By Samuel Thimothy, VP at OneIMS.com
Your brand goes far beyond your logo and color scheme. Having a brand voice that resonates with your target audience is one of the most important parts of building a solid image and persona that keeps customers and clients coming back.
However, developing a brand voice isn’t easy. Unlike a logo or color scheme, a brand voice is much less concrete. It’s a constantly developing and evolving part of your brand, even if it’s something you can’t necessarily see.
Your brand voice makes you sound human. But beyond that, it creates consistency among your content, social media channels and more. Having a unique brand voice can create a recognizable image for your audience, regardless of where they’re connecting.
To get started with creating your own brand voice, here are four steps to follow.
1. Describe your brand personality in just three words.
Before you can create a voice, you need to establish an identity. This identity should be easily defined and clear to both your employees and your customers or clients.
Try to think of adjectives you’d like to describe your brand. You might include terms like smart, helpful, lighthearted or authoritative.
Think of how your audience might currently describe you, or better yet, ask them to sum up your brand in one or two words. Narrow down your list of words to just three that you think best fit the brand you want to build.
2. Build out descriptions for each word.
Taking the three words you chose in Step 1, break down descriptions of what they mean to you and your audience. Explain why you chose that adjective and what it means for your company to exhibit that personality trait. Again, you want to keep this concise and clear. Try to limit your description to just one or two sentences.
These descriptions should help shape your personality, making it easier for employees to understand your brand. In order to shape a cohesive brand voice, you want everyone on your team to understand the image you’re trying to create.
3. Write do’s and don’ts for your brand personality.
Now that you’ve identified the underlying adjectives and descriptions for your brand personality, you can establish the behaviors your team should and shouldn’t exhibit.
For example, if one of your adjectives is “helpful,” a “do” might be to answer questions asked on social media quickly and thoroughly. A “don’t” might be using cookie-cutter responses that aren’t specific to the customer’s or client’s question.
Break down what behaviors you’d like to see portray your brand personality. Your list of do’s and don’ts should make it easy for your employees to portray your brand voice in everything they do.
4. Put your new brand voice in action.
Your brand voice shouldn’t be a project you brush off to the side when your strategy is complete. You need to effectively set it into motion.
To make your brand voice consistent, it should appear in your social media posts, on your website and in your other content. Make sure your writers understand the voice you’re trying to portray and read through your content before posting it to ensure it is on brand.
You should also frequently refresh your brand voice. Revisit the three words you’ve selected, and see if they still align with the image you’re trying to create. If not, change them out, create a new description and outline new do’s and don’ts.
Why does this matter?
A brand voice helps you stand out from the growing number of brands online. When you have a clear and consistent voice that attracts your target audience, you can build more solid connections that fuel long-term customer relationships.
While creating and maintaining a brand voice may seem daunting, it is well worth the effort. If you’re able to lay the foundation for a strong brand personality and voice, it will become easier and easier to grow your image into something easily identifiable to your target audience.
Look at your brand voice as a dynamic tool. Look for new opportunities to grow and refine your voice, including adding new adjectives to further drill down the image you’re trying to portray. Talk with team members, employees and customers or clients to get their opinions on your personality and voice.
When you create something your entire team approves of, it will be easier and easier to create consistency in the voice of your content.
Samuel Thimothy is the VP at OneIMS.com, an inbound marketing agency, and co-founded Clickx.io, the digital marketing intelligence platform.