What Is Tone of Voice?

Tone of voice definition

The tone of voice is the reflection of your brand’s personality. What you say is important, but the way you say it will make an impact. After all, we are all aware of how different a message can come across depending on its wording.

Strangely enough, when it comes to marketing, the tone of voice is actually related to written content, not spoken words.

Social media posts, pages, blogs, every piece of content published in the name of a brand acts as a puzzle piece. Put together they create the expression of a company’s, values, background, and mission.

A tone of voice can be uplifting, ambitious, friendly, funny, or empowering. The possibilities are vast. However, while expression in itself is endless, a business’s voice has to be well defined. Why?

Because the way you deliver content will help you engage with your target audience in a way that creates connections and builds trust.

Why tone of voice is important?

So often we believe that emotional bonds can only appear in a human-to-human environment, but that’s not the case. Customers can also feel a strong connection towards a brand if they feel treasured, understood, and share the same values.

Take MailChimp, for example. The company’s tone of voice is informal, genuine, and always adds bits of dry humor to the table. They’re very precise about the way their brand should engage through content, as stated in their brand voice guidelines.

How to determine your brand’s tone of voice

Implementing a tone of voice guide is a brilliant idea because it will help you stay consistent. In the process of determining what suits your brand best, you should focus on four main points:

  • Values. Who is behind the brand? Why are you doing what you’re doing? Where is your business headed?
  • Vocabulary. What suits you better in terms of language? Formal or informal? How about technical terms or, perhaps, slang? Will these be included?
  • Grammar. Are you keen on sticking to tight rules? Or will you rebel with some double negatives at times?
  • Wording. It might seem simple, however, is ‘we offer this service because you might need it’ the same as ‘you might need this service, so we offer it’?
  • Humor. While it is part of many brands, you will have to decide if a humorous approach will suit your company as well. If it does, how will it be? Subtle, dry, or maybe outright?
  • Storytelling. A cohesive narrative that brings together both facts and emotions is the secret ingredient of every strong brand. Where does your tone of voice fit into this? Well, in order to exist, any story must first be told.
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