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SEO 19 min read June 27, 2023

6-steps Guide to SEO-powered Brand's Voice [+Checklist and Examples]

6-step Guide to Crafting your SEO-powered Brand's Tone of Voice [+Checklist and Examples]
Kateryna Hordiienko
Kateryna Hordiienko
Research Editor at Serpstat

Creating an authentic tone of voice (ToV) is crucial for establishing a strong brand identity. It involves carefully selecting the words, imagery, and their arrangement across various content formats, such as emails, landing pages, ads, social media posts, blog posts, and more.

This comprehensive guide will take you through a step-by-step process to develop a tone of voice for your brand while considering SEO references. We also will explore wider concept of brand voice (personality of a brand) with its components.

What is a Brand Voice, and Why Does it Matter?

Brand voice is a brand's distinct personality and tone, consistently expressed across all communication channels. It encompasses the choice of language, brand words, and emotions conveyed through the brand's content. It goes beyond mere words and extends to the overall image and personality portrayed in the brand's marketing efforts.

Just like individuals have unique personalities, a brand's voice helps shape its identity and sets it apart from competitors. While visual elements play a significant role, the foundation of a good brand lies in developing and expressing a compelling voice through. A well-defined brand voice creates a cohesive and memorable customer experience, establishing a deeper connection.

Many brands respond proactively on social media that mention their brand name. According to an Ambassadors’ study, 71% of consumers expressed their likelihood to recommend a brand if they had an excellent experience with that brand on social media. 

Source: https://www.getambassador.com/blog 

results of the study "Ambassadors"

This finding underscores the significance of creating a positive and engaging presence on social media platforms. Adopting a conversational tone that fosters interaction and connection is recommended when communicating with your customers through social media.

Serpstat post

Why Do You Need to Define a Brand Voice

In the 1970s, psychologist Albert Mehrabian researched the significance of non-verbal communication, shedding light on its profound impact. His studies revealed that non-verbal cues play a more significant role than initially believed, mainly when conflicting messages are present. Mehrabian's findings led to the development of the "7 38 55 rule of Communication," demonstrating that only 7% of communication is conveyed through the literal content of the message. Voice-related elements, such as tone, intonation, and volume, contribute to 38% of communication, while 55% is attributed to body language. This rule continues to be widely referenced in the realm of communication today.

The tone of voice in digital marketing refers to how a brand conveys and engages with its audience during messaging and customer interactions. By maintaining a consistent ToV, brands can effectively communicate their personality, and messaging to their target audience. By consistently conveying your brand values through your tone, you build trust among interested parties who share similar values. According to statistics, up to 46% of US consumers trust certain brands and are willing to pay a higher price for those they deem trustworthy. 

A well-defined and authentic voice tone plays a crucial role in shaping a brand's identity, setting it apart from competitors, and establishing a connection with its audience. Here are a few more reasons why it is essential to define the brand using ToV:

1.Building trust and credibility. When your messaging resonates with customers emotionally, it fosters an emotional connection, humanizes the brand, and promotes relatability. A well-defined tone ensures clarity and coherence in messaging, making it easier for the audience to understand and engage. It leads to long-term relationships and repeats business as customers feel a stronger affinity for your brand.
2.Enhancing brand recognition. When your audience encounters content that reflects your brand voice, it reinforces brand recall and strengthens brand awareness. It increases the chances of your brand being top-of-mind when the customer makes purchasing decisions.
3.Expressing brand personality. Whether your brand is playful, professional, quirky, or authoritative, a consistent tone allows you to communicate and reinforce your examples of brand personality, making it more memorable.

Establishing your brand's tone is a crucial task that requires thoughtful analysis and evaluation. Being mindful of these aspects can help you maneuver the process more efficiently and guarantee that your brand's tone corresponds with your intended communication. 

What are the possible hurdles when revealing your brand's tone?

1.Audience understanding. Researching the preferences, values, and communication styles can help.
2.Consistency across channels. Ensuring that everyone involved in content creation and communication understands and embodies the defined tone is essential for consistent messaging.
3.Authenticity and adaptability. While maintaining a consistent tone, consider adapting it to suit different platforms and audiences without compromising your brand's authenticity. 

So, let's explore the key elements of your brand's tone and discover how to navigate this crucial aspect of your communication strategy successfully.

Understanding the Tone of Voice with Examples

Let's take a look at some brands that have effectively established their authentic ToV:

Apple. Known for its sleek and minimalist approach, Apple's tone of voice is focused on the user. Their communication style is simple, confident, and prioritizes clarity. An example of this can be seen in their iPod “silhouette” old ads, where the copy highlights the digital music revolution, the convenience of carrying thousands of songs in your pocket, and the widespread popularity of their product.

