USING BRAND VOICE – FUNDAMENTALS OF DIGITAL MARKETING

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It is not just about content, it’s also about brand voice.

A well implemented SEO campaign will improve your website position on Google over time.

But this is becoming tougher as the Search Engines learn to differentiate good and bad pages.

But we think differently. We think about the brand. The best posts use a consistent voice to improve the brand and give the company a definitive position in the market.

It is easy in building a website to jump to conclusions. Let us highlight 3 very common mistakes business owners make in the construction of a new website:

Underestimating the competition

You have a homepage, an about page, and your product pages.

So it won’t be long before Google starts to put your products into the results for users, right?

It takes a lot of information to beat out the competition, it is a laborious process, and mistakes can cost position and visibility.

SEO is a real thing, not invented by agencies to sell, it really is important to get it right. Also, there are literally millions of websites to compete against. Never assume that yours is the best.

Machine translation

Websites with more than one language commonly install a translation plugin, which takes text in the native language and pastes it directly into the pages of other languages.

But there are so many details being overlooked. Culture, voice, language, nuances, swearwords, false friends, structure, composition. Translations are more than words in different languages. And though machines do things cheap and fast, they still don’t have the deeper ability to translate cleanly and coherently.

Voice

If you have more than one person creating content, it needs to be checked across the website by a key person who is fully aware of the brand guidelines.

The voice guidelines should illustrate the style of text, preferred words, and buyer personas to give the users a consistent experience of your brand across your website.

So if you are going to start to build content for your website, do it right form the start as it takes a huge effort to correct mistakes that have been made early on.

Define your Buyer Persona, create you brand voice guidelines, and think clearly about your messages and who is listening. This is the creative art of marketing that many people dismiss and follow the generic rules of discounts, offers and “early-birds”. Building a voice for your company is rewarding both for your team and for your bottom-line.

Use your existing content and rework it

Pulling together you existing resources is the best place to start. Work as a team and take a critical approach. This is how we go about researching content at X-Port, we love this process:

Yellow Post-Its

We print an ebook, a blog post, an email, and a newsletter in large letters and stick it to the wall. Yellow Post-Its are added to define the listener/reader. Who is the buyer, what are they interested in, do they match across the content?

Green Post-Its

Represent voice. Here we have a list of adjectives that describe the feel and style of the text. Is it reassuring, authoritative, sales-focussed? Again, is this tone reflected across the ecosystem, this is usually an area for improvement, and our consultancy usually results in a brand guide for the voice and the tone of our communications. If you want to see an example of this done well, take a look at Hubspot.

Pink Post-Its

For the message. What is the fundamental benefit of the message? Is it consistent? What is the company trying to achieve? Here we are looking at the overall benefit for the end user, and this can be very intangible, because as you climb the benefit pyramid you can reach messages that are unexpected. Dometic (travel goods) is a good case study. Their products are storage cabinets for yachts and caravans, their features are small, cute, and well designed, their benefits range from “travel more, be free”, to “be a better dad”. Check out their website if you want to see a great example of consistent brand voice.

Once we have this analysis we can develop a consistent voice. This means selecting three adjectives that will be used across all communications.

 

Steadfast

Integral

Knowledgeable

Lively

Witty

Jokey

Serious

Intense

Proper

The next step is to develop messages that incorporate these words and relate to the product and the user.

This is the area in which meetings will take place to really nail down what the brand and the company is about. It is at this time that core messages will be created, these should be set for an annual duration.

It is easy to move quickly and drop messages you don’t think are working, but let the analytics do their work. If you don’t measure things, you don’t really ever know if they work or don’t work. Be patient.

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USING BRAND VOICE – FUNDAMENTALS OF DIGITAL MARKETING