Back in the day, developing a brand was pretty much a “set it and forget it” exercise. Logo? Check. A few great ads? Got it. The words and tone which defined your brand – known in communications as your “brand voice” – were confined to expertly crafted sales scripts and quarterly advertisements.
But, how times have changed.
Today, businesses are expected to write social media posts, press releases, and review responses on an hourly (up-to-the-minute) basis. They must react on the fly to a flurry of tweets and news stories, each of which could make or break their brand online.
In order to take advantage of these daily digital branding opportunities, your team needs to perfectly understand your brand voice and be able to pull it out at a moment’s notice. You can be known as a funny brand, an accessible brand, a helpful brand – perhaps all three! The key is knowing what you want to be and how you want to sound before hitting the keyboard.
Since establishing a brand voice has a lot to do with writing, I’ve put together three writing exercises or worksheets you can complete to define your unique brand voice.
1) The buyer persona and brand voice worksheet.
If your brand was a person, how would you describe them? This might seem like a silly question, but it is critical to answer in the digital age. You’re probably advertising in some serious social media platforms, and you won’t thrive in any social space without a solid personality. Knowing your brand personality will help you with everything from crafting individual posts to picking influencers and even investors – plus, of course, it is critical for the development of your overall brand voice.
2) The buyer persona worksheet.
I’ve written about buyer personas at length before. They are super critical to nailing every marketing decision, including those related to your brand voice. You need a brand voice to appeal to your target audience, so you’d better understand who they are!
Come up with a few people who represent your target market and fill out the sheet below for each of them to better understand your buyer personas.
3) The brand voice chart.
We’re finally here! Now it’s time to come up with an actual brand voice – one you can share with your whole team so they know exactly how you sound online.
Why Brand Voice Matters for your Businesses
It may be tempting to jump right into writing and publishing content without doing this kind of strategy work. But trust me – taking the time to develop a brand voice will help you greatly in the long run.
Your ability to resonate with people will depend largely on how you consistently show up in their feeds and their lives, time after time. Plus, companies with a brand voice have a way easier time coming up with responses, developing content, and closing the deal. When it comes to social media, it definitely pays to know who you are (and how you sound!) as a company.