When a customer reads your blog and other marketing material, the way the content is constructed should immediately strike a familiar note. 

Tone of voice is what binds your marketing and branding together, and it’s really important to pay attention to the tone when you’re creating your strategy.

The 3 Functions of Tone of Voice

Tone of voice can refer to the spoken word as much as the written word. And in marketing, it has three important functions.

1.   Familiarity

Tone of voice is really important when it comes to creating a connection with your audience. By communicating in a way that’s familiar to them, your brand message will be easy to understand, easy to remember, and comforting for the person you’re speaking to. 

You don’t necessarily have to go with convention. Some of the world’s biggest brands successfully broke down barriers by ditching the formal language and being much more lighthearted in tone.

2.   Personality 

The tone of voice you use in your brand and marketing strategy should convey the personality of the brand, thereby tying it in with visual elements and other materials, such as adverts.

A leisure company is likely to have a relaxed, informal tone of voice; a company that sells business IT equipment will have a more formal and less frivolous approach.

It’s all about conveying your brand’s personality quickly and effectively to the customer.

3.   Confidence

If someone’s going to buy from you, they need to trust you, and your tone of voice is a big part of making that happen. Your language should convey to your reader that you know your stuff, you can help solve problems, and you’re the best person to do that for them.

To give your customer confidence, you don’t necessarily need to use lots of technical terms -- even if you’re writing technical content. We all gravitate towards content that is easy to read and understand, whether it’s describing a vegan milkshake or a rocket launch. 

Make your content difficult to read and it’ll cause your reader to glaze over -- not the effect you want.

How to Achieve Consistent Tone of Voice

Throwing together content and hoping for the best will result in a tone of voice mismatch, which is why tone should be the start of the plan from the very beginning.

For the best result:

  • Hire professional copywriters who have experience in your niche, but also the ability to flex their style according to your strategy
  • Develop a style guide so all of your writers are clear about how to approach your content, now and in the future
  • Write, edit, and rewrite; you will rarely get the tone right first time, but there’s nothing wrong with trying different ideas
  • Align your content marketing goals with your overall branding and marketing activities; keeping everything closely linked will present a solid, united and confident brand image to your customers.

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Written by Charlotte Green August of 2018