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tone of voice in marketing

Bringing Together “Tone of Voice” and “Marketing”: Connecting the Dot

“Don’t use that tone for me!”

Do you remember hearing this as a child? If you didn’t, at least you know how tone influences spoken communication. You might lose the meaning of what you’re saying if you do not strike the right tone of voice.

Look no further if you have ever been curious about how you can use tone of voice to convey your message. This article explains more about tone of voice, brand voice, and how to use them.

Importance of Tone and Voice in Establishing a Brand

The voice of your content must remain consistent throughout. Content can instantly be identified as yours, no matter when it is seen or on what platform it is viewed. A company’s voice also communicates its unique values and personality. Making content immediately identifiable as yours is how you do it. One of the first step to having a defined brand is to have a defined brand voice.

Tone isn’t as consistent as voice, which should remain constant. When announcing new developments in your industry, you’re enthusiastic, but more somber when delivering serious news. The tone of your voice gives it character and keeps it interesting. You may offer a sense of humor that can be good-natured, goofy, cheeky, witty, wry, or sarcastic at different times.

A brand must be heard clearly in order to build meaningful connections. It’s a given that communication is key. By creating a dialogue between you and your audience, you can help them understand and know your brand voice and tone.  Understanding your voice of customer definition can be the key that unlocks great sales possibilities. If customers ask you, “what is your brand”, one of the best places they are likely to search for answer is in your content.

Business leaders can use it to express their brands’ unique personality and to build relationships seamlessly with their audiences. Choosing your brand’s voice and tone is crucial when it comes to presenting your brand. The way customers are addressed and spoken to, particularly during the introduction process, dramatically impacts the entire perception of a company. Here are a few thoughts on how to establish a brand tone and voice, along with how to successfully execute them.

What is Tone of Voice in Communication

If you have been wondering about tone of voice meaning, you’ve come to the right place. A tone of voice is how you convey the personality of your business verbally and in writing. The most important thing is not what you say, but how you say it and how it affects everyone in your audience who reads or hears you. So, understanding how to define pitch, tone, and voice is key in communication.

Take a moment to consider this. We each have our own way of expressing ourselves, as unique as our faces or fingerprints. Many express themselves with kindness and politeness. There are others who are aggressive and pushy. Many express a lot in a few words. Yet others are never able to connect the dots. The same goes for companies. If you have asked yourself, “What is my brand?”, identifying your tone of voice can bring you much closer to a concrete answer. Here are some tone of voice guidelines to help you get the right voice for your brand.

Examples of Tone of Voice in Advertising

When it comes to establishing a brand or creating a brand description, there are different tone of voices that can be adopted.

Here are the different types of voice tones.

1. Formal vs. Casual

The level of formality you choose is important because it has such a big impact on how your brand is perceived by customers. You may appear more authoritative if you use very formal language, but you may also come across as impersonal. Formal define authority and seriousness.

By contrast, casual language is more likely to convey personality and friendliness, but being too casual in the wrong situation could reflect inexperience or inexperienced behavior.

According to surveys, 65% of customers prefer a casual tone when interacting with support staff. In addition, Jay Ivey, an analyst at Software Advice, says 78% of customers would be dissatisfied if they were ignored in a casual tone. Compared to that, only 35% said it affected their satisfaction if a request was approved in a formal tone. In specific contexts, researchers attribute this to casual attitudes perceived as condescending or insensitive. Your brand is defined by your voice of customer framework.

2. Funny vs. Serious

Another tone of voice example is the funny voice. You can stand out from competitors by using humor to boost memory recall and gain more shares, as long as your audience finds you funny. Humor in brand communication is, however, always at risk of backfiring. When used unwisely, it could alienate your users, give the impression of a lack of seriousness, and in the end, make you look unprofessional.

Building credibility and fostering trust is easier when the tone is more serious. However, serious language may appear lacking in personality and emotions, and may even seem tense. Consider that a funny tone may not work for all companies, but that humor shouldn’t hinder your ability to communicate with your audience.

3. Respectful vs. Irreverent

A respectful tone creates a sense of friendliness and cordiality. It is important to be respectful, but if your tone is overly respectful, particularly at incorrect times, it may seem as if you are trying to ingratiate yourself with the reader. Understanding your voice of customer meaning would help you know if this is the right voice for your brand.

