Connect Better With a Unique, Human Brand Voice (In 3 Steps)
Competition is all around us. It’s a challenge that content experts thrive on — but it sure does get hard.
You put so much thought into your content strategy. You have killer topics that break the mould and explore industry pain points with fresh angles. And you pride yourself on how much content you pump out.
Still, you’ve tried a million and one ways to frame your brand’s one-of-a-kind service, and people don’t seem to get just how special it is (you’d have way more conversions if they did, right?). Why is that?
The sad reality is that most people reading your content have a pretty low attention span — and if you don’t capture their emotion in an instant, hours of keyboard smacking go down the drain.
"Writing is hard enough! Do I have to sound 100% unique?"
I feel you. Writing is tough.
But the fact remains that 63% of consumers lean toward businesses that sound authentic. It’s hard to point out what’s more “authentic” than something else.
Think of authenticity as a synonym for humanity. If you can imagine a real human voice behind writing, aren’t you more likely to trust it?
Authenticity is what makes a brand stand out amidst robotic, salesy voices.
The defining characteristic of inbound marketing is its focus on building long-lasting relationships with leads and customers. This can be difficult in the digital age, where a buyer might never be able to put a face to you or your company’s name.
But they do have first impressions and lasting conceptions about your brand. The way they describe your brand to their friends and colleagues will determine how their whole network thinks about the brand.
That can either make or break your business.
Prevent bad gossip with a solid foundation for a brand persona.
Step 1: Play matchmaker
“Know your audience” is the first lesson I learned in all my writing courses. In marketing, that means your buyer.
Buyer personas are the backbone of your content strategy. But what about your brand’s persona? Can you visualize the character that your company is?
Your brand persona should be a jigsaw match for your buyer persona — they have crucial skills that that your buyer is missing, and qualities that match their personality.
Ask yourself: what kind of person would my buyer go to for help?
If your buyer has a high-responsibility role with a million things to multi-task, you might want to have a calm, easygoing voice to counteract that stress. You’ll also want to write in short, succinct sentences that tackle one issue at a time.
Here’s a more specific example. Imagine the buyer persona for a company that provides enterprise resource planning (ERP) for non-profit organizations. Meet Megan:
- 45 to 60 years old
- CEO of a non-profit
- Visionary, big-picture thinker
- An empathetic activist
With your ideal buyer sketched out, you can choose characteristics that match these points. You’d want Megan’s “friend” (your IT support brand) to convey empathy, which would match her personality, and be detail-oriented to complement her skills—in other words, fill in her gaps.
You’ll know you have the foundation for a voice when you can answer these questions:
- Would my buyer want to talk to me at the end of the day?
- Would they take serious advice from me?
- What would make our relationship special?
This is a simple place to start. You can flesh out this personality even more.
Step 2: Listen to your people
A brand’s uniqueness stems from its people. You and your competitor may offer similar pain relievers, but buyers can easily overlook the qualities that set your business apart from the other guy.
This is where personality is important.
Even if all your content is written by one person — an in-house copywriter or an agency blogger — one person won’t be taking the credit for it all. Your content needs to reflect the whole organization.
Do you want the brand to sound like the founder? Jenny from Sales? Someone else at the office who lives and breathes the company culture?
Have a 15-minute conversation with the model for your brand voice. Ask them for three words to describe the company. They might come up with:
These can be broad at the beginning — eventually, you should flesh them out so that you can make a full profile with descriptive sentences, i.e. into an even more detailed persona.
Why do this? Buyers want a voice that’s human.
Step 3: Script conversations
There’s still one thing you haven’t done with your voice yet: speak! A great way to bring that voice to life is to start planning conversations with a chatbot script.
I know. “Bot” and “human voice” don’t seem to mesh.
But hear me out: chatbots are increasingly becoming people’s first touchpoint with businesses. Remember that old adage about first impressions?
If you already have a chatbot, this new script will help you optimize it. If you don’t, you can kill two birds with one stone. Now you have a chatbot script and a clearly defined brand voice. Once the voice is born, your brand is ready to have effective conversations with leads.
Remember: none of this work will matter without a plan to keep it consistent. Brand voice that’s consistent over time increases revenue by 23%. So, build brand voice guidelines that you can transition to other writers.
Your blogs, social media posts and website content shouldn’t sound like the repetitive, stiff copy you see all too frequently.
Engaging content can come in a lot of voices and tones. After you solidify your brand’s authentic, human voice, you might find yourself having more conversations with leads and an easier time guiding them through the funnel.
And you’ll probably have more fun writing every day.
Flawless Inbound is a HubSpot partner capable of assisting your growth using everything from nifty email campaigns that get results to blogging campaigns that education and inform your buyers as they progress from visitor to lead to customer. We've helped more than 70 B2B organizations across Canada and the US push their revenue higher and higher!
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