SEO Copywriting: What Does ‘Tone of Voice’ Really Mean?

24 Jun, 2021 SEO Copywriting: What Does ‘Tone of Voice’ Really Mean?

Your brands tone of voice is one of its most distinguishing characteristics. It is what provides you with the opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors and engage your target audience.

Drab, monotone and robotic content that lacks personality is a drag to read.  Presented in the right tone of voice, the same content can be far more engaging and inspiring.

Consequently, around two thirds (65%) of consumers say that the tone of voice a company uses is important for establishing an emotional connection.  Appealing to a target audience is not just about speaking their language – it is also about speaking it the right way.

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How to Identify Your Brand’s Tone of Voice

Consistency and authenticity hold the key to successful audience engagement; your tone of voice needs to be true to your brand, relevant to your niche and consistent across all communications without exception.

Other than this, there are four major steps that need to be taken to identify your brands ideal tone of voice:

1.  Carefully Consider the Four Dimensions

This is an important starting point to build from, where you will decide on the foundation for your tone of voice.

There are four main dimensions to consider, as follows:

  • Respectful vs. irreverent.
  • Funny vs. serious.
  • Enthusiastic vs. matter-of-fact
  • Formal vs. casual.

Never forget that you do not have to limit yourself to just one of these dimensions, a combination of two or more can be helpful in building a unique and engaging tone of voice.

2.  Seek Inspiration from Elsewhere

Ripping off ideas from your competitors is never a good idea, instead check out how your most successful rivals are engaging and appealing to their

Take inspiration from the most established names in your niche, focusing on the kind of language they use when communicating with their customers. This will give you a good idea of what your target audience expects and how to give it to them.

3.  Get Your Brand Standards in Order

You can be as meticulous or ambiguous as you like, but certain brand standards should be established from an early stage. This could include things like rules on sentence structure and paragraph length, the vocabulary that is permitted or otherwise, rules for punctuation consistency and so on.

It should never get to the point where creating content becomes a challenge, due to too many rules and restrictions. Instead, you should be looking to set a few basic parameters in place to ensure consistency.

4. Write for Your Readers

Nothing matters more than writing for your readers and only your readers. Under no circumstances should your tone of voice ever take a backseat to your SEO goals. Nor should you write in a way that works for you, but might not be as well received by your readers.

Every word you write should prioritize your readers and only your readers. The same also applies to the rest of the media you present and your pages – images, video clips, infographics and so on.

Remember that just because something is trending at the time, it does not mean it is right for your target audience.