Online marketing: why tone of voice matters

Online marketing: why tone of voice matters

Online marketers should always use the correct tone of voice when talking to their customers.

Most businesses are defined by three things: the way they look, the way they sound and the way they behave – tone of voice is a crucial part of the second of these categories.

A content marketing agency can help you discover and refine your tone of voice, unifying your content and making it instantly recognisable to consumers.

Why is this important?

Do not underestimate the importance of tone of voice: in a competitive marketplace, where businesses constantly aim to match (and surpass) each other in terms of cost, product quality and customer service, consumers are increasingly influenced (both consciously and subconsciously) by the way in which products and/or services are presented.

Tone of voice is, therefore, a critical part of your business’s identity.

Most organisations will have a tone of voice already; a distinct way of communicating. A content marketing agency, such as Snack Media, will develop this, ensuring it is unique and easily recognisable – consistency is the name of the game here – all your content, from the smallest point on your website to the front cover of your brochures, needs a common tone of voice. A strong verbal identity is a consistent verbal identity.

Guidelines are essential to achieve a consistent tone of voice, as is proofreading and thorough editing.

How to make it work?

Like all aspects of content production, in order to get your tone of voice right you need to understand your audience. Alongside this you also need consider your business’s raison d’être. Whereas what a business says is governed by principles, ideas, ambitions, vision and goals, how it says it (tone of voice) depends upon personality (see in Figure 1).

Tone of voice therefore presents an opportunity to convey your business’s personality to the wider world.

Examples:

Here are five examples of different tones of voice that can be used when discussing a product; in this case, wood flooring:

1.    Features

For many years solid hardwood floors have been considered the best of the best, the ultimate in quality and luxury. Now, however, new designs and styles of engineered wood flooring are giving traditional hardwood floors a run for their money. It’s time to get to the bottom of this debate and discover which really is better: hardwood or engineered?

2.    News

A recent survey of estate agents has revealed that houses with wood floors sell faster, and for more money, than those with carpets.

3.    Chatty

Have your kids/pets/relatives/friends run amok all over your carpet? Are the corridors of your house starting to resemble the floor of your local pub? Well, you’re not alone; an increasing number of people are ripping out their old dirty carpets, saying “no” to endless cleaning and installing wooden flooring throughout their homes.

4.    Salesy

TheWoodFloorStore.com should be your first stop when searching for wood flooring online. With fantastic deals on all types of flooring, this company is a clear market leader when it comes to selling and installing quality floors.

5.    Informational

It’s clear why wood floors are so popular; they’re durable, easy to maintain, affordable and look great in all styles of home. There are, however, a large number of types of wood flooring available to consumers; this can lead to confusion over exactly what you’re buying.

Overarching vision versus specific content

Here’s where things gets a little complicated. While your business should have a consistent overarching tone of voice, different pieces of content will require slightly different feels.

So, while all your content may have a ‘friendly’ tone to it, certain elements of your website will need to be geared towards sales and therefore require a slightly different tone of voice.

This dichotomy is one that a professional content marketing agency will help you navigate. It needn’t be a difficult hurdle to overcome; well-rounded, carefully-crafted content can address the specific needs of the separate sections of your website while still adhering to a more general vision.

With a little gentle guidance and a bit of imagination your business can have a unique tone of voice that sets it apart from the competition; contact our team to find out more.