Finding a Voice for Your Content Marketing
With The Voice UK back in the news as it moves from BBC to ITV, it reminded me of the value of finding your own voice for your business.
Content marketing consists of creating a lot of different types of content, and then promoting it on all your online platforms via many means such as social sharing, pay-per-click marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and more. Content marketing is a really great way to get the word out about your products and services in a natural, organic way. But, it’s important to figure out what your point of view is so that you can create a coherent and professional voice for your content marketing.
Figure Out Your Core Values
What is it that you want to say to the world? What is it that you feel is important? Do you want your business to be a beacon of light to your audience, shining down on them, creating joy and happiness? Do you want your business to be a wake-up call and teach lessons to your audience? What do you want your audience to think about when they think of your brand?
Get to Know Your Audience
Marketing is all about what’s in it for them, not what’s in it for you. If you can remember that, for every piece of content you create, you’ll be half way there. Every story you tell – be it through an article you write, a video, or a press release – should be focused with your audience in mind. The best way to do that is to truly understand who your audience is by studying them and immersing yourself in everything there is to know about them. How you speak to your audience will be directly related to how well you know them.
Identify the Value You Offer Your Audience
Depending on your products or service, there is some type of value that you are offering such as more time, less worry, or another intrinsic value. Your value might be tangible as well but, usually, your value lies in how you solve your audience’s problems and issues. For instance, a breath mint company isn’t selling a sweet; they are selling fresh breath.
Differentiate Your Business from the Competition
How are you going to stand out from the crowd? One of the ways to do that is to decide how you’ll express your values to your audience. I’ve recently been reading Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start with Why‘ and he has great examples of how businesses and brands differentiate themselves by knowing their reason why. How will you deliver the goods and/or services that you’ve promised? How will you provide more time, more health, more of whatever value your company offers, while also keeping true to your core values?
Decide If Your Voice Is Casual or Formal
Once you combine all of the above, you will need to decide if your audience will respond better to a casual or formal voice (or somewhere in between). How you speak to your audience is a very important factor in determining if they will understand your message.
Determine Acceptable Language and Terms
Once you’ve decided on your voice, you can come up with the type of terms and expressions you’ll use throughout your content marketing, regardless of format. For example,
Formal – “I would like to advise you of a sale we are having during Bank Holiday Weekend.”
Casual – “Hi all! Check out my Bank Holiday Weekend price cuts!”
Create Documentation as a Guide
Whether you’ll be creating all the content yourself or getting help, creating documentation to guide you through the process will help. Be specific about which font to use. Write down the type of words you want to use, too. The terminology, language and jargon are important because it will mean something to your audience and help you get your message across in a way that will produce the results you desire.
Don’t Try to Be Someone You’re Not
The worst thing you can do as you’re creating and developing your voice is to try to be someone you’re not. If you are not generally formal, don’t even try to be formal. If you’d feel fake being casual, don’t do it. Be yourself. If you’ve chosen your audience well, it will be easy for you to be who you are and market to them successfully.
Content marketing is the most effective form of marketing today. Finding your voice will help make everything easier. You’ll be able to create content more easily. You’ll also have a guide to help keep your content consistent across all marketing channels.
Finding your professional voice for your content marketing doesn’t require that you become someone you’re not. It requires that you learn more about who you are, what your business stands for, and who your audience is. That can only make everything more effective.