speaks and to one’s ideal buyers persona.
SECOND STEP: identify the style of the language
Once you understand who you are addressing, you can proceed to set the language you will use in your communications. Better to prefer a simple language or full of technicalities? Do you want to be serious or funny and playful? The definition of the language style must be a fair compromise between the company’s core business and the public with which it interfaces.
In any case, the audience must understand the message you want to convey without the slightest misunderstanding. There are multiple types of the tone of voice that can be used, but whether you choose to use an ironic and irreverent tone or to show a serious and institutional personality, the message must contain coherence and clarity of purpose.
It is also important to pay attention to maintaining the same communication style on each channel: the language of the company blog must be the same as that used in one’s own ads campaigns, and the tone of voice used on social networks must comply with the same guidelines as the product descriptions on the website.
THIRD STEP: stand out from the crowd
The watchword of every communication strategy is to stand out, creating a unique and recognizable brand identity at a glance in the crowd without any hesitation. And the simplest way to give life to a strong identity with unrepeatable traits is to be yourself: showing your style transparently is a success plan that allows you to maintain honesty and transparency and not run into little credibility. And not very fruitful imitations.
In short, the most effective tone of voice is the one that reflects a true way of being, and that manages to characterize itself with immediately identifiable distinctive elements. A tone of voice that finds its roots in real values will also be the easiest one to carry on over time, without efforts and forced constructions, which often turn out to be easily unmasked and counterproductive.
FOURTH STEP: understand what you want to communicate
The key ingredient of the strategy is precisely the corporate values, the vision of the business, and the mission of those who are grappling with the definition of their tone of voice. From there, the types of content that will be part of one’s communication plan arise, from which other categories of topics will be eliminated by natural selection.
It will always be the clear exposition of one’s own set of values to stimulate emotions, involvement, and interaction in one’s target audience. A carefully planned tone of voice serves to move away as much as possible from being anonymous and impersonal and to attract the attention of an audience similar to the proposed product or service.
Transparency and truth are also, in this case, essential since users would quickly notice any inconsistencies, with a consequent compromise of their brand often difficult to recover.
FIFTH STEP: define a set of rules to respect
It is good to have a clear set of rules to respect from the moment of defining the tone of voice to its daily application to each message conveyed.
A work plan with understandable and well-structured rules will be useful both for maintaining consistency over time in one’s communication style and, in the case of a work team, for making marketing objectives and corporate strategies of shared values, to which all components they can draw on in content creation.
It is also useful to have dynamic and congruent editorial calendars in the topics dealt with, which allow you to think in advance both about what to communicate and how the public will be able to decode the message launched and react to it.
It is obviously good practice to constantly monitor one’s community and brand reputation and keep track of every circulating comment and opinion, as well as any response provided or conflict already managed: it will be a further useful tool to modulate any future communication in a coherent and harmonious.
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