+
+

How to define and maintain your brand voice in 6 simple steps

How to define and maintain your brand voice in 6 simple steps

5 minute read

How to define and maintain your brand voice in 6 simple steps

5 minute read

How to define and maintain your brand voice in 6 simple steps

Masooma Memon

GatherContent Contributor, Writer
Imagine a business publishing regular content, but with an inconsistent style. Some pieces use a friendly, chatty tone. Others have a formal tone. What impression do you think such a brand is leaving on its target audience? The answer: a poor impression that’s barely memorable.

Table of contents

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Now imagine the same business creating content using a consistent brand voice. What impression does it leave now? A memorable one that breeds familiarity and garners engagement, isn’t it?

That’s just the tip of the benefits that a unique brand voice delivers. In fact, such consistent brand presentation helps brands increase their revenue by 33%.

So, in this post, let’s talk about brand voice, how you can define yours, and most of all, how to consistently maintain it in the content you produce.

What is a brand voice and why is it important?

Brand voice is the way your brand says things. It could be playful and informal like Mailchimp’s voice, or it could be friendly and direct like Innocent Drink’s unique brand voice.

Its role? Leaving a memorable impression on your target audience by showing your brand personality. This means all the content that you create from blog posts to social media posts has to use the same style, tone, and voice to deliver a uniform brand identity.

Here are more reasons why having your own tone of voice helps:

  • Differentiation. A strong brand voice helps your content stand out in the crowded online space. Instead of saying things blandly, you say them your way, improving your audience’s content experience.
  • Consistency. Content marketing isn’t a one-person job. There are typically several writers working with a strategist. Brand voice is a good way to ensure all of them create content in one voice, helping you maintain a consistent style.
  • Uniformity. Whether it’s different content formats, media channels, or different teams, having a consistent brand voice ensures everything aligns with your brand personality. This way, your audience becomes better familiar with your business.
  • Better engagement and loyalty. With your brand saying things in a unique voice, you’re in a better position to hold your audience’s attention and get them to engage with you. An outstanding brand experience – thanks to its unique voice – also nurtures better loyalty among customers.

6 Steps to Defining A Brand Voice That Connects

Want to develop your own brand voice? Good call. Follow these six simple steps to define a voice that resonates with your customers:

1. Review your brand personality

Ask yourself: if I were a person, what would my personality be like? Your brand could have any personality traits from opinionated to humble to cheeky and humorous.

💡 Pro tip: Study your competitors’ voices for inspiration. Identify what aspects of their voice help them connect with their audience to get your creative gears spinning. If there are other brands outside your industry that serve the same audience as you do, study their voice as well.

2. Determine what your brand stands for

Start with reviewing your mission statement to highlight the core values that your business holds close. Needless to say, these should be values that you share with your audience so you can better connect with them.

3. Identify what your brand is not

Now take the time to determine things your brand is not. Why? Because it gives you a clearer picture of what your personality and values are so you know how to say things and how not to say them.

4. Revisit your buyer’s persona

Researching your audience is the key to understanding what resonates with them. After all, your aim is to create a voice that helps you connect with your audience, not alienate them from you.

To begin with, look at your audience’s demographics (location, gender, age) to understand what they’d expect from your brand. For instance, millennials expect brands to be authentic and care about something more than profit.

Study your audience’s content preferences. Does your target buyer prefer memes or straightforward content? Do they read formal, opinion-oriented pieces or lighthearted, witty pieces?

Three effective ways to learn more about your audience’s preferences are:

  • Social listening. Go to social media platforms your audience uses and study the way they chat with each other for an idea of their voice.
  • Survey your audience. Send out surveys to your audience base. Ask them how they’d describe your brand and what their expectations from it are. You’ll also want to learn their thoughts on how appropriate your current voice is.
  • Customer interviews. Have one-on-one calls with your target persona to get a sense of their voice. Ask them the same survey questions too for getting in-depth explanations.

5. Audit your content bank and messaging

This is another essential step for businesses that have published lots of content. Review all the content you’ve created – from videos to PR articles, blog posts, web copy, and more.

Look for common themes in your current voice. Is there a particular way you write or specific words and phrases that you use a lot? Make notes on them. Also, look at your best-performing content and try to identify if it’s the voice that’s one of the reasons why people connected with it.

