Think back to the last time you attended an event. Maybe it was for business. Perhaps it was for pleasure. Either way, it was a social occasion – meaning you had to interact with others. And of those people, you probably got on better with some than others – perhaps because of their mannerisms, things you had in common, or other factors. How does this connect to nailing tone of voice in marketing?
Your brand might not be a living, breathing, talking person. But it’s still an extension of your business – specifically: its values and culture. Despite this, so many B2B organisations focus on what they do instead of what they are. In so doing they fail to differentiate themselves from competitors and build rapport with their target audience.
Master your tone of voice and you’ll:
- Build trust with prospects who’ll treat your brand as something familiar – as opposed to a collection of words and images on a page
- Be able to influence and persuade your audience by talking to them in their language – formally, colloquially, and with or without jargon
Read on to find out why tone of voice in marketing matters and how you can harness its benefits to engage, persuade and retain more customers.
Tone of voice in marketing means nothing without values
Your tone of voice will naturally evolve from your values. But these sentiments must be authentic and represent your brand’s vision – not just today but tomorrow too.
Writing down questions will help – for example:
- Why did you create your business in the first place? Try and condense this reason down into a 2-3 line mission statement anyone can understand.
- What value do you deliver? Perhaps you’ve created a digital app that makes reading online easier for people with dyslexia.
- What separates you from rivals? For example, maybe customers get their own account manager. Or perhaps your delivery times are faster.
Don’t forget to involve employees when trying to nail your tone of voice marketing. Because they live and breathe your brand day in, day out and may even come up with fresh observations and questions you hadn’t thought of.
Using the right language to engage with prospects
Having defined your B2B organisation’s values it’s time to bring them to life – so you can turn your website, email campaigns, and social media feeds into viable marketing tools.
It’s important to proceed with caution at this stage. Overly formal or familiar language could alienate prospects and push them into the arms of a competitor.
- Hey there – thanks for checking out our offers
- We think these offers might interest you
Option one is far too friendly and talks to the prospect as if greeting them at a local bar. Meanwhile, the second suggestion is stiff and almost apologetic. Finding a tone that deftly straddles the two would be better.
Avoid technical language, jargon, and long words
Sometimes, brands overshare. That’s because they want prospects to feel informed and reassured. And so in creep long-winded sentences, industry jargon, and long paragraph blocks.
This will only overwhelm and confuse prospects (who, in the UK, have an average reading age of nine years old).
To avoid losing prospects:
- Use everyday words – for example, ‘story’ instead of ‘narrative’
- Limit paragraphs to four lines to help readers scan with ease
- Use space to break up sections and reduce visual clutter
As you can see, tone of voice marketing isn’t just about tone after all. It’s also about sticking to tried and tested user experience (UX) best practices.
Don’t forget – you’re assuming the role of a storyteller
Selling features and benefits alone won’t cut the proverbial mustard. If you really want to attract and convert customers you’ll need to become an accomplished storyteller. How is tone of voice marketing linked to storytelling? Presenting your product or service in the form of a tale will emotionally resonate with your audience – while also providing a coherent structure to guide them from A-B.
When using tone of voice to tell your story, remember:
- Stories are first and foremost about people – so create a strong character to drive your narrative
- Tales are nothing without challenges – so give your hero heroine an obstacle to overcome
- Wrap your story around a single emotion – for example, hope, frustration, or excitement
Tone of voice marketing is about being authentic. But creating your new vocabulary will take time – not to mention company-wide cooperation. It will also involve asking difficult questions. That’s because the exercise will tease to the surface your brand’s greatest strengths and weaknesses.
Push through the pain barrier and you’ll reap the rewards – emerging as a stronger, more cohesive business with a deeper understanding of its core mission and, therein, its customers’ wants and needs.
Creating a tone of voice strategy isn’t easy. It requires expertise, time, and money. That’s why trusting the exercise to experts is often best.
Ready to create your B2B tone of voice strategy? Then book your free consultation now
We’d love to help you create your tone of voice strategy. With over 17 years of experience in helping our B2B customers improve their engagement and ROI, we’re perfectly positioned to support you too. Contact us now to book your free consultation.