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How to define your start-up’s tone of voice

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by Startacus Admin

understanding your brand voice
You might have a fantastic business idea, the right staff, the right products and the right services. But you need to be able to talk about and promote yourself properly, which is why your businesses tone of voice is absolutely crucial. 

Digital marketing agency every1 explains how you should look to define the tone of voice you use across your business’s communications and marketing.

Why is a tone of voice so important? 

Your tone of voice helps to define your brand. Branding is a great start from a visual standpoint, but the way you talk about yourself, your skills, products and services can help to reinforce what your business is all about.

startup tone of voiceIt provides a sense of personality and helps your business to appeal to the right people and position your services in the right way. 

Defining that tone of voice requires a deep level of understanding, not only of your brand, but also your customers and wider business sector. 

Understand your brand

The first step in defining your tone of voice is thinking about how you want your brand to be perceived by your customers, staff and competitors.

This can be influenced by a number of things, including:

  • Your product
  • Demographic
  • Age of your team
  • Branding 

For example, if you’re a business focussing on selling a high-end luxury product your tone of voice needs to exude a sense of quality. Whereas a business with a relatively young staff, catering to a younger demographic needs to find a way of talking that appeals to a younger market and reflects the age of the brand. 

This comes down to a choice of language and terminology that reflects what you want the perception of your brand to be. Do you opt for a lot of hyperbole and adjectives to understanding your brand voice and audiencereally get across the sense of luxury associated with a product? Or do you focus on quicker, snappier sentences and language to align your brand with a younger audience? 

An effective tone of voice will fit with your brand and make sense. Getting it wrong can be jarring and off putting to an audience.

Understand your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial. Not just in terms of who they are, but also demonstrating a knowledge of their pain points, role and their level of assumed knowledge when it comes to your products and services.

For instance, if your business sells a manufacturing or engineering solution directly to the people who need it you might be able to use a lot more technical terminology and industry jargon than you might be able to if your audience is looking for simple solutions to problems. 

This understanding can help you to adjust the level you pitch your brand and content at, which in turn has a huge bearing on your tone of voice. For example, writing something for an audience with a higher level of assumed knowledge is going to sound vastly different to a piece of content for someone looking for a simple answer to a question. 

Your tone of voice should appeal to your intended audience, speak to them at their level and be something they’re comfortable with.

Understand your business sector

Lastly you should be aware of what’s going on within your business sector. Look at how your competitors talk about themselves, their products and their services. 

There might be specific ways that businesses in your sector talk. You might be able to amend your tone of voice to act as a point of difference and stand out. However, it’s important to first assess how this might be received and how effective it might be. 

understanding your brand voice and business sectorYou might work in a sector that has a lot of specific jargon and terminology that needs to be accommodated and worked into the way you talk about relevant issues, products and services.

Much like with understanding your brand understanding your sector can influence the language you use. This can then in turn can have a major impact on the way you communicate as a brand. You can adjust your tone of voice to either fall in-line with industry terminology, or soften that approach to create a more approachable tone of voice. 

Putting your understanding to use 

Understanding your brand, audience and sector give you a strong foundation to build your tone of voice from. It isn’t informed by knee-jerk reaction but by a deeper understanding of who will be interacting with your business and services. 

This helps to give form and shape to your content and create a consistent way of talking about yourself.

For a start-up getting this tone of voice right is important, it can help inform a lot of your communications, marketing and content. This often helps a business to start on the right foot, with everything working in tandem to help you launch and promote a brand to the right people in the right way.

Chris Worthington is a content strategist at every1, a Digital Marketing Agency based in the North West.

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Published on: 30th April 2018

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