Finally, review whether your current brand tone aligns with your values before moving on to the next step.

6. Create your brand chart

In this last step, distill all your research into a tone of voice chart template that contains:

  • 4-6 adjectives explaining your brand voice characteristics
  • Example sentences of how to write something
  • Example sentences of how to not write something
  • Explanation of why to write in a certain way

How to Maintain A Brand Voice In Your Content and Product Marketing

While defining a brand voice is relatively easy, what takes work is getting all your team members to create each piece of content in your brand voice.

Content collaboration platform, GatherContent, helps marketers maintain a consistent brand voice as you work with multiple writers and contributors. Here’s how:

Create your style guide

GatherContent brand voice blog style guide example
Using GatherContent style guides allows you to improve content quality and consistency.

This is going to be the bible of all your brand voice guidelines outlining:

  • Brief details of your brand personality
  • A summary of your brand voice
  • How to write and how to not write
  • How to format content
  • Breakdown of platform-specific voice instructions

Every time you create content, be it a LinkedIn post, a long-form guide, or web copy, reference your brand voice guidelines template.

💡 Pro tip: Supplement the style guide with a word bank – a list of most-used words and phrases that align with your voice.

Make style guides for different channels

You can always bundle guidelines for each channel such as social media and email in a master style guide document. However, a better, more effective, way is to create platform-specific guidelines within the GatherContent platform.

GatherContent brand voice style guide example
Use GatherContent's style guides to create unique platform-specific guidelines for everyone to follow.

Having channel-specific style guides means different teams and contributors have to read only the guidelines they need. This helps them apply the instructions effectively, delivering better, voice-focused copy for each channel.

Need to know: The GatherContent platform allows you to get everyone on the same page with cloud based, real-time content collaboration.

Embed brand messaging guidelines in content templates

It can be hard to convince team members to reference the style guide every time they draft content even if you clearly instruct them to do so.

The solution? Embed in-line brand voice guidelines in your content templates to make it super simple for contributors to follow your style guide. For example, in your content template for writing tweets embed platform-specific notes.

GatherContent social media style guide template example
Guidelines in GatherContent makes sure that everyone contributing follows your style guide.
Need to know: Ready to define and maintain a consistent brand voice? Try GatherContent free today and start making your master style guide and in-line platform-specific guidelines.

Now imagine the same business creating content using a consistent brand voice. What impression does it leave now? A memorable one that breeds familiarity and garners engagement, isn’t it?

That’s just the tip of the benefits that a unique brand voice delivers. In fact, such consistent brand presentation helps brands increase their revenue by 33%.

So, in this post, let’s talk about brand voice, how you can define yours, and most of all, how to consistently maintain it in the content you produce.

What is a brand voice and why is it important?

Brand voice is the way your brand says things. It could be playful and informal like Mailchimp’s voice, or it could be friendly and direct like Innocent Drink’s unique brand voice.

Its role? Leaving a memorable impression on your target audience by showing your brand personality. This means all the content that you create from blog posts to social media posts has to use the same style, tone, and voice to deliver a uniform brand identity.

Here are more reasons why having your own tone of voice helps:

  • Differentiation. A strong brand voice helps your content stand out in the crowded online space. Instead of saying things blandly, you say them your way, improving your audience’s content experience.
  • Consistency. Content marketing isn’t a one-person job. There are typically several writers working with a strategist. Brand voice is a good way to ensure all of them create content in one voice, helping you maintain a consistent style.
  • Uniformity. Whether it’s different content formats, media channels, or different teams, having a consistent brand voice ensures everything aligns with your brand personality. This way, your audience becomes better familiar with your business.
  • Better engagement and loyalty. With your brand saying things in a unique voice, you’re in a better position to hold your audience’s attention and get them to engage with you. An outstanding brand experience – thanks to its unique voice – also nurtures better loyalty among customers.

6 Steps to Defining A Brand Voice That Connects

Want to develop your own brand voice? Good call. Follow these six simple steps to define a voice that resonates with your customers:

1. Review your brand personality

Ask yourself: if I were a person, what would my personality be like? Your brand could have any personality traits from opinionated to humble to cheeky and humorous.

