Set The Tone For 2021: Why TOV Matters In Content

The phrase, ‘’New Year, New Me’’ gets thrown around a lot this time of the year, and though it usually pertains to diet goals, reduced alcohol consumption and better budgeting, it can also refer to our state of mind, our want to do better by the people in our lives, and the desire to only put out positivity into the world, rather than cynicism. I’d say considering 2020, positivity is the only way forward. We can choose to let the world around us get us down, or we can be hopeful, take positive action and change our perception for the better. Having a positive attitude can reach every aspect of our lives, and the lives of others, and this can be shown through our communication, and our actions. If you think about it, whenever a person visits a website, they are getting a feel for who the company is, what they stand for, and the brand’s personality. Companies that spark excitement, encourage conversation and talk in relatable ways are far more likely to experience positive feedback and repeat business. So with that in mind, this blog will look at how to create a positive tone of voice (TOV) that speaks to your audience, and sets the stage for positive results for your business.

Why Tone Of Voice (TOV) Matters In Content – Trust & Relatability

When it comes to writing content, your TOV matters for various reasons, including:

How To Create Your Brand’s Tone of Voice

When it comes to creating your tone of voice, it all starts with understanding who your audience is, and choosing the right language to appeal to them. Then you need to determine the brand’s values that you should keep in mind when creating future content. With these elements defined, you can establish clear tone of voice guidelines to ensure that the tone comes through in every communication your brand sends out – whether that’s social media posts, blogs, articles or email newsletters, for example. As team members become more familiar with the guidelines and how to use the brand’s preferred tone, it becomes easier to create new content that falls in line with this, for consistent and effective communication.

Getting To Know Your Audience

A report by Econsultancy and IBM suggested that 56% of consumers felt most brands’ communication was irrelevant. To understand how to approach them and deliver relevant messages, you have to research your audience and adapt your content to meet their needs.

If you’re into buyer personas, you could use Google Analytics and social networks analytics data – such as age, interests, education, job title – to help identify the tone of voice you could be using. For example, if you’re looking to target business professionals in the law industry, researching into their interests could help to identify topics for blogs, articles and whitepapers, and competitor research could help identify a TOV that you can emulate. If you’re looking to target a young audience for example, you may opt for an informal, fun and friendly tone.

Another great way to determine your TOV – is to discover how your audience talk and interact with each other. Watch how your audience communicates with each other, what they like and dislike in discussion threads, what the overall tone of discussions is, and what language people use, to help you create the most popular content.

Studies suggest that emulating or mirroring the vocabulary of a particular group allows people to feel a sense of belonging. Mirroring your audience’s language will make your content pieces more relatable and bring your brand closer to them.

Communicating Brand Values

To define your core values, try answering these questions:

  • Why was the company set up?
  • What makes your brand unique?
  • What do you stand for as a brand?
  • What values do you want to share with your audience?


Then, you should answer the following questions:

  • Who are we as a company?
  • Who would we like to be?
  • Who do we not want to be?

Consider language and tones that align with the second question, and how you can portray this with your content.

It may be worth going through old blogs, articles and website content to check that all content aligns with ‘who you would like to be’. A refresh, update or rewrite may be required.


Defining Your Brand’s TOV

Now comes the fun part. With all of this prior information to hand, you get to choose the actual tone of your content. Do you want it to be funny, lighthearted, and friendly? Perhaps professional, serious and formal is more your thing? Whatever you decide, it’s important that it aligns with your brand, your values and how you want to be perceived by your audience. One of my favourite strategy documents that we do here at Embryo is the TOV document. By researching into competitors and condensing this down into adjectives that describe their TOV, we can build upon this for our clients’ success.


Your brand’s TOV sets the stage for your company’s communication, expressing your brand’s personality and set of values. It’s the foundation of your marketing strategy, and should be adhered to at all times. If you’d like to learn more about creating your own TOV, I encourage you to get in touch with Embryo today on 0161 327 2635 to learn more. 


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