Have the conviction to write the way your brand speaks

By Daisy Atkinson | 01 Mar 2016

A lot of brands have strong ideas about their voice, but this never seems to trickle down to their blog and campaign content, which is the perfect platform to show it off.

If a brand wants to convey a character through their voice it needs to be at the heart of every piece of content they provide. This means developing a written voice that's full of the character they want to be known for.

Writing with character is such a rare treat for copywriters because too often brands opt for a generic tone of voice, or worse, simply offer the occasional smattering of character. This happens when a brand doesn't really know how to project its voice and instead, ends up referencing it in an obvious or clunky way. Copy will declare 'we're the zen masters of interior décor' without actually sounding like one throughout the content. By writing in this way, the copy actually confuses people, and worse, causes them to distrust the 'voice'.

Use the strength of your brand voice to reach people

Thought leadership content offers the perfect opportunity to project a particular tone of voice. More than just demonstrating vast or complex knowledge, thought leadership content should be written in an individualistic way that engages and convinces the reader to come back to them alone for content - whether it's for fact, opinion or entertainment.

A brand with a strong and consistent voice that's interesting and engaging enough for a reader will encourage them to return. In the same way that we might like reading a particular author or a column by the same journalist, audiences are captivated by the way a certain person tells their story. If a brand builds a regular voice that people want to listen to, they'll come back.

Address the concerns the brand is likely to have

When convincing brands to let you help them build their voice, you'll likely run into a few roadblocks.

We already have a voice: Brands may have a voice but often their material doesn't portray it strongly enough. Brands need to work with, and put more trust in, copywriters and content specialists to produce the voice of their content. Brands pay copywriters to represent them in writing, so they should make that time their own and ensure their voice is explicit throughout the copy. This will also help them to avoid sounding like every other brand with a similar product focus.

We don't want to alienate people: Don't be afraid to be bold, humorous or different; worrying that certain people might not like your particular voice isn't going to serve you well. Creating a tone of voice for your brand is a way to turn your faceless company into something that resonates, and to do that you need to impart a unique personality. Whilst a distinctive voice full of colloquialisms might not be to everyone's taste, nor will copy that is jargon heavy and boring. What's important for brands is to be true to the voice they have for the people that read them, rather than diluting their voice for those that might not.