💡 Pro tip: Study your competitors’ voices for inspiration. Identify what aspects of their voice help them connect with their audience to get your creative gears spinning. If there are other brands outside your industry that serve the same audience as you do, study their voice as well.

2. Determine what your brand stands for

Start with reviewing your mission statement to highlight the core values that your business holds close. Needless to say, these should be values that you share with your audience so you can better connect with them.

3. Identify what your brand is not

Now take the time to determine things your brand is not. Why? Because it gives you a clearer picture of what your personality and values are so you know how to say things and how not to say them.

4. Revisit your buyer’s persona

Researching your audience is the key to understanding what resonates with them. After all, your aim is to create a voice that helps you connect with your audience, not alienate them from you.

To begin with, look at your audience’s demographics (location, gender, age) to understand what they’d expect from your brand. For instance, millennials expect brands to be authentic and care about something more than profit.

Study your audience’s content preferences. Does your target buyer prefer memes or straightforward content? Do they read formal, opinion-oriented pieces or lighthearted, witty pieces?

Three effective ways to learn more about your audience’s preferences are:

  • Social listening. Go to social media platforms your audience uses and study the way they chat with each other for an idea of their voice.
  • Survey your audience. Send out surveys to your audience base. Ask them how they’d describe your brand and what their expectations from it are. You’ll also want to learn their thoughts on how appropriate your current voice is.
  • Customer interviews. Have one-on-one calls with your target persona to get a sense of their voice. Ask them the same survey questions too for getting in-depth explanations.

5. Audit your content bank and messaging

This is another essential step for businesses that have published lots of content. Review all the content you’ve created – from videos to PR articles, blog posts, web copy, and more.

Look for common themes in your current voice. Is there a particular way you write or specific words and phrases that you use a lot? Make notes on them. Also, look at your best-performing content and try to identify if it’s the voice that’s one of the reasons why people connected with it.

Finally, review whether your current brand tone aligns with your values before moving on to the next step.

6. Create your brand chart

In this last step, distill all your research into a tone of voice chart template that contains:

  • 4-6 adjectives explaining your brand voice characteristics
  • Example sentences of how to write something
  • Example sentences of how to not write something
  • Explanation of why to write in a certain way

How to Maintain A Brand Voice In Your Content and Product Marketing

While defining a brand voice is relatively easy, what takes work is getting all your team members to create each piece of content in your brand voice.

Content collaboration platform, GatherContent, helps marketers maintain a consistent brand voice as you work with multiple writers and contributors. Here’s how:

Create your style guide

GatherContent brand voice blog style guide example
Using GatherContent style guides allows you to improve content quality and consistency.

This is going to be the bible of all your brand voice guidelines outlining:

  • Brief details of your brand personality
  • A summary of your brand voice
  • How to write and how to not write
  • How to format content
  • Breakdown of platform-specific voice instructions

Every time you create content, be it a LinkedIn post, a long-form guide, or web copy, reference your brand voice guidelines template.

💡 Pro tip: Supplement the style guide with a word bank – a list of most-used words and phrases that align with your voice.

Make style guides for different channels

You can always bundle guidelines for each channel such as social media and email in a master style guide document. However, a better, more effective, way is to create platform-specific guidelines within the GatherContent platform.

GatherContent brand voice style guide example
Use GatherContent's style guides to create unique platform-specific guidelines for everyone to follow.

Having channel-specific style guides means different teams and contributors have to read only the guidelines they need. This helps them apply the instructions effectively, delivering better, voice-focused copy for each channel.

Need to know: The GatherContent platform allows you to get everyone on the same page with cloud based, real-time content collaboration.

Embed brand messaging guidelines in content templates

It can be hard to convince team members to reference the style guide every time they draft content even if you clearly instruct them to do so.

The solution? Embed in-line brand voice guidelines in your content templates to make it super simple for contributors to follow your style guide. For example, in your content template for writing tweets embed platform-specific notes.

GatherContent social media style guide template example
Guidelines in GatherContent makes sure that everyone contributing follows your style guide.
Need to know: Ready to define and maintain a consistent brand voice? Try GatherContent free today and start making your master style guide and in-line platform-specific guidelines.

Ready to get started?
Start your 30-day free trial now
Start free trialBook a demo
No items found.

Related posts you might like

No items found.