Apple

LEGO. Known for its imaginative and playful approach, LEGO's ToV captures the essence of creativity and joy that its products inspire. LEGO connects with children and adults through storytelling, engaging language, and a sense of wonder, encouraging them to unleash their inner builders and explore limitless possibilities.

LEGO

Patagonia. As an outdoor clothing and gear company, Patagonia's ToV is characterized by authenticity, passion, and a strong commitment to environmental consciousness. Through their communication, they effectively convey their sustainability and activism brand values. Patagonia uses informative and persuasive language to inspire its audience, encouraging them to participate actively in positively impacting the planet.

Patagonia

Nike. Nike's tone of voice is highly inspirational, motivational, and empowering. They effectively use strong and active language to ignite a sense of determination and drive within their customers. Nike's messaging encourages individuals to surpass their limits and achieve their goals. Their brand voice particularly resonates with athletes and sports enthusiasts, who find motivation and inspiration in Nike's campaigns.

Source: https://www.hypend.com/blog/most-memorable-sneaker-product-placements-in-90s-blockbuster-movies 

Nike

Some of Nike's iconic campaigns include:

The “Just Do It” campaign, launched in 1988, was a strategy to target Americans who wanted to improve their fitness level.

The “Just Do It” campaign, launched in 1988, was a strategy to target Americans who wanted to improve their fitness level.

The “You Can’t Stop Us”

The “You Can’t Stop Us”

The ad celebrating Tiger Woods’ victory

The ad celebrating Tiger Woods’ victory

Slack. Slack adopts a friendly and conversational tone of voice as a leading workplace communication tool. They prioritize creating a warm and approachable atmosphere, aiming to make their customers feel like they're engaging with a helpful colleague or a trusted friend rather than a distant corporation. Slack's messaging exudes a casual and relaxed vibe, often incorporating wit and personality to add a touch of charm to their communications.

Slack

IKEA. IKEA's ToV is practical, friendly, and inclusive, focusing on simplicity, functionality, and affordability. Their messaging offers straightforward instructions and helpful tips.

Inspired by their Swedish heritage and design philosophy, IKEA incorporates Scandinavian-inspired language, emphasizing clean lines and minimalism. Their attention to detail is evident in product descriptions and assembly instructions, ensuring a smooth customer experience.

Moreover, IKEA values sustainability and reflects this in its tone of voice. They promote recycling and energy conservation and highlight their efforts to minimize environmental impact. IKEA's communication aims to inspire customers to make conscious choices for a better future.

IKEA

Now that you understand better, let's delve into the various examples of brand voice. Your brand voice could fall into one of the following categories:

Funny vs. Serious
Funny vs. Serious
Casual vs. Formal
Casual vs. Formal
Irreverent vs. Respectful
Irreverent vs. Respectful
Enthusiastic vs. Matter of Fact
Enthusiastic vs. Matter of Fact

Choosing the right combination of these elements will help you create a unique and compelling brand voice that resonates with your target audience.

Exploring a ToV and Its SEO Benefits

According to John Allen, a prominent figure in search optimization, "SEO is the key to getting your brand voice heard." John emphasizes the crucial role of search engine optimization in amplifying your brand's message and reaching a wider audience. Collaboration between your SEO and marketing teams is key. SEO efforts will improve your website's search engine performance, aiming to secure a spot in the top positions on Google since most users don't venture beyond the first page of results.

Crafting catchy title tags that include primary keywords, keeping them concise, and creating enticing meta descriptions are essential strategies. Additionally, using attention-grabbing headlines and incorporating your brand voice throughout the main article copy helps engage readers and enhance brand perception and memorability. Including appealing images that align with your brand's personality and colors further boosts the user experience and SEO impact.

Developing a distinctive brand voice that appeals to customers and is optimized for search engines can be a game-changer. By maintaining an on-brand voice, you foster brand loyalty and ensure customers make the connection between your offerings and their positive experiences.

How to find your Brand's Voice (+Checklist)

Imagine a brand that focuses on fitness and wellness. Their personal tone of voice might be energetic, positive, and motivating, reflecting their core brand values of health and vitality. However, when they discuss topics like mental health or overcoming personal challenges, the tone may shift to a more compassionate and empathetic approach to connect with their audience on a deeper level.

In this example, the brand voice remains consistent, conveying the overall essence and character. Meanwhile, the tone adapts to the context, allowing the brand to resonate with its audience and address different topics with the appropriate emotional inflection.

Detailed checklist for detecting your authentic tone of voice.

Make a copy and follow the necessary elements to establish a compelling, SEO-friendly tone that sets your brand apart.

Get Your Copy!

Step 1. Researching Your Audience

Why is it important to research your target audience when defining your brand's tone? It is essential to understand who your audience is and what they expect from your brand.

This step requires a deep understanding of your target market, including their needs, preferences, pain points, and motivations. Additionally, it is essential to know how they search for information, the keywords they use, and the devices they use to access your content. You can use tools such as Google Analytics, Google Trends, Serpstat, and social media analytics to gain insights about your audience, which provide valuable data to inform your brand voice strategy.

Step 2: Competitors Analysis

Understand your competitors' online presence and tone of voice using the Serpstat Top Pages report and Domain analysis. Furthermore, examine the keywords that drive the most organic traffic to their sites. Analyze the content and structure of their website pages to understand what they are communicating. This approach allows you to discern the tone and messaging that resonate with your target market, enabling you to align your ToV accordingly.

Serpstat Top pagesSerpstat Organic keywordsOpenAI

Try Serpstat for free with our 7-day trial to unlock these powerful analytical features and optimize your online strategy.

This approach allows you to discern the tone and messaging that resonate with your target market, enabling you to align your tone of voice accordingly. 

Start analyzing!

Step 3: Defining Your Brand Persona

While the marketplace is saturated with many brand voices, it's important to note that many are merely variations of existing stereotypes. These personalities are influenced by brand archetypes, representing human character traits that align with your brand. Identifying the one best suits your brand will help shape your unique voice.

Source: https://iconicfox.com.au/brand-archetypes/

Brand Archetypes

Employing AI chat technologies like GPT can be immensely helpful in defining brand personas and identifying the ideal customer profile (ICP). With GPT's capabilities, you can simulate conversations and gather insights to create comprehensive buyer personas that capture the essence of your target audience. These personas, in turn, assist in shaping the appropriate brand voice that will resonate with your specific customer segments.

Source: LinkedIn 

Member Publication

Step 4: Aligning the Tone of Voice with SEO Strategy and Brand Messaging

To formalize your brand voice process, consider using a table format. In this table, document the 3-5 core characteristics you identified as significant for your brand's voice. Then, outline how your writers can effectively incorporate these traits.

Or create a table with three rows for each primary characteristic, accompanied by three columns: a brief description, does, and doesn't. If needed, include an additional row for secondary features that require further explanation. 

ToV Example, miramar-group.co.uk

ToV Example, miramar-group.co.uk

Step 5: Mission and Vision

To align your tone of voice with your SEO strategy, you should also define a clear mission. A brand message architecture serves as a framework that outlines your communication goals, typically consisting of a collection of terms, phrases, and statements. 

Tesla

Take time to study and assess your company's mission statement, identifying the fundamental values that define your brand.

This template is intended for use within the company:

At [Your Company Name], our goal is to [insert company goals] while providing consistent and engaging communication. We are dedicated to [describe how you plan to achieve your goals] while maintaining a consistent tone of voice throughout all our interactions.

Our target audience is [identify your target audience], and we strive to [mention what you want your company to be known for]. By using our [product/service/template], you can effortlessly convey a consistent tone of voice in your communications, ensuring a cohesive and memorable brand experience for your audience.

Step 6: Consistency in Brand Messaging

Here are some best practices to achieve this besides what we discussed in the 4th step:

How to Apply the Defined Tone of Voice to Various Brand Touchpoints?

The impact of brand consistency across all channels proves to drive substantial growth, with companies experiencing an average growth rate of 33%. When a brand maintains consistency in its messaging, visuals, and overall brand identity across different touchpoints, it fosters a sense of connection with its audience. Customers are more likely to engage and purchase from brands they perceive as authentic and with whom they feel a genuine connection.

Take the time to identify what sets your tone. What distinctive qualities or offerings does your brand possess? Then, consider how your brand voice can effectively communicate and amplify these strengths, making it stronger and more impactful. By aligning your brand voice with your unique value proposition, you can create a compelling and memorable identity.

Conclusion

To create a brand voice that truly represents your brand and resonates with your audience, remember to consider the following factors:

Use our 6 steps checklist to empower yourself to create your own tone of voice or run the rebranding process. The tone examples provided in this article will guide and inspire you. Good luck!

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