In a world of copycat competitors and endless noise, it can sometimes seem difficult finding your own voice, especially if you are a new business. How do you convey your offering and value in a way that resonates with your audience, yet differentiates you from the industry norm? How do you infuse your voice with character, personality and meaning, yet instil confidence in your brand? Well, a good place to start is your T.O.V. More than just descriptive words such as ‘fun’, ‘informative’ and ‘inspirational’, it encompasses your brand’s values, your market positioning and guides your communications across media. Imperative to success yet not an easy thing to pin down, I wanted to offer some advice in how to get started.
One thing I always keep in mind when writing is the old saying, ‘Your words have power, choose them wisely’. Everything you put out there is a representation of who you are, so say something wrong and you risk losing clients, customers and your industry’s respect. Researching into your competitors to see how they’ve gained momentum is a good basis for success, considering their writing style, stand-out elements and how their audience interacts with their content. For example, we’re currently working on a new insurance broker’s website here at Embryo Digital and while defining their T.O.V. I noticed variations in language, use of pronouns and colloquialisms that make some of their competitors seem inclusive, accessible and knowledgeable, yet others seem traditional, firm-focused and serious. Building upon the elements that you believe will work for your business allows you to cut through the noise and make some of your own.
Putting The ‘U’ in Value
Having explored your competition, you should then use what is known as the ‘‘inside out’’ approach that delves into your core values. As outlined in Acrolinx’s eBook, ‘WATCH YOUR TONE’, this involves asking yourself the following questions:
- What makes your company unique?
- What do you do for customers that nobody else can?
- What’s special about the way you work, your products or services, or anything else about your company?
- What unique value do you offer your customers?
- What would your customers say your strengths are?
- What is your company’s culture like?
- What do people like most about working at your company?
- How do you present yourself to customers?
- What are the key messages you need to get across?
- What do prospects have to understand about your products or services before they’ll buy from you?
- What do they need to understand about you as a company before they’ll work with you?
Answering these questions will help guide your T.O.V. to the point that it becomes second-nature to your content creators and ultimately associated with your brand. Creating a T.O.V. guide can set this in stone and employees can be trained in how to speak your language.
The Benefits Of The Right Tone Of Voice
- It gives your business a voice with which to interact with, respond to and guide your customers.
- It gives you focus, allowing you to enter the market with a clear strategy and identity.
- Your identity can be as niche as you like, helping you to build authority and cut through the noise that competitors are making.
Need help defining your T.O.V.? Call Embryo Digital today on 0161 327 2635 and let’s get your voice heard.