If a company walked into a local coffee shop, what would people think at first glance? What would the company look like? How would it dress? Does it even like coffee, or is it more of a craft beer aficionado? These might seem like odd questions for a company to consider – unless the company is striving to find its “voice.”
In an endless sea of competitors, a company’s voice is what helps it stand out from the crowd and get noticed. It is what helps it build and retain a loyal customer base. A voice also helps create consistency and familiarity across every piece of published content.
What is a company voice?
A company voice is the distinct way that a company chooses to communicate its mission. It is a distinct style of communicating that very clearly conveys its values and its audience.
If a company wants to find its voice, it should think about who it would be if it were a person. With a specific persona giving form to the company voice, the company can craft a unique personality. This will help it relate to the people it is trying to reach and convert them into customers. A unique “personality” also sets the company apart from the competition and aids widespread brand recognition.
This is why it is crucial to think about not just what the company is, but also who. The “company walking into a coffee shop” exercise described earlier is a good start. Leadership can also ask themselves questions such as “Is our company a Mac or a PC?”
Why does voice matter?
A company that presents a unique, identifiable voice that engages new customers and delights current ones experiences many benefits as a result. If a company knows its unique voice:
- The company knows who it’s trying to reach, and why. Remember the old adage, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself?” The same can be said of business. With a distinct, well-defined voice, the company learns itself, and in turn, learns more about the personas it can help. It knows who its ideal customers are, what they care about, how they feel and what they need.
- It knows the problems it can solve. Trying to appeal to everyone does not work anymore. If a company knows the personas it wants to reach, it also knows their problems. The company voice can effectively show empathy towards what ails its customers. It can then explain how its unique set of skills and expertise can make life easier for them.
- The company is aware of the conversations it should join. Social media is a crucial medium for conveying the company voice. It presents a unique opportunity to not just talk at people, but also with people. A well-defined company voice will determine the types of conversations to seek out and participate in. This helps humanize the company. It also helps the company relate to the people it can help on a more personal level.
- It is consistent. Companies communicating on multiple platforms know they need to serve up something a little different for each medium. Whether it’s a video, an e-book or a Twitter conversation, a company with a distinct voice will immediately be recognized across all content types.
Who is responsible for the company voice?
The company voice touches everything – from the annual report to the Facebook cover photo to the 404 website error pages. Therefore, it is important to ensure the company voice consistently comes to life across all communication platforms. This is a huge job that requires a team effort.
No one knows a company like its internal employees. These employees may have the skills needed to create content that ranks high in search, engages potential customers, generates leads and drives new revenue. However, they may not always have the time. It is easy for a company’s internal employees to get mired down in an endless list of tasks associated with the company voice, such as:
- Building and maintaining an editorial calendar
- Publishing blog posts
- Writing social media copy to go with the blog posts
- Social listening and analytics
- Creating email newsletters
- Scheduling social media posts and e-blasts
- Updating the website
- Organizing events
- Writing and designing print collateral
Help with your company voice
Hiring a knowledgeable outside firm can help a company establish a voice across all of its channels. This will decrease the time overhead on its employees and increase credibility with potential customers. Marketing firms worth the money will:
- Get to know the personality of the company
- Keep the company voice consistent no matter the medium
- Ensure the company’s voice is heard on the right platforms
- Create custom content specific to the needs of the company
- Demonstrate return on investment for the content it creates
If you are looking to establish a unique company voice and keep it consistent across platforms and campaigns, Tempesta Media can help. To learn more, visit www.tempestamedia.com, or join our LinkedIn group.