You’ve probably heard of a brand book. If this term is new, a brand book is simply a brand style guide that outlines specific standards for maintaining brand identity across external and internal communications. A brand book typically defines your mission, target audience, and visual guidelines (logos, colors, fonts, etc.)
Your brand book can easily be handed out to contractors to guide them on your brand’s visual elements and style. But what about the voice of your brand, the words someone should use? For instance, how would you communicate your brand’s voice and tone to a scriptwriter? Enter the brand voice, a resource that defines meaning, communication, and tone guidelines for your brand.
For video and its accompanying elements specifically, a brand voice is a resource to start conversations about how to present yourself and your brand on camera. A brand voice helps you know what to say and what not to say (voice) and how to say it (tone) to connect with your audience, no matter who is speaking or what contractors you loop into the creative process.
Think about how many different people, in-house and out, contribute to the captions for social posts, the copy for worksheets and resources, print ads, video scripts, blogs, or presentations. Consistently communicating an idea (having a voice that’s well…on brand) and connecting with your audience is crucial to your success as a marketer. Whether you keep your writing in-house or occasionally add contractors, you need a brand voice document to convey the spirit of your brand.
Tips to define your brand voice.
- Review your brand’s core values. What do those say about how you should speak?
- What problem or issue is your brand on a mission to solve? How would a person passionate about solving that problem speak? Note the words would and WOULDN’T use. Sometimes it’s what we don’t say that matters.
- For tone, are there any industry words or jargon that you use? How can you say those same things WITHOUT the jargon? This will create a deeper connection with your audience.
- For tone, what kind of conversation do you want to have with your audience? Are you a motivating coach, a wise confidant, a calming voice in a reactionary industry?
Developing answers to these questions can feel overwhelming but is crucial for the success of your marketing. We often write a B2B client’s video script, accompanying captions for posts or video descriptions, or landing page copy and help them develop a brand voice for the project. We have a few simple ways we accomplish this:
- Understand the goal of their video project and any constraints like budget, time, assets, talent, or internal resources (we love working with constraints!).
- Get to know their audience. It’s more than the demographics. It’s the psychographics (a consumer’s attitude, values, and frustrations) of what makes that audience feel connected to the brand’s service.
- Ask a TON of questions and note keywords and phrases they say that make the content uniquely theirs. Internally, companies often communicate in shorthand or industry terms the customer may not understand. I help break down industry jargon to connect with the customer in a voice and tone that reflects how customers understand the problem, value, or service the company is addressing.
All of this to say, developing your brand voice and creating a brand voice document are well worth your time. The result is consistent messaging and strong connections to your potential clients.
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Not sure how to develop your brand’s voice, let alone write in it? This clarity comes with working together on a Message Map. Learn more about this service.