What is tone of voice in marketing?
In the digital marketing industry, one thing that sets brands apart is their tone of voice. The tone of voice sets the bar for all marketing campaigns. However, it isn’t easy to control or set your tone of voice or how it might be perceived on the internet. Even with the best intentions, companies can fall into cliches and even have the wrong tone of voice for the industry.
Memes, slang, and trends get mixed into this as well which can throw off the tone of voice while trying to be trendy and cool.
Establishing and maintaining a tone of voice can help to keep consistency within branding and marketing while setting you apart in a good way from competitors.
And as more and more consumers flock to social media and search engines, with Facebook users alone sharing 150,000 messages every minute, it is imperative to nail this.
What is tone of voice?
It’s an expression of the people behind the brand. It explains to consumers who your brand is and what it stands for. The written tone of voice is created by using the language of the industry and structuring sentences that correlate with this tone of voice.
For those in the private equity industry, their tone of voice is going to be professional and even ambitious. On the other hand, restaurants might adopt a more relaxed tone with some fun thrown in].
Ultimately, the tone of voice describes how your brand communicates with your audience which influences how the message is conveyed and perceived. It is about how you want to communicate more so than what you communicate.
Who are some brands that just get it?
Brands who get it right
Once a brand solidifies its tone of voice, this is where the true magic in marketing comes to fruition. From fun and even a bit outlandish to professional and experienced, these are some brands who have learned their tone of voice and rolled with it.
Empowering and uplifting
A great example of empowering and uplifting brands are Savage X Fenty and Rare Beauty.
Rare Beauty’s entire mission revolves around empowering individuals with a new set of beauty standards for any gender, identity, sexual orientation, race, culture, and physical and mental abilities. The CEO, Selena Gomez, prides herself on creating a new standard of beauty while advocating for mental health awareness and help.
The entire movement behind this is about taking care of you. The tone of voice is more personal with uplifting and empowering nuances.
Another great brand that is empowering and uplighting is Savage X Fenty. The CEO, Rhianna, started the brand to disrupt the lingerie industry with more representation for all body types and shapes.
There is something for everyone to feel confident about themselves in, including men. (We will not be adding any images with this one.)
Professional and ambitious
A great brand that shows professionalism, ambition, and educates its audience is Salesforce. Salesforce is a SaaS platform that allows businesses to use their sales CRM, customer service, email marketing, and so many other features. Its content is made for decision-makers in companies and small businesses, which provides basic information to advance options and understanding in the industry.
The fun brand
The fun brands - everyone knows when they spot one - but it isn’t as easy to be the fun brand as one may seem. A fun brand that adds some spice like Wendy’s Twitter roasts or even Dunkin Donuts fun collaborations with influencers make it fun, but there is still an art behind it all.
Even some fun brands are unhinged, but we will get to that example.
What are some of the top fun brands out there?
A great example of a fun brand is Chipotle, and the company has hit the fun nail on the head. Its Instagram promotes its products in a way that doesn’t seem like promotions, can relate with its wide audience, and is enjoyable to see posts from.
The company is able to easily jump on trends with their fun, relaxed, and relatable tone of voice that is presented through their marketing, with a touch of spice.
The most unhinged social media account that one might notice from a bigger, more established brand is on TikTok. Duolingo’s TikTok is VASTLY different from its Facebook or Instagram marketing channels.
This is because those platforms are more professional and knowledgeable than the fun that TikTok creates.
The Social Media Manager of the creative TikTok states, “I would say Duolingo has been absolutely unhinged. Like our content is a lot of Dua Lipa fangirling, funny memes that probably have like five too many layers on the internet on it, just having a good time, honestly, and doing things you wouldn’t expect a language learning app to do.” (By the way, she is 23 years old with millions of followers on the account.)
If you think the content is unhinged, please read their comments on TikTok.
Another fun brand is Burger King! Sure, we hear all about Wendy and her roasts, but don’t forget about Burger King. It is a bit more subtle, but still is a fun brand on social media.
It’s important to develop and execute a tone of voice to break through the noise in the marketing industry like these large brands have. Even smaller, more niche brands are able to adopt a strong tone of voice with the right understanding of their audience and core values.
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