“A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin
Prospects today have ample content consumption choices. To find relevant information, they can visit a variety of online platforms. This scenario makes it challenging for marketers to get the desired level of audience attention.
Aligning content with a unique brand voice turns branded content into a memorable experience. A consistent content voice adds a distinct flavor to branded content. Such content experiences create content loyalty and can lead to recurring sales of a higher volume.
In this article, let’s look at the critical steps of infusing a distinct voice into branded content marketing.
What is a Brand Voice?
In simple words, a brand voice evokes a set of precise emotions among content consumers. It reveals a brand’s personality to the target audience. A consistent brand voice represents a brand’s culture and creates an instant connection with the target potential customers.
Why is a Distinct Brand Voice Important?
In a dynamic and competitive content marketing environment, businesses need to work hard to make their content stand out from the competition. To create an impact, every content piece must represent a unique brand personality- a set of values that resonate with prospective customers. A consistent brand voice is the key to building trust with the ever-discerning consumer of today.
A unique voice plays a significant role in how people identify with a brand and interact with it. Plus, it helps build deeper relationships with target audiences that will almost guarantee recurring sales and revenue for the business.
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Steps to Align Content Marketing with Your Brand Voice
Start with the Brand Purpose
Every business needs to have a larger goal that extends beyond revenue and profits. In this video, Simen Senek explains that most successful organizations know why they’re doing what they’re doing. And one of the biggest reasons people trust these organizations is because they’re able to effectively communicate this ‘why’ with their target potential customers.
To define a brand voice, marketers need to first learn about the brand’s purpose. A good way to start is by answering how your business wishes to bring about change in the lives of customers and society in general. For instance, a chain of fitness studios might have a larger purpose to help people get into shape, look good, and feel confident about themselves.
Interview the company founders to understand what motivates them to be in this business. Furthermore, you need to sit down and analyze how your products and services fill vital gaps in the industry. And finally, it’s important to figure out the value that the target customers are looking to get from consuming specific products and services.
Purpose lays the foundation for creating a lasting brand positioning and voice for a business.
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Learn about Your Brand Persona
Creating a brand persona is the next vital step in the process of creating a well-defined brand voice.
In simple terms, a brand persona is the most human representation of a brand. Based on common universal human traits, renowned psychologist Carl Jung theorized twelve key human personality archetypes. Marketers can use Jung’s theory to understand and document the key archetypes that a brand falls under.
Also, brand personas often stem from a business’s founding members. Therefore, the ideal first step for a marketer is to list key personality traits of the business owners. See which of these traits would best suit the positioning of your brand.
Every persona has a different method and style of communication. That’s why a brand persona lies at the heart of how a brand speaks to its audience.
Understand Your Target Audience
Before creating a unique content voice, marketers need to know their ideal customers’ needs and preferences. It is an essential step in order to make each content piece audience-centric.
The best method is to list the prospective customers’ demographics and psychographics.
To create a detailed “character sketch” of prospects, a content marketing professional needs to answer some of these questions about possible consumers.
- What is the general age, income, gender, education, and current location?
- What are some of key challenges they face?
- What are their personal and professional goals and aspirations?
- Which social media platforms do they use, and what content do they enjoy the most?
You can compile these questions into an assessment that you can share with your audience. The assessment allows you to collect valuable data and build accurate personas for your business.
After defining and documenting the audience personas, marketers can start building the brand voice.
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Define the Brand Voice
A brand voice should align with the brand persona, and it should appeal to the target audience.
The best way to start is to make a list of emotional vocabulary representing the brand.
For instance, your brand could be portrayed by words like “cheerful, confident, and easy-going.” Or perhaps, you decide that “authoritative, pragmatic, and formal” is a better fit.
To simplify a brand to just two or three words, marketers may want to consider organizing brainstorming sessions using brainstorming tools available over the internet that you can leverage to do productive sessions with internal teams and the company’s founding members. The key role of a brand voice is to govern the tone of branded content.
The next thing that marketers need to decide on is the content style. Marketers must remember that style flows from the voice, but it’s not limited to just the voice. A unique content style is about defining elements like sentence length, structure, diction, punctuation, etc.
Once ready with both aspects of the content voice (that is, tone and style,) you’re prepared to offer definite guidelines to your content team.
Work on Strategic Documentation
The next step is to illustrate how to apply the brand voice to branded content marketing. At this stage, marketers should create a document or presentation to showcase examples of text that display the brand voice.
One way to do this is to offer examples of text that do not represent the brand voice. Indicate “do’s and don’ts” for the content team, to show them how to follow a consistent content tone and style that aligns with the brand’s voice.
Marketers need to organize multiple rounds of discussions with content teams to clarify any doubts. Creating and distributing the content voice document is a good strategy to offer the content team to ready them for creating engaging brand-driven content.
Ensure Voice Implementation
Finally, marketers must conduct regular content audits to ensure that the content team’s posts are cohesive with the brand voice and style guidelines that the team decided upon.
Pick up a random content piece to review it for style and tone. Make sure that images in the content piece gel with the brand’s core values. Implementation is the hardest part of building a brand-consistent content voice.
However, putting the right processes in place and reviewing content with the optimum level of diligence can help bring the desired level of uniformity.
Every piece of content investment must deliver results in terms of leads and sales. But for that to happen, content marketers need to make an effort to make their content impactful, voice-driven, and audience-centric. That’s why it’s essential to infuse a distinct brand voice and follow the voice with every published content piece.
About the author: Abhishek Talreja is an international freelance writer and a seasoned con-tent marketer. He is the founder of Prolific Content Marketing.