By being irreverent, you make your brand seem confident and authoritative, as well as giving it an edge over your competitors. A reader can however be intimidated or offended by irreverent language. You should define irreverent as a confident approach to content marketing.

4. Enthusiastic vs. Matter-of-Fact

Voice tones in writing can also be enthusiastic or matter-of-fact. In an enthusiastic tone, you convey friendliness and helpfulness, but at the wrong time, you may tire or irritate readers. You need to define enthusisatic as a customer-friendly approach before you can make the most of it in your content.

Simple, factual language conveys honesty and simplicity. Poor execution, however, may make it appear indifferent or lacking in personality.

Why you Should Implement Tone of Voice

We have discussed the types of voice tones above. Now, you might be asking how does tone of voice affect your brand and why should you care? Let’s take a look at a few reasons:

1. It Makes You Human

People enjoy interacting with each other. It is therefore important for brands to have a personality that customers can relate to. B2B buyers are not always assumed to be rational. However, businesspeople are people too, you know. Given the choice, they will select the firm that connects with their emotional state, even if they have more priorities and stakeholders to consider.

Today, B2B values are more aligned with honesty, openness, and authenticity – values traditionally associated with B2C. The emotional truth behind a brand or an offer is just as important as the rational benefits to buyers of all types.

2. Makes it easier to cut through

With the rise of content marketing, more and more firms produce content – but little of it has a clear voice. The best way to connect with your audience is to have an identifiable brand voice. If you remove your logo from your website or social media account, you want your tone to be immediately recognizable and not to sound exactly like your competitors’.

3. It gives authority

Try to recall a TED talk or conference presentation that stood out to you. Was the speaker reciting dull facts in a monotone voice, displaying a complete lack of movement? Or did they fill the stage with their passion, being lively, funny, and memorable? A person’s tone of voice can convey a great deal of authority and belief. The way you say something shows you believe in it, so it has real value.

4. It Improves Your Focus

Developing your company’s identity through a tone of voice can be a valuable exercise. Everything needs to be distilled down into something simple and clear that anyone can understand. By doing so, clutter and confusion are reduced. This technique is often referred to as voice marketing.

Even setting strategic direction can be helped by your tone. Companies have to decide their brand personality as markets become more crowded and competitive. As opposed to trying to be all things to all people, they are embracing niche appeals to focus on the right audience.

How to Set the Tone for Your Content

Knowing your audience and choosing the right language to reach them is the first step in finding your tone of voice. As you create content and communicate with your readers, you should keep your brand values in mind.

By defining these elements, you can establish tone of voice guidelines that your company can rely on when developing communications for your brand. Team members become more familiar with the brand’s tone as they become more familiar with the guidelines. This makes it easier for them to create content that aligns with the brand’s vision.

Final Thoughts

As a brand, you should be able to make your readers feel the sadness, or the frustration, or the joy, or the excitement you feel as you adopt a different voice and tone in writing.

Content marketing is at its best when you can engage your readers with the right voice emotionally. The best tone for most business messages is one that can spark emotion and action.

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Frequently asked questions


What are examples of tone of voice?

The tone of voice can be formal, informal, humorous, optimistic, serious, cheerful, motivating, respectful, enthusiastic, or even assertive. Businesses choose a tone of voice that best resonates with their target audience and conveys the brand personality.

What is brand voice and tone of voice?

Brand voice is your brand’s overall personality; it is your brand’s unique perspective and the values you stand for. Brand tone of voice is how you express your brand voice to your audience, and it includes word choices, style, and emotional tone.

What is the difference between voice and tone?

Brand voice is an extension of the brand’s personality; it is the reflection of the values and goals the brand stands for. The tone of voice is how the brand expresses that personality. Unlike brand voice, the tone of voice can change depending on the situation.

Is the tone of voice part of a style guide?

Yes, tone of voice should be a key part of a style guide. A proper tone of voice helps communicate brand personality and connect with prospects better.

How do I create a tone of voice for my company?

To create a tone of voice for your company, identify your brand personality and values, research your audience, and pay attention to your customers’ language. Once you understand your customers, identify the tone of voice that resonates with your audience and conveys the brand personality.

Why is tone of voice so important in social media marketing?

In social media marketing, an excellent tone of voice helps brands connect with the audience in an endearing way. The tone of voice affects how people perceive a brand. When the tone resonates with the audience, it develops an emotional connection with the brand.