How to Maintain Brand Voice Consistency in Your Content Marketing
Content marketing crosses multiple channels. You’ve got social media, your company’s blog, its website, email, and many others. Each of those channels has specific requirements for your content. For instance, tweets must be ultra-brief. Blog posts should be a bit more personal or casual than other content. Facebook, emails, whitepapers – they all have their unique format and tone. However, one thing that should never change from channel to channel is your brand voice. Use the tips below to help maintain a consistent brand voice in all your content marketing efforts.
First, you need to define it. You can’t maintain the same voice if you’re not sure what it is in the first place. Sit down and figure it out before you do anything else. Not sure how to define something so ephemeral? Start with a storyboard that sets out things like your brand’s characteristics, beliefs, and ethics. Then, translate those into a persona, similar to the buyer personas that you use to target your marketing content.
Content creation should be flexible, but you still need some guidelines to ensure that your brand voice isn’t diluted. Any employee or team that communicates with clients or customers should be provided with these guidelines. What should they cover, though? Think about language style – are your customers highly educated, or do they keep things simple? How do you refer to yourself (the company) within content? Is it “we” or is it always by the brand name in third person? What about using contractions or buzzwords? Define usage guidelines so that your teams and employees can maintain the company voice at all times.
Know the Touchpoints
To maintain consistency, you’ll need to plan how you’ll respond to various touchpoints. Some of the more common touchpoints today include social media, chat, blog comments, comments on YouTube videos, email, support messages, Facebook Messenger, and even by phone. You don’t necessarily need to follow a rigid script in all areas, but having a roughed out response outline can help maintain consistency.
There are some great examples of brand voice out there. It can be tempting to mimic them. Don’t do it. Create and then maintain your brand voice. Following the crowd isn’t going to make you stand out. Rather, it’s going to make you look less genuine and honest. You should be striving for authenticity here.
Vary Your Tone
While your voice should be consistent across channels and content types, you can and should vary your tone. Think of voice as what defines your brand, and tone as the flavour of the conversation. Add a touch of snark if the situation demands. Humour is great, too. Just make sure that the tone is appropriate to the channel and situation, and that it does not go against your brand’s defined persona.
Check Problem Areas
While a portion of any channel can become an issue, there are a few areas that suffer from inconsistency more than others. For instance, calls to action (CTAs), particularly within social media content, should be consistent at all times. Direct messages should also adhere to your guidelines very carefully. There’s little room for tone and style deviation when communicating privately with a customer. Other areas to check for consistency include image captions, visual content of all types, and even the bios of your staff.
When it’s all said and done, maintaining a consistent brand voice across all content marketing channels can be very challenging. It requires you to sit down and define your company’s persona, determine how you should act and interact with the public, and more. If you’re struggling to connect the dots here, we can help. Contact Emarkable today to schedule a consultation.