A guide to using the right tone of voice in your blogs
The tone of voice that you use in your content can be make or break for your marketing.
Why? Because when your readers are sifting through what you’ve written, using the wrong tone of voice can be as jarring as your Dad’s all-caps text messages.
Instead, we want to use a tone that’s familiar and comfortable for your ideal client to pour over. The kind of chat that has hours slipping by without anybody noticing, just like they did when you would chat with your best friends after school.
Thing is, the content you write for your business is so carefully constructed in order to bring in a steady stream of clients that hitting that elusive sweet spot is getting harder and harder.
So how can you make sure your blogs are easy breezy, as well as being effective lead generating machines?
Thinking of content as a conversation
I like to think about different types of content as different kinds of conversations with your reader. The different ways you raise and lower your voice in these social scenarios is similar to the way you might use different tones in your brand voice for your written content.
Posting content on social media is a bit like shouting into someone's ear at the bar in a nightclub. It's noisy, there's lots going on, and a lot of other people trying to get that person’s attention.
You've only got a few seconds to get your point across before your ideal client will move on to listening to someone else.
But when it comes to blogging, it's more like having a one to one chat in a coffee shop.
When someone clicks onto your website to read an article, they're giving you their undivided attention. They've decided that they really want to hear what you've got to say, and they're going to shut out any other voices while they're listening to you.
This means you don't need to worry about being louder than the person next to you, instead you can focus on being yourself, and saying what you want to say and what your reader needs to hear.
You've also got a lot longer to tell them your point of view, and can dig much deeper into the subject. Without the character limit of social media, you can feel free to speak as you want to speak - as yourself or as your brand.
And that's how I like to set the tone in my blogs: I talk to the person reading, rather than shouting at the crowd who is only half listening.
Examples of tone of voice from well-known brands
To help you decide on a tone of voice that suits your brand values and appeals to your readers, it can be useful to look at the content created by well-known brands that you identify with.
Dove is an example of a very soft, gentle tone of voice. They carefully select words that reflect their focus on self-esteem and natural beauty. Reading their content feels a bit like wrapping a fleecey blanket around your shoulders on a cold evening.
Nike is a brand that is often used as an example of a unique, recognisable brand voice. Their focus on achievement, ambition, and success shines through in the way they write their content. It’s assertive, bold, and hits you right between the eyes!
Kelloggs is a brand associated with simplicity and family values. Notice how their content is written in short, easy to read sentences? Their tone of voice is friendly, gentle, and inclusive, perfect for showing their family values.
Innocent drinks is another household name that is a great example of how tone of voice can be used with imagination and creativity. Their brand is playful and humorous, using unexpected words here and there to show that they don’t take life too seriously. That doesn’t mean it’s high-level vocabulary though - they’re careful to keep the content inclusive for readers of all ability levels.
Deciding on a tone of voice for your blogs
Once you’ve had a look at different examples of tone of voice, make a note of which ones feel most suited to your own brand.
If you want to convey a sense of ambition and of challenging the status quo, perhaps a more bold tone of voice like Nike’s would be a good one to employ. Think about whether your ideal client would enjoy reading content that contains swear words for emphasis. Maybe they’d feel energised by short, assertive statements.
Or perhaps you’re more about the kind and gentle approach. This would work well if your ideal client is more introverted or quiet.
Or maybe you prefer to mix and match. For example, using an assertive and ambitious tone of voice with the odd bit of playful humour thrown in.
Just like so much of content creation for your business, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the right tone of voice. I put it down to a mixture of market research and gut instinct.
So play around, and discover what feels comfortable and what resonates with your audience.
Speaking of social media…
If you’re posting all of your dynamite content on social media but struggling to get blogs onto your website, why not kill two birds with one stone?
Social media isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is great for testing out your messaging until you know it’s really hitting the spot for your audience. And that’s when you NEED to be getting those messages onto your website so that you can call in new readers from across the globe without losing your content down the news feed after a few hours.
In my free masterclass, I show you the exact process I use to turn social media posts into evergreen blogs.