When you think of the most important things that affect your brand, the tone of what you write is most likely not the first thing that pops into your mind. Mentioned more often are passion, consistency, exposure, and audience knowledge. But the tone, whether it is in a blog, on your website, or a post on Facebook, sets each of these things in motion, thus letting your target audience know where you stand.
What is meant by the tone, you may ask? The tone is the mood or attitude shown in what you write. If your product is a new video game, the tone should be exciting and fun. You want your target audience to feel this in your writing. However, the tone used to write to a child about the video game will most likely be different than that used to write to an adult about the same game.
Of high importance is the tone used to make your brand stand out and be consistently recognized and respected by your readers. Your brand is more than just your company logo. It includes such things as your company’s core values, your unique way of selling your products or services, and who your target customers are, as well as what they want. Your brand must stay in your customers’ minds, and the tone in which you write must keep your customers satisfied with your company’s brand.
When determining what the tone should be in your written marketing content for your brand, the process should not be hurried through. Many things need to be considered. Below are just a few:
- The tone and the voice of the written information are different. Both are important, but they are not the same thing. As mentioned above, the tone is the mood or attitude of your writing, and the voice its personality. Just as a person’s personality is consistent, the voice of your writing should be consistent. It doesn’t change from blog to social media, and your target audience should be able to see you in everything you write. The tone, however, can change from such emotions as happy, sad, serious, or funny, depending upon what you are trying to say and to whom you are saying it.
- Diction and syntax also play an important part in determining the tone of your marketing contents. Just like voice, diction and syntax are not the same as the tone. Diction, the words that a writer chooses, is a very important part of determining the tone. If your brand is pertaining to fine jewelry, your diction should be classy and elegant. If instead, it is connected to barbecue sauce, your diction would have a more relaxed tone.
- In addition, syntax, the structure of a sentence, changes how your writing comes across to those who read it. Sentences can be long or short, choppy or smooth, thus changing the tone. None of these is right or wrong. But it is a good idea to determine how your readers feel about your style. Do they like your long flowing sentences or is it causing them to read fewer and fewer blogs? When a customer first reads what you have written, your choices can determine what they think of your brand. A well-written blog or website can and should keep them coming back!
- The tone should connect with your target audience. The American Marketing Association says that the average consumer sees up to 10,000 brand messages a day but will only buy from a few of these brands. It is definitely very important what you write and how you write it. The tone sets the stage for how consumers will feel about what they have read and whether it will catch their eye the first time in order to pique their interest. In addition, the tone of your content should not be unnecessarily complex when aimed at certain target audiences. Things to consider are their age, demographic, and in what way they will use what you are presenting to them.
- Be consistent in the development and use of the writing tone. Though this is true if there is only one person writing your marketing content, this is especially important in a large company with a large marketing group. Everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to determining and creating the tone of written material. A good way to do this is to prepare a Content Styling Guide for everyone who is writing marketing content. MailChimp has a great Content Styling Guide online that you can look at. When it comes to being consistent, I love what I read in Ann Handley, “If your logo fell off, would you recognize you?” More importantly, would your target audience recognize you? If you aren’t consistent from article to post and from person to person, chances are that your target audience will be very confused about your brand.
Many other great tips and ideas can be found online and elsewhere that relate to tone and marketing. All are very important in putting together a document that will keep consumers coming back to read more and be drawn to your brand. Hopefully, the tips listed here have put you on the right track to improving your writing tone.