As a writer, you may be witty, humorous, friendly, conversational, perky and so on but the brand that has hired you wants you to write short, serious content with lots of statistics and numbers. So, it doesn’t really matter if the writer’s natural style differs from what the brand expects. All successful writers have one undeniable quality: Adaptability.
In this post read about how as a writer, you can have a distinct voice of your
Brands rely on you to know this fact. They want the content to have a personality that lines up seamlessly with their brand’s established voice. Else, they could have come up with something during a diplomatic board meeting! Writers essentially know how to play with words to match the style of a particular brand.
More often than not, brands, especially startups rely on content marketing and branding to make their voice heard as they reach out to their target audience.
Just like a conversation, writing is all about emotions. Each part of the written content is different, as each piece of a particular conversation. This is how the brand wants to resonate with people – as a particular emotion, feeling and a voice. As Grammar Girl has rightly and justly said, “If voice is the personality of a story, then tone is the mood.” Each brand has a message, a solution that should reach the people. The writer brings this message alive with a voice, feel and emotion.
How to understand a brand’s voice?
A writer’s first task is to understand the voice of the brand. It isn’t merely trial and error, but more of a structured approach to the answer. Branding is an important part of business, after all. Ask the following relevant questions about the brand that you are writing for:
Who are you?
The brand may not have a clear statement yet, but find out what kind of an entity they are. Their existence as a brand is of high relevance here.
What is your message?
What do you what to convey to the people who show interest in your brand? How do you want to convey it? It could be formal, informal, witty, joke-riddled, quirky, bold, fearless, etc. These adjectives help you to create a voice for the brand that you are working with.
Who is the target audience?
Although most brands want the maximum number of varied audiences, there is a select group of audience that matters the most, in terms of business, sales, happy customers, etc. This is the target audience that should be given maximum priority and importance.
Target the main audience when you start writing:
Most startups might not have a very well predefined set of audience. More often than not, they will utilize some time, in the beginning, to see what kind of audiences are showing interest and positive responses. However, they may have a vague idea of who their target audience is in terms of gender, age, occupation, area of residence, location, etc. Write relevant content tailored to meet the demands and hold the interest of this audience. Content marketing forms a major chunk of drawing in potential clients and turning them into faithful ones.
Some brands have an informal and casual approach. In cases like these, slang, short forms, etc. might go down well with the audience. It is important to balance the terminologies and vernaculars well. If you include jokes or puns in the content, they should not be derogatory or offensive to the audience under any circumstance.
Differential Voices of a Brand:
Although the brand resonates with its audience in one voice, there is a subtle difference that a writer must know, thinking from the readers’ point of view. The style of curating web content is different from that of a flyer or invite. Fine-tune the levels of technicalities, jargons, formality, etc. depending on the occasion and type of content. Sometimes, the brand may not be able to explain their need with total clarity. In that case, ask for examples or competitors’ content that they liked or something pre-existing, so that you may get a clear picture before you start curating content for them.
Write Meaningful, Purposeful Content:
The purpose of creating content may be different: entertainment, informative, inviting, business-oriented, etc. Curate content with a specific purpose in mind. If the idea is to entertain the audience, throw in humour, wit, jokes, puns, creativity, comparison and whatnot! If the idea is business-oriented or to sell an idea or product, write a persuasive copy that will convince the readers to follow the call-to-action. Content marketing focuses on selling the ideas or products.
Do what you do best:
As a writer, you know that you do not have the luxury of a face to face conversation, hand gestures, body language, facial expressions, etc., but you are equipped with the skill of using punctuation to convey your message in a tone that you want, to a reader who could be on the other side of the globe! The content you write should be clear, meaningful, purposeful, and concise. It should engage readers until the last word.
As you keep writing, you will realise that you can express the voice of the brand in what are merely words for the others, but expressions to the readers. Blending your voice with the voice of the brand becomes really easy when you have clarity regarding all the questions discussed above.