Up to date April 6, 2022
In case your brand didn’t seem together with your content material, might your viewers establish it as coming out of your model? Would somebody viewing your content material on a number of channels know all of it got here from the identical model?
In case you’re not cautious, you’ll be able to find yourself with a random assortment of voices and tones within the content material produced throughout your advertising and marketing ecosystem. The content material gained’t present a constant image of your model and even the identical use of language.
This inconsistent model expertise is extra frequent as a corporation grows and sometimes exacerbated as exterior entities similar to freelancers and companies get thrown into the model’s content material creation combine.
It’s possible you’ll ask why a model voice issues. Isn’t it extra essential to make your content material sound human? A model voice, although, isn’t a non-human voice. It’s a constant voice that allows your model to be an simply recognized and authoritative supply in your space of experience. Equally, a constant model voice and vocabulary are important to implementing localized content material and clever content material methods successfully.
A model voice chart may help tackle the challenges. I’ve outlined the 5 steps to ascertain, create, and preserve model voice to drive consistency in your content material creation efforts.
1. Collect a consultant pattern of your content material
Forged a large web – collect each sort of content material, from movies to internet pages and e-books to social media. Now, solid a essential eye on the content material. Which examples might have come from any of your rivals? Set these apart. Whittle your examples to a small group of items distinctive to your model – examples of the model voice you wish to embody. Print and put these examples on a whiteboard, grouping collectively items with an analogous really feel.
2. Describe your model voice in three phrases
In the identical room because the whiteboard (or with the board seen to all in a digital surroundings), work together with your key content material creators and house owners of the model id. Once more, solid a large web and invite content material creators all through your group, together with groups from PR, gross sales enablement, buyer success, and so forth. Take into account the whiteboard content material as the very best examples of the model voice you wish to embody. Focus on frequent themes throughout all of these items. Group the examples into three thematic buckets.
In case your model was a particular person, how would you describe its persona to somebody? At this level, describe your rivals as folks, too. Is certainly one of your rivals the category bully? Is one other the top cheerleader? How do your model’s persona traits make you completely different?
Let’s create an instance utilizing these three broad traits:
Outline every one intimately. How do these traits present up in the way you talk together with your viewers? How do they arrive throughout within the form of content material you create? How do they seem in your targeted subjects? Let’s proceed this instance:
- Passionate – expressive, enthusiastic, heartfelt, action-oriented
- Quirky – irreverent, surprising, contrarian
- Genuine – real, reliable, partaking, direct
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3. Create the model voice chart
Together with your model’s voice outlined, illustrate the way it turns up concretely in your content material. This model voice chart is a vital reference instrument to make sure your content material (textual content and visuals) constantly makes use of the identical voice.
Embody three rows for every of the first traits accompanied by three columns – transient description, do’s, and don’ts. If essential, add a row for secondary traits that want a bit further rationalization. On this instance, “irreverent” is a associated phrase and needs to be fleshed out so the group is obvious on how it’s outlined (i.e., to problem the established order or to be snarky).
4. Guarantee writers perceive the right way to put the model voice into motion
You’ve outlined your voice and tone and proven it in an easy-to-understand chart. How do you get everybody to make use of it? Meet with the group – anybody who creates content material or communications – and stroll them by way of the chart.
Undergo some examples of content material that hits the mark. Present in actual time the right way to revise some present content material that isn’t reflective of the outlined voice. If potential, present group members with a laminated or card-stock copy of the model voice chart to maintain at their desks for reference. Ensure an digital model additionally is on the market.
5. Revisit and revise the model voice chart as the corporate evolves
A model voice chart isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it instrument. As your model messaging evolves or new rivals come into your market, refresh it with new examples.
Quarterly, convene your key content material creators and communicators to seek out out if any voice attributes haven’t labored properly or are extra aspirational than potential. As an illustration, many manufacturers initially embrace the phrase “irreverence” however discover their writers are uncomfortable flexing that muscle or key approvers constantly delete that a part of the voice within the content material. If that’s the case, it might be time for a voice refresh or some new do’s and don’ts.
Cowl picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content material Advertising Institute