In marketing it’s not just about what you say; how you say it makes all the difference. It’s important for every company to consider their company marketing “voice” as they’re building a brand. Word choice plays a large role in what type of feeling you get from the content. For example, an article that uses words like “Wonderboy Creative” and “our market” gives the reader a much different feeling than the alternatives of “we” and “you.” Depending on what type of business you are, one voice might be better than the other.
Here are some helpful things to remember as you embark on this part of your marketing journey.
How do I determine what kind of voice my company should have?
As a company your ultimate goal is to connect with your customers. What you say and how you say it to them is important – do you want to be playful, snarky, professional, sarcastic? As you work to navigate this decision, first think about what your company does. Are you a Fortune 500 company with staff that wears 3 piece suits to work every day? A professional sports organization that gets to cheer on a team with 50,000 fans? The customer base for these companies is likely different and their voice should be too.
Second, does your business exists in a field with a wide array of competitors? Think about what makes your company unique so that you can use these traits in choosing your voice. Ultimately, this will help you stand out from your competition. Part of this process might include a deep dive into your company mission statement. Identify key words (again you want them to be unique to your company) and evaluate what kind of voice they support.
Third, spend time thinking about who your customers are. If you’re a sports franchise, your customers are first and foremost fans. Games are fun, fans love games, so consider interacting with them in a playful manner that also gets your message across. You want your customers to feel comfortable interacting with you so select a voice that allows you to truly connect. People are usually pretty good at spotting fake or disingenuous attempts to connect, so avoid that altogether and find something that really resonates with your base. If you’re in doubt about choosing a voice, consider creating a test group and running your material past them to see what type of reaction you get.
Use your voice everywhere
One mistake that can be easy to make is to use your company voice only in the most obvious of locations. Of course having your voice on your website and Facebook page is important, but think about the less obvious locations too. For example, what about your 404 Web Page? In browsing a religious website I stumbled across their error page, and got a pretty good chuckle. In keeping with their company voice they referenced Saint Anthony, the patron saint of lost things. Very clever and, as you can see, memorable. Don’t skip the small things – you never know who might stumble upon them.