Copywriting with the Right Tone of Voice
Posted on 21st July 2021 at 12:15
When it comes to copywriting, there’s what you say and then there’s also how you say it. Tone of voice concerns the latter, flowing through everything you type and injecting some much-needed vitality into your words.
Getting your tone of voice spot-on will allow you to express the personality of your brand, show what sets you apart from the crowd, and keep readers engaged and interested.
Setting the tone – why bother?
Copywriting with a clear tone of voice creates a positive first impression and solidifies your branding. Whether you’re a fun and outspoken start-up business or a straightforward and professional firm, when the tone is well suited to your audience and consistent across all channels, readers start to envisage what the experience of working with you might look like.
Trying to broadly write for everyone just… doesn’t work. It’ll make your content seem dry. By adopting a suitable tone of voice, you’re breathing life into the text and ensuring that it’s your ideal customer’s cup of tea.
B2B writing is often guilty of lacking tone but always remember that, despite their mathematical prowess, even accountants aren’t robots. Ultimately, by utilising tone of voice, you can stimulate an emotional response, which in turn inspires human decision making.
Finding the right tone of voice
A neat little exercise is to imagine your brand as a person and ask yourself what they’d be like. Highly professional and authoritative? Chatty, chirpy and informal? These traits should align with your values and not be made up on the spot.
You also need to assess your ideal customer persona. Are they casual and conversational enthusiasts, project managers looking for a solution, or complete newcomers? Knowing your audience helps you to further determine the tone you should be employing.
That’s not to say if your ideal customer is, say, a technical director, you have to completely rein in your personality. After all, they’ll always be bombarded with shedloads of formal documentation, so why not brighten up their day with a bit of cheerful copy?
If you’re still struggling, read some popular material in your field and see what kind of vibe others in the industry have adopted, then make it your own. Alternatively, by engaging in a customer survey, you can ask people how they’d describe your brand and pick up valuable insight on how you should be talking.
Putting your tone of voice to work
Arguably the most important bit of advice here is to use your chosen tone of voice consistently. Chopping and changing only makes your brand look unorganised. Tone might alter slightly based on the medium or the stage at which a customer is in their journey, but not to a noticeable extreme.
Secondly, use your tone to inform your language and grammar. Chatty slang words probably aren’t the best for science-based content aimed at chemical engineers, but they’d be hunky-dory for readers hunting for a fun, creative digital marketing agency. Ahem.
Another tip is to write like you’re speaking to a human. Use active language and express yourself, but don’t force the tone, and certainly don’t feel the need to make every inch of text completely tonal – just give it a generous sprinkling to let your brand personality shine through.
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