As an SEO content manager at Absolute Digital Media, understanding my clients in depth is essential when capturing authentic brand voice. Capturing brand voice is how you express written messaging in an emotive way. From advertising, slogans and taglines to long copy, blog posts and social media, finding the most applicable brand voice makes all the difference. Content should be instantly recognisable, capturing the essence of a brand while conveying the core values of it, while simultaneously keeping the reader engaged, with a relevant tone to whatever company it may be.
Should there be humour? Is the point of this copy to entertain people? Should we inform? Should we simply tell, or can we show? To truly understand brand voice, we need to delve into the components that it consists of.
Where brand voice is the end product, style is the way in which content is written. When style is applied correctly within a piece of content, the reader can instantly engage with and understand the message of what they are reading. This comes down to sentence length, structure, choice of diction, along with an array of other defining elements. Style delves into whether the written copy is formal or informal, informative, or opinionated, complex, or easy to read. Style, like all elements of brand structure, style is defined by demographics of the target market. Once you know who you are aiming at, the style can flow.
Getting to know your reader will help all of the above fall into play. Who are you trying to sell to? Once you establish the ideal personas of the target customer, messaging can be easily tailored to your (and their) liking. Key considerations before starting to write can include:
Working with numerous brand from practically every sector throughout my time as a writer, it’s been somewhat of an experience attempting to find the voice. There have been times when every content writer asks for brand guidelines, a style guide, or simply some direction when working with a new brand. Let’s be honest, some are going to be more exciting than others, but it’s all a part of the journey into understanding the dos and don’ts of writing copy. If you’re at a loss as to how you are going to appropriately reflect the personality of the company you’re working on, of course, some work is needed on the research side of things so you can know what the company represents.
But what about who?
Who are they? Are they approachable? If they speak to you, are you going to want to speak back?
I like to take an embodied approach whenever I start writing copy for someone new, and my advice is three simple words:
Be. The. Brand.
Taking an approach based upon some basic sociological principles, it’s key to break down whatever brand you are working with in a way that humanises it. How can a brand speak without a personality? Giving your copy this personalised approach is a definite starting point.
By breaking down the character of your brand, you can figure out the brand archetype of the company, and ultimately figure out how to convey that voice.
Are they a hero? A lover? A jester?
What are their main traits? Are they there to lead and command? Maybe they’re more of a campaigner who wants to engage with the spirit of the reader, or a logistician who is there to state cold hard facts. Using social scientific methods, with a little assistance from the Myers Briggs personality test, there is a whole lot you can learn about the brand you are trying to perfect the tone of voice of. Once you have defined whether you are to be introverted or extroverted, passive, or active, a thinker or a feeler and whether you should perceive or judge, writing as the brand becomes as autonomous as if you truly are the brand yourself.
Your brand voice, whatever it may happen to be, is the absolute definitive way that you connect with your audience. Don’t just consider how they communicate with one another, as a writer, you must be one step ahead of that. Rather than speaking as them, adopt a tone that you know they would want to hear. There are some key differences here, as not everyone wants to be advised by themselves! By not falling into the trap of pandering to your audience, you can find a much stronger voice. For example, some younger people would prefer more of a serious tone, whereas an older audience may be more inclined to enjoy something with a light-hearted, humorous feel. Never type cast, and always do the research whenever attempting to establish a voice of sincerity.
Once you get to know the audience, crafting the correct tone of voice becomes an easily malleable experience. Meeting these expectations will allow you to build your own sense of personality within the written copy, so once the buyer persona is formed, the voice, style, tone, diction, and overall direction, becomes second nature.
I hope you find value in this, and you can find you can truly start establishing authentic brand voice in no time at all. If you have any questions regarding brand voice, brand guidelines, or anything else brand related, please do get in touch by tweeting me at @alexmurphwriter, I’d love to chat!
Or, for more information, get in touch with a member of our expert team here at Absolute Digital Media on 0800 088 6000, today.