Whether you’re new to blogging for business, or you’re looking to up the ante on your business blog in the New Year, finding your ‘brand voice’ is an important part of cultivating a blog that puts your best foot forward.
Blogs are generally considered a more informal space – particularly in contrast with other promotional and marketing collateral such as your business brochures and more permanent web copy. When you’re blogging for business, however, walking the fine line between conversational and professional can be tricky to master.
Why is brand voice important?
Determining and delivering a brand voice that best represents your organization is an important part of business blogging. Your brand voice can convey a great deal about your business, and keeping it consistent across all of your blog posts will help your readers and customers get a good feel for who your business is, and what you represent.
Brand voice encompasses language, tone and style, and can vary greatly between businesses. While cute and quirky may work well for a business blog based in a creative industry, that tone and style can work against a corporate business blogging about serious issues. Striking the right balance is easy when you consider a few essential brand voice must-knows.
Understand your audience
Your blog audience is your ideal customer, so you will likely already have a very good understanding of who this person is. Having a solid understanding of your target market will guide you in knowing what tone will best resonate with them.
Does your business cater to fashionistas in their early 20s? Being conversational and colloquial will work well in connecting with this type of readership – so the occasional ‘OMG’ is probably acceptable. If, however, your business specializes in financial advice for corporate decision makers, the tone you use is going to be conversational, but still very professional. You’ll want to retain an authoritative voice to earn their respect… so ‘LOL’s are definitely a no-go.
What is your blog’s purpose?
Do you want to create brand awareness among prospective customers? Foster loyalty among existing customers? Convert fans into sales? Add value? Teach? Inspire? Entertain?
Considering the primary objective of your blog, and then ask yourself how you might best engage readers to meet that objective. Like social media, your blog is about creating conversations with your readers. Your reason for talking to people will significantly direct how you talk with those people. A brand voice geared towards entertainment will be quite different to a brand voice aiming to drive sales.
Scope out your competitors
If you’re struggling to find your voice, look to others in your field or industry that are cultivating a following via their blogs, and take notes. Consider their tone, and their use of language, jargon and colloquialisms. Do they invite their readers to engage by incorporating rhetorical questions? How do you feel when you read their posts? Are you inspired, or compelled to comment?
Take some time to skim through a range of competitor blogs and get a feel for what resonates with you, and what doesn’t. For those you feel are nailing it for your ideal customer, emulate their style while you get comfortable letting your own brand voice develop. Which it will, over time. The more you blog, the more comfortable you will become with your brand voice. Eventually it will become second nature.