What does tone of voice (TOV) mean?
In branding, tone of voice is used to describe your brand writing style. It’s the way you convey messages to your specific audience through your choice of words, emotion and mood.
Your tone of voice affects how you come across overall and contributes to how you make your customers and prospective customers feel. It’s how you make your company recognisable in a vast array of other brands available.
Why will it strengthen my marketing?
The point of giving your brand a voice is to make it personable, relatable and human. We say this all the time, but people buy from people and in 2023 more than ever it’s important to make your customers feel like they are part of the conversation.
What is the most effective tone of voice to have?
A consistent one. Your company tone of voice should remain the same, or at least similar across all platforms, from websites, to social, to print. It acts as a basis for you to build trust with clients and allows you to convey company values before they learn about the products or services you offer. Tone of voice is crucial to help shape the customer experience and is a great way to highlight your brand’s personality.
How do I get started?
When determining your brand tone of voice, ask yourself:
Who am I trying to reach?
Attaching a demographic to your writing style really helps you find your tone. Imagine facing readers of Ladbible with the voice of the Sunday Times! It just doesn’t work. Their readers, listeners or watchers are generally working-class millennials, not middle-class Gen X’s, they want content that speaks to them, not past them – your voice needs to work for your audience.
What will they need from me?
This all depends on your product or services. If you’re a service-based business and like to provide advice to help your clients and prospects, then people need to trust you, you need a certain amount of professionalism in your tone without being corporate and boring.
What’s my unique proposition?
Your background, life experiences, your niche, your USP’s, will likely differ from other peoples, write about this and convey your individuality across to your readers.
What if we get it wrong?
If you’re being authentic, then it’s unlikely you’ll get it wrong but if your audience doesn’t resonate with your voice, then it may need tweaking and refining…
Tones generally are determined by using descriptors, for example, here at Tall Zebra our tone could be described as Personable, Conversational, Informative & Professional. These descriptors are there to help our copywriting team adhere to the brand vibes, and values, hopefully conveying them to readers of our content.
Sometimes, an outsider’s perspective is helpful. If you’re struggling it might be worth having a third party like us evaluate your business, your personality and your audience then give our opinion on your brand tone of voice.
With our help we can curate a brand tone of voice which pushes customers and potential customers to take note of the people and ethos behind your logo and brand, making it memorable, relatable and successful.
Get in touch with us if you’d like to know more, we’d love to help!