According to author and professor emeritus at California State University Linda Lambert, “A good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.”
For businesses trying to “change” leads into paying customers, a good conversation starts with having a conversational brand voice. This involves being friendly, approachable, and easy to understand. It helps brands connect with their audience on a more personal level, which can lead to increased engagement and loyalty.
In 2022, companies spent, on average, 9.5% of their revenue on marketing — to improve their brand identities. It can be challenging for brands to stand out from the crowd and get their message heard, as marketing messages constantly bombard consumers. One way to do this is to develop a conversational brand voice.
The Power of a Conversational Brand Voice
A conversational brand voice fosters a genuine connection with your audience while differentiating you from your competition. In addition, striking a conversational tone breaks through trust barriers because it shows your customers that you’re human, just like them. A study by Salsify found that 46% of consumers in the U.S. were willing to pay more for brands they trusted.
Gain Stronger Connections with Your Target Audience
Developing a conversational brand voice helps you connect with your audience more personally. Speaking to your audience in a conversational tone makes them feel like you’re talking to them directly, like a friend or trusted colleague. This can build empathy and rapport, leading to increased engagement and loyalty.
Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition
In addition, a conversational brand voice can help you stand out from the crowd. In a world where many brands use the same old marketing jargon, a conversational brand voice can help you make a positive impression. It can show your audience that you’re different and willing to try to connect with them on a human level.
How a Conversational Voice Strengthens Your Brand
To illustrate, suppose you’re in charge of marketing for a company that develops a web app for supply chain management. Most of the time, when your target customer clicks on a link, they’re bombarded with cold statistics presented in a factual yet uncompassionate voice. But you realize your customers are people with families they need to support — often by solving complicated supply chain problems for their employer.
So instead of just bragging about the automation that makes your app so great, you spend some time telling your customer’s story — instead of your own. Maybe this takes up the first 100 words of an article about your app’s value add.
After those first 100 words, your customer thinks, “Wow. They get it. They understand my struggle — but for real, though.” Now, instead of simply being a company with a product you think is cool, you’re a friend, a supporting character in your customer’s journey. The next step in their story is much more likely to include purchasing your product. By using this kind of people-first approach, you can streamline the decision-making process.
Steps to Developing a Conversational Brand Voice
So, how do you develop a conversational brand voice? Here are a few tips:
Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience inside and out is the first step towards developing a conversational brand voice. Once you understand your audience, you can start to tailor your brand voice to them.
- Research your audience’s preferences and most stubborn paint points.
- Conduct surveys to better understand your audience’s goals and day-to-day concerns.
- Use data analytics to identify trends when it comes to what your audience purchases, when, why, and how
- Talk to your sales team to gain a boots-on-the-ground perspective of what’s resonating with your target customers
The above measures may take some time and effort, but they are worth it. When you develop a more intimate understanding of what makes your audience tick, you can then cater the conversational style of your brand voice accordingly.
Use Everyday Language
Avoid using jargon or technical terms that your audience may not understand. Instead, use everyday language that they can relate to. This will make your brand voice more accessible and engaging.
For instance, you don’t want your content to look like an alphabet soup of acronyms. You and your team all know what TCoR means, but that doesn’t mean your reader will instantly see those letters and think, “total cost of risk.”
Remember that your target audience is often different from your target decision-maker. But you need your content to land well with both. For example, an employee who wastes a ton of time doing manual tasks may be looking to automate a business process. They find your automation solution online. But they’re not the ones reaching for the checkbook. It’s their manager, an executive, or a process improvement person.
Stories are a great way to connect with your audience emotionally. When you tell stories, you’re giving your audience a glimpse into your brand’s ability to relate to the human experience. This can help them better understand and relate to you.
With each story you tell, you open your arms to your audience, showing them you understand and embrace their challenges. In this way, you transition from being a provider to a partner.
Incorporate Humor and Wit
A little bit of humor and wit can go a long way toward making your brand voice more engaging. Just be sure to use it sparingly, and don’t try to be too funny. You don’t want to come across as unprofessional.
Humor can be a particularly sharp two-edged sword when discussing your consumer’s challenges. You don’t want to make light of their day-to-day obstacles. To them, they’re not funny. It may be best to save humor later in your content after you’ve eased some of their concerns with a viable solution.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
There are a few common mistakes that brands make when trying to develop a conversational brand voice. Here are a few things to avoid:
- Overdoing slang or jargon. Just because you’re trying to be conversational doesn’t mean you have to use slang or jargon. In fact, using too much slang or jargon can make your brand voice sound unprofessional.
- Neglecting professionalism. While you want your brand voice to be conversational, it’s important to still maintain a professional tone. Avoid using profanity or making offensive statements.
- Ignoring the value of consistency. Your brand voice should be consistent across all channels. This means using the same tone, style, and vocabulary in your marketing materials.
From Conversations to Conversions
A conversational brand voice is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your audience, enhance customer engagement, and build loyalty. When you have those areas covered, your marketing output is more likely to generate more conversions and revenue for your business. Looking to start a conversation with your ideal buyers? Learn how ClearVoice can hone your brand voice by connecting with a content strategist today.