Tone of voice is not easily defined, but we all notice it. Tom Wolff has a distinctive tone of voice, so does Shakespeare. Coca Cola has a different tone of voice than Tesla.
What is it?
Tone of voice is the personality of your brand; the way you communicate with the world, in social media, on your webpage, by email. It’s less about what you say, it is how you say it. It’s about the words, sentence structure, rhythm, pace.
A company’s tone of voice has to be consistent throughout all its communications such as website copy, social media, emails, videos.
Why do you need it?
It get’s you heard
There is a lot of noise out there. Your tone of voice together with other brand assets, such as your webpage and marketing assets makes you recognizable. People trust you. Tone of voice reflects your values, such as trustworthiness, innovation.
It builds trust
When you use the same tone of voice in your communications, your company starts feeling familiar to people. Your customers start trusting you.
It helps engage
People often do not remember what you said, but how your words made them feel. The tone of voice brings out a distinct feeling in customers that read your words.
Is brand the same as tone of voice?
Not really. The same company can have several brands, and each brand has its own tone of voice. Each brand is geared towards a specific audience and thus features a different tone of voice that is most appropriate for the specific target audience.
How do you define it?
Here is a shortcut to defining your tone of voice: Imagine your product as a person.
1. What three main attributes does that person have? Formal, or casual, warm or neutral, professional or wacky, serious or humorous.
2. Once you know the main attributes of your brand, you can then translate that into your brand language by defining the following elements of tone:
• Word length
• Sentence length
• Rule-breaking of grammar
3. Now, think about a scenario in which you communicate to your stereotypical customer (buyer persona). Saying to your writers that you like them to write to a business person that only wants to hear the most succinct results is different from talking to a mom that wants your product to help her kid.
Tell me how you define the tone of voice for your brand?