The way we speak has a direct impact on how people interpret what we mean. For example, we tend to raise our voices and inflection, wave our hands excitedly, and have animated facial responses whenever we are excited about something. Whomever we are speaking to quickly understands that we are excited just because of how we communicate.
When it comes to the written word, however, voice inflection, sound-level, hand movements, and facial reactions are not included. Truthfully, most readers tend to read text in a monotone voice in their minds. Understandably, it can be difficult for a customer to connect with a brand that does not understand the power of choosing the right voice for its brand.
Image Source: Tom Fisburne – Marketoonist
Studies show that ads with purely emotional content perform twice as well (31% vs. 16%) compared to those with only rational content. If a brand only focuses on the data it will share or the product it wants to sell, it will lose its potential customer. A company that wants to succeed knows that creating a compelling voice to reach its customer base is essential.
82% of emotionally bonded customers will buy from brands they are loyal to, and creating the right tone of voice for your brand will ensure that your customer bonds with your brand.
In this article, we will look into 9 tones of voice and how to decide which one is right for your brand.
Why Tone of Voice Is Essential to Creating a Strong Brand
Before diving into why a tone of voice is important, let’s first define what it is. Brand voice is what a brand says, and brand tone of voice is how it is said.
It only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression of someone and about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about a website. So if a potential customer logs onto your brand’s website and does not feel a connection with your brand, they will very quickly move on to what they consider the next best thing.
As you build your brand recognition, you must ensure that your brand has the right tone of voice. Review your website and publications and note if your brand tone of voice aligns with your business goals and what you are trying to achieve.
Image Source: Spotify on Twitter
Take a look at Spotify, for example. The brand hosts a music streaming platform whose user base is dominated by Millennials, with 29 percent of its users aged 25 to 34 and 26 percent aged between 18 and 24 years old.
The brand chooses a tone of voice that is funny and direct. In other words, the brand also chooses a tone of voice that will appeal to its Millennial clientele.
Studies show that 64% of consumers make a purchase after viewing a branded social video, so ensure that all marketing efforts have your company’s chosen tone of voice, and you will undoubtedly find success.
9 Different Tones of Voice with Examples
Although there are many different tones of voice to choose from, below are 9 unique tones of voice you should consider using for your brand, along with examples.
The formal tone is clear and precise, with zero fluff. The tone always uses proper grammar and avoids contractions and idioms. Generally, you should use this tone for publications and articles in academic writing.
- According to data in the August report, company-wide expenditures have been on the rise.
- Although we would like to expedite the contract and conduct business with the company, we realized it would not be the soundest decision.
The informal tone is the opposite of the formal tone. It is characterized by colloquial wording (kids, guys, awesome, etc.) and contractions. Informal writing is most common in everyday writing, for use when speaking with families and friends.
Image Source: Business Insurance USA
However, sometimes a brand may adopt this as their tone of voice, as it compels the reader to be their friend. In this article by Business Insurance USA, for example, the author chose to adopt a more informal tone of voice. This can be advantageous when reaching the lay reader or targeting younger generations.
- You’ve got to read the fine print.
- We don’t know what’s next.
A friendly tone of voice elicits trust from the reader. This tone may sometimes be on the informal side, although it may be formal as well. The wording chosen for this brand is part of what makes it so unique, as it is generally warm and inviting.
Image Source: Riverford Organics
A brand that embraces this tone of voice is Riverford. All the wording on the website is concise, but also warm and embracing.
- Instead, it has grown steadily, organically, with minimal debt and an assiduous attention to its underlying values and brand consistency.
- Brilliant veg has the power to shape a better world — through what we grow, how we grow it, how it inspires you in the kitchen, and the joy it brings to your plate.
The aggressive tone of voice shows feelings of anger and annoyance. This tone is rarely used as a brand’s voice because of how direct and negative it is.
- I don’t care what you have to say.
- I don’t agree with you, so I don’t have to listen to your thoughts.
The optimistic tone is the opposite of the aggressive tone. Positive and light verbiage characterize this tone.
Image Source: Fitbit
The brand Fitbit commonly adapts this tone in its copy as it compels readers to take better care of their health. Although exercising can be strenuous, the brand is aware of this and focuses on keeping all messaging on the light side.
- Exciting, new content drops every month.
- Make mornings more peaceful by setting a silent alarm and waking up with a vibration on your wrist.
The informative tone is used to do exactly as it sounds: inform the reader. Use this tone when providing data or information to the reader.
Image Source: SerpManiac
The website SerpManiac encompasses this tone well in this article on SEO for Startups. As the article seeks to inform the reader on best practices for SEO, it uses an informative tone of voice to keep the article light but direct.
- This is the ideal choice if you already have a domain name for your blog or online business.
- Doing this will inform you of the general health of your website and show you what fixes you need to make.
The entertaining tone of voice seeks to entertain the reader. The main goal for this tone is to keep the mood light and airy. It is generally light and sympathetic and very rarely serious.
- Let’s just laugh at this situation and move on.
- I find it so amusing that you get annoyed by that!
The professional tone is very similar to the formal tone. In this tone, however, the wording is portrayed as confident and sincere. Brands that adopt this tone of voice show authority in their field.
Image Source: Hasner Law
The law firm, Hasner Law, embraces this tone as they are confident in the field and demonstrate trust to the reader. As a potential customer reviews the firm’s website, they will see how confident the firm is in its ability to help them out of a predicament.
- We take pride in going above and beyond to provide our clients with personal attention and experienced legal representation.
- You can rest assured that your workers’ comp or personal injury claim in Atlanta and Savannah is in good hands with our firm.
Brands that want to invoke laughter of humor from their customers choose this tone of voice. However, the wording selected is sometimes on the informal side, and the mood is