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Do you know your marketing tone of voice?

Do you know your marketing tone of voice?

Smaller businesses like ours don’t tend to have teams of branding experts analysing our target market, imagery and language to keep everything consistent. We’re more likely to write our own content, so it sounds like us and our customers feel like they already know us. Being yourself in your marketing is great, but understanding how your language affects your customers and what it says about your business lets you tweak things to make your marketing tone of voice more effective.

The best way to do this is to look at other people’s content and ask yourself a few questions to work out why you like (or hate) it. Here are some questions to ask to get you started.

How does it make you feel?

When you read a social media post or blog or watch an advert, ask yourself how it makes you feel. Does it lift your mood or spur you on to solve a problem? Does the language make you feel relaxed or on edge?

The way you position yourself in relation to your audience is important. Speaking to them as equals is great, but sometimes you must show your expertise too. A florist and a financial adviser can both be friendly, but they differ in how they talk about their expertise.

What change do they offer?

Helping your audience understand the changes your product or service can bring makes them more likely to buy, even if those changes are pretty small. Holiday adverts show happy families having fun, while Christmas ones have people smiling as they open the perfect gift. When you see marketing that you like, ask yourself why. Does it show something you want? If you find an advert irritating or indifferent to it, consider whether you’re the target audience.

What else are they selling?

This can be a tricky one to work out. Most marketing shows tangible benefits, but there are often intangible ones as well. This usually depends on a brand’s market position. A clothes shop selling fast, affordable fashion will market itself very differently from a luxury brand. The quality of each item and the price tag may differ, but that’s not all. Marketing for luxury goods aims to make you feel like your social status will improve if you buy from them.

Did they take you by surprise?

Some businesses make themselves stand out by doing something unexpected. If you think an industry is boring, they make it fun, or perhaps they make a process easy where it’s been long-winded before.

Marketing like this sometimes follows one convention (like showing a product) and breaks another (by doing it in an unexpected way). Haribo adverts show the sweets, but they stand out because they feature adult actors speaking like children, so it sticks in your memory.

Compare content from different sources

Looking at a few adverts or marketing posts helps you understand how brands present themselves to different audiences. Marketing that irritates you can be as helpful as content you love. When you compare brands, look at the language they use. Does a luxury brand use different words from a budget one?

Looking at other people’s marketing also helps you decide where you fit in the marketplace and what that means for your marketing. You’ll use different language to attract cash-rich and time-poor customers than you will if your audience is the complete opposite.

If you try this out, let me know how you get on. I’d love to hear from you.

If you want to find the best version of your marketing tone of voice, I can help.  I’ll write blogs, posts, emails and whatever else you need to engage your audience. If you’d like a chat to find out how it works, you can book a call here. Or, use the form below to sign up for monthly content writing tips straight to your inbox.

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