Finding the Right Brand Tone of Voice for Different Audiences

Let’s play a game of “would you rather”.

Would you rather: Interact with a company that makes it feel like you’re talking with a friend or one that’s so formal it sounds like it’s run by robots plotting world domination?

brand tone of voice - Star Trek GIF
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Ok; we’ll admit that the latter actually sounds like a cool concept in a sci-fi movie, apocalypse sort of way.

But, that doesn’t mean it makes for a good content marketing strategy.

The most successful tone of voice in advertising content makes audiences feel something.

Brands that find ways to connect with their audience members and tell an authentic story are more likely to achieve their goals.

Use the right brand tone, and your success comes regardless of whether you’re promoting B2B or B2C products.

But, it’s not like every successful company publishes the same advertisements.

You have a unique target audience and product that will influence your content marketing strategy.

What successful organizations all share, though, is a strong brand tone of voice.

If you want to create unique copy and engage customers, you first need to define your brand voice.

After all, you don’t want customers to be thinking this:

brand tone of voice - tone GIF
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Why Brand Voice In Advertising Matters

Establishing a brand tone that resonates with your target audience can elicit certain emotions.

Considering purchasing decisions are influenced by how customers feel, creating these feelings through content marketing can contribute directly to increased sales.

However, having a distinct brand tone of voice is essential for reasons that go beyond boosting your ROI.

It’s also a way for companies within the same vertical to distinguish themselves and forge deeper connections with customers.

If you’re wondering how to find your target audience, establishing a unique personality will help.

With a clear brand tone, you’ll find yourself attracting an audience that’s interested in what you have to say.

Also, your company will be putting forward a distinct point of view that can help define the brand identity and boost customer loyalty.

Establishing a Brand Tone of Voice

A brand voice is one of the most important parts of defining yourself as a company.

Plus, remaining consistent with how you speak and interact with your target audience is a great way to keep them coming back.

brand tone of voice - brand voice checklist
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Try to imagine what your company would sound like if it could talk.

Would it have a dry sense of humor or would it strive to be open and engaging?

What are its core values and beliefs?

What kinds of goods or services do you produce? Are you looking to sell B2B or B2C?

Considering these questions will help you in the pursuit of developing your unique brand tone of voice.

Once your brand has its own personality, it’s a great way to ensure you stay on track with your entire content marketing strategy.

Brand Voice for B2B Audiences

The tone of voice for B2B advertising is typically viewed as boring, unexciting, and predictable.

Many B2B companies fear being seen as unprofessional and unreliable if they stray towards less formal copy.

That’s the main reason that B2B copy carries the reputation it does.

However, depending on your target audience and type of product you carry, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Here are some examples of B2B brands with a tone of voice that don’t take themselves too seriously.

brand tone of voice - MailChimp ad #1
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MailChimp Gets Creative

MailChimp is a great example of a B2B company that still has fun with their content marketing.

They don’t just share information about their platform.

Instead, they inject doses of liveliness throughout their feed via copy.

By incorporating this brand tone with diverse types of content, they seek to engage their target audience beyond encouraging readers to sign up for their service.

With personal images, MailChimp manages to show off their company values.

Just take a look at the ad above: The cat is even wearing the MailChimp mascot on its head.

The company likes to have fun, but it also like to help people succeed with email marketing.

brand tone of voice - MailChimp ad #2
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This is the brand story they tell through their tone of voice and ad creative.

By including topical and dynamic content throughout their feed, MailChimp achieves the perfect balance between professional and approachable.

brand tone of voice - Slack ad #1
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Slack is Part of the Team

Slack is a collaborative tool that allows coworkers to collaborate through a fun and intuitive interface.

The platform recently passed 6 million daily users, proving that it’s an integral part to many business’ daily function.

Plus, with 55% of its users based outside of the US, it’s a great way for remote teams to keep in touch.

brand tone of voice - Slack ad #2
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Slack does a great job promoting itself online through a winning content marketing strategy.

The company provides fun, productive environments for collaboration – and that’s reflected in their brand voice.

Their target audience is varied but intended for professional use, and so Slack comes across that friendly coworker anyone can love.

A B2B company has to strike the perfect brand tone between friendly and professional while still being informative.

If your copy is too robotic, it will likely turn people away from your products.

However, if it’s too casual or feels inauthentic, it could have the same effect.

Discovering and maintaining a trademark tone of voice in advertising will allow you to find a happy medium and help you figure out how to find your target audience.

brand tone of voice - Office GIF
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Brand Voice for B2C Audiences

Advertisers usually have a bit more freedom when it comes to B2C content marketing.

Since they’re selling directly to clients, tone of voice in advertising can often take on a more emotional, informal approach that puts the customer at ease.

Some brands choose to communicate with customers like they’re a friend, while others just like to have fun.

But, when creating B2C advertisements, it’s essential to adjust your brand tone to your target audience.

You don’t want to be publishing and sharing content that’s completely off-base.

brand tone of voice

B2C Considerations

When it comes to making copy for a B2C brand, it’s essential to understand your audience.

First, consider how best to find your target audience.

Then, ask yourself the following:

  • What do they feel passionate about?
  • Do they like a more personal connection?
  • What is their age and gender?

It’s also important to get to the point.

In B2C advertising, the point is to sell your product each time a customer sees your ad.

brand tone of voice - McDonald's

McDonalds Appeals to the Appetite

As of 2017, there were 37,241 McDonald’s around the world.

Additionally, the golden arches are one of the most easily recognizable logos.

Besides being affordable and fast, how do they advertise their products?

The answer: Through attractive images and a snappy, to-the-point brand tone of voice.

Consider the McDonalds advertisement above.

The goal of this ad is to get people to go to a McDonald’s and buy a hamburger.

The copy gets straight to the point, so there’s no way viewers will misconstrue what the ad is trying to get them to do.

brand tone of voice - Milk Makeup #1
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Milk Makeup Can Hang

Internet favorite brand Milk Makeup has an extremely clear tone of voice.

Their clients are typically millennials or part of Generation Z, and Milk Makeup capitalizes on internet trends and pop culture without going over the top.

As founder Zanna Roberts Rassi explains, “We never want to be too cool, because then you’re alienating….You want it to read like your friend talking to you….Because we’re a utilitarian brand, our voice should be utilitarian….”

This clear point of view and understanding of the brand comes through strongly in their marketing copy.

It’s particularly clear in their email marketing strategy.

Take a look at the tone of voice in their abandoned cart emails:

brand tone of voice - Milk Makeup abandoned cart

The brand tone of voice shines through clearly.

They’re still enticing you to make a purchase.

But, Milk manages to avoid being overly aggressive and instead comes off like a friend giving you a casual reminder.

brand tone of voice - Milk Makeup #2

Their sales emails are equally effective.

The brand tone of voice remains low key and helps to make their customers feel comfortable.

With colorful graphics that back their relatable and often humorous copy, Milk manages to fit right in with their target audience.

It’s clear to see how different brands cater to different audiences through their content marketing campaigns.

Find your target audience and you’ll be able to uncover your brand tone of voice – no matter what your industry is.

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