Finding your brand voice isn’t something that you do once and then forget about. As new competitors and products come into the market, it’s crucial to stay aware of how your voice comes across to customers.
For example, many B2B companies create new voices for new products. But they don’t update their overall corporate voice to match where they want to go in the future.
Over time, inconsistencies in your brand voice can add up to a host of mixed messages, as Marketing and Sales are unsure of how to talk about your products and services. This lack of a consistent voice ultimately leaves customers confused about how you can help them.
You need to evolve your voice over time to keep pace with customer, industry and product changes.
Here are nine actionable steps that will help you rediscover your B2B brand voice:
Step 1: Review Your Brand Persona
Reach out to key stakeholders such as customers, subject matter experts, partners and employees to find out how they view your brand. Ask questions such as:
- If our company was a person, who would they be? Tell me about their personality traits.
- What is the tone you feel our company communicates?
- What do you think is the purpose of our company’s communications?
- What do you like about our company’s personality? Why?
- What do you dislike about our company’s personality? Why?
Take these answers and look for ways your brand is either resonating or miscommunicating with your audience. To do this, you can review a cross section of your content with a critical eye.
Compare your findings with current trends and dialogue in your industry. Also look at conversations between your competitors and potential customers to gain further insights.
Step 2. Establish the Defining Elements of Your Brand Voice
Now that you have the findings from your outreach, it’s time to answer some important questions that will help develop your brand’s voice:
- What are our company values?
- Why do we do what we do?
- What personality traits best define our company?
- Who is our target market?
- How do we want them to feel when they interact with us?
- How do we make our customers feel like heroes?
- What first impression do we want to make?
- What message are we communicating?
- What pain do we solve?
- How do we demonstrate our value and results?
- What status quo do we break?
- What makes us different?
- What unique story do we have to tell?
- What are we passionate about?
- What other brands resonate with us?
- What words do we like?
- What words do we dislike?
- What words describe the tone we will use?
- Do we speak formally or conversationally?
- If we could summarize our brand in one word what would it be?
Step 3. Create a Comparison of What Your Voice Is and Isn’t
Mailchimp has a fantastic style guide that is worth reading. One standout takeaway is their example of comparing what their voice is and what isn’t.
This is a valuable exercise to go through before developing your brand voice guide.
Create a brand voice that resonates with your buyers and sets you apart from the pack.
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Step 4. Create Your Brand Voice Guide
Summarize all of your answers in a concise guide for distribution throughout your organization. Whether you decide to add your voice guide to your brand bible or have it stand alone, create a document that is informative and engaging.
A style guide is a valuable tool that helps your writers, designers, and other content team members align your content with your brand. Your style guide can include:
- A description of your target audience and key personas
- Information on your content goals
- A description of your brand voice
- Notes on spelling and punctuation
- The name of the style manual that you follow, such as AP or Globe and Mail
- A list of items to include in your blog posts – such as author bios and pull quotes
- Links to your logo and other key design elements
Some great examples of Style Guides include:
Step 5. Just Because It’s B2B Doesn’t Mean It Has to Be Boring
B2B buyers are still people. They want to be informed, engaged and entertained. When you define your brand’s voice, make sure your communications:
- Are genuine
- Are concise – don’t overwhelm people with too many details or too much information
- Drop meaningless adjectives
- Use your customers’ language and tell their stories
- Have unique visuals – avoid stock photography whenever possible
With your revised brand voice in mind, go through your existing content and look for pieces that no longer serve your company. What do you need to revamp with your new tone?
Also be sure to give your new brand guide to your content creators so that they can incorporate your changes into future content.
3 Easy Ways to Apply This Information Now
1. Download The Ultimate B2B Brand Voice Guide and create a brand voice that resonates with your buyers and sets you apart from the pack.
2. Read “How to Scale Your B2B Content – Without Sacrificing Its Quality” for more tips that will help you get better content marketing results.
3. Click here to share this blog post on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.