Content marketing is no longer a side venture for businesses of all sizes. In today’s marketplace, communicating messages through owned channels like blogs and social media empowers brands to reach wider audiences and engage them on a personal level. Therefore, identifying a unified voice for your content can ensure a consistent experience across all platforms and touch points.
But to begin, let’s define what it means to have your own voice. According to Distilled, an international strategic search marketing agency, “Tone of voice is not just what you say, but how you say it, i.e. your particular choice of words, phrases and grammar.”
Finding your content voice is like experiencing the body of your morning coffee. So is it pleasing to the senses? Are the layers of messaging that you want to communicate included? Will it resonate with your audience? Does it provide a consistent experience?
Answering these questions will turn your business into a brand with purpose.
Here are a few simple steps that will make the voice for your content messages as fine tuned as your favorite neighborhood coffeehouse.
Define Your Story
The first step is to define your organization’s mission and goals. Describe what sets you apart from your competition and the story you want to share with your customers.
Begin by expressing these values in writing with your individual customer in mind. Furthermore, list out their wants and needs aligned with what you want to accomplish. Understanding what your customer wants from your business is crucial to achieving success.
Your story should reflect all that you know about your customer, and should be written in a style that gives your business personality. Writing in an active tense using text that is easy to digest will resonate best with your customer.
Crown Your Chief Storyteller
Identifying who should lead your content campaign is the next critical step. Hence, the chief storyteller ensures quality control across all communication channels and message consistency within collaborative environments.
“Content marketing requires foot soldiers, so it is imperative that you determine who will be the front-line person of the program,” according to Social Media Specialist Adel de Meyer.
Of course, this by no means signals that you are handing over the keys to the kingdom. Processes and messages are adjustable. However, having a clearly defined gatekeeper can limit customer disillusionment and increase sales leads.
Create Your Style Guide
Consistency is the foundation of any content marketing plan. The style guide unifies your brand across all forms of media and content platforms. For example, it should include terminology, writing style, font choices, color palate, design and most importantly, a consistent call to action.
Each touch point should take your customer further along their journey. Therefore, a guide that reflects the look and feel and written style of your content across all platforms and media types will go a long way towards success.
Listen to Your Audience
Succeeding in content, much like roasting coffee, takes relentless attention to detail. Each video, image, blog and social media update reinforces your brand. So, pay close attention to your audience interactions and behaviors. Barometers of your success include post engagements, organic reach and website conversions.
As a result, your voice should be adaptable to changing audience behaviors, as media platforms evolve and new trends emerge. No brand has ever succeeded by shouting into the wind. If you know of one, please share.
Your voice is an expression of who you are as a business. As you get to know your audience, you can further fine-tune content to create awareness for your brand, and to convert that awareness into sales.
Stay tuned as I continue to break down the concepts of integrating your messaging in the coming weeks.
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