Your brand personality is something that is quintessentially you – but how does the brand tone fit into the picture? The brand tone of your content is what will help you express your brand personality and the values that make you unique. It is how you will connect with your audience to build trust and a meaningful community.
So how do you decide what brand tone to use for your content? Here are four ways to develop the best tone for your brand.
Break your brand down
It’s hard to know how to communicate as your brand if you haven’t done the work to figure out who you really are. A good way to start is to identify 2 or 3 words that describe your brand. For example, your brand could be:
Then, take those three words and describe them further:
- Cool: young, fresh
- Quirky: funny, unique
- Innovative: smart, pushing boundaries
Once you do this, you can start to figure out the type of language and content that would make sense to use for your brand. You would use this description as the roadmap for your content creation.
Focus on clarity of communication
When you muddy up your messaging in any communications, it makes it hard to get your point across. You need to develop a clear sense of purpose when you create content. That starts with drafting a well-defined messaging document. Your messaging document should have 3 or 4 main messages that tell your brand story. Each main message should have 2 or 3 supporting points that highlight facts and details about each message.
If your brand descriptors (above) are your roadmap, your messaging document is your guiding light. You can pull from this document for most of your brand content. And the messaging will already be drafted to match your brand tone.
Match your marketing channel
Your brand tone should match the channel you are creating content for. While your personality won’t change, the tone you use across platforms might. The best way to approach this is to consider your audience behaviour on each platform. How do they interact with friends and family? How do they interact with other brands? How long is the average caption on the platform? What caption length do you find works best for you? Is the platform geared more towards professional networking or social interactions? Is it a marketing channel that you control the message (ie. Email newsletter)?
Asking yourself these types of questions about your selected marketing channels will allow you to match your brand tone properly for each.
Adapt over time
As your business grows over time, you might find that the brand tone – maybe even a few aspects of your brand personality – will change. Check to make sure that your brand is still headed in the same direction as when you first started out. As your business changes, you will discover the best ways to connect with your audience and your brand tone needs to reflect that. When you are first starting out, it’s good to check in more frequently (3 – 6 months), but after a couple of years, it is ok to simply include your brand check in when you do your annual strategic review.
Your brand tone will help you to connect with your target audience, so it’s an important aspect of your content strategy.
Candace Huntly is Founding Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.