February 27th, 2024 | Copywriting, Marketing

Tone of voice (or TOV as it’s often referred to in these acronym centric times!) is important for brands and should be reflected across all their marketing copy. But for those that don’t have years of experience writing copy for different businesses, it can be daunting to know where to start. Fear not, help from your favourite copywriting service is here!

What is ‘tone of voice’?   

If you think about the different tones of voice you use when talking to various people throughout the day, you are likely to use a different pitch, volume, speed, and perhaps even slightly different language depending on whether you’re at work, home, or out with friends. Even then, you’ll have different qualities that you use in different circumstances.

Depending on your tone, whoever is listening to you will interpret what you’re saying differently. Any managers or indeed parents reading this will know what I’m talking about immediately. A deepening of the voice and the use of more stern language means things are getting serious, while a softer pitch spoken more slowly gives the impression that all is well with the world.

The tone of voice of a brand works in a similar way. The things that you say and the way that you say it will help people to build their perception of you. When done well, your audience not only understands you, but they also want to work with you too.

How to achieve the right tone of voice for your brand

The first thing to say is the sooner you can give your TOV some thought the better as consistency is important. That’s not to say it’s too late if you’ve already been in business for a few years, but the quicker you can decide which tone of voice is right for your brand, the sooner all your audiences will have a clear picture of what you’re about.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Brand personality

When you start thinking about the right tone of voice for your brand, think about your brand’s personality and what you want people to feel when they see your name or your logo. Do you want them to feel comfortable, happy, relaxed, or serious?  If you’re a solicitor you might want people to get a more serious professional feel from you, for example, while a marketing agency might want to present themselves as more fun and creative. There’s no right or wrong here, it depends on what type of business you have, the ethos of that business, and how you want to present yourself.

Organise your thoughts

Once you have spent time considering your brand personality and how you want your audience to feel, the next step is to organise these thoughts. It can be useful to list your different groups of audiences first – prospects, different groups of customers, competitors, suppliers, etc. Then write a few descriptive words about how you would like them to describe you in an ideal world.  Really try and put yourself in their shoes. What do they want from your type of business, and how can your brand values deliver?

Once you have this list, you can use it to write out your brand’s tone of voice guidelines. If you have an expert marketer or copywriter on board this can be more in-depth, but even if you just come up with a few sentences that accurately represent you, it can be useful to keep all parties on the same TOV track.

Be consistent

Keeping everyone on the same track is important because if you want to give your brand a tone of voice, it needs to be consistent across all your marketing communications. That doesn’t mean you need one writer working on every piece of copy because different people have different areas of expertise, but with guidelines in place, all copy will sound consistent and like it’s from the same business.  

So, your business blog should sound like it’s from the same company as your website content, physical brochures, social media, and press coverage. If all elements of your marketing campaigns are aligned, your audiences will learn what to expect from you and you will be easily recognisable.

Next steps for your brand’s tone of voice

Achieving the right tone of voice for your brand is a central piece of your marketing communications jigsaw. It’s the same as making sure all your marketing materials look the same with consistent brand design. If your website looks a bit different to your packaging, which looks a bit different to your social media pages, audiences won’t recognise you easily and may scroll past or walk on by. The same thing applies with the words you use and how you use them.

If you are still feeling daunted by the prospect of establishing and implementing a tone of voice that suits your brand down to the ground, perhaps hiring a freelance copywriter that can take care of all of that for you is the way to go. Please feel free to drop me an e-mail at helen@blogwrite.co.uk or connect with me on LinkedIn or Instagram and we can have a chat about how I can help.

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My blog is a collection of thoughts and musings about blogs, marketing and a few other topics I felt like rambling about at the time! If you’d like help with your business blog to make sure it’s consistent and well-written, I’d love to hear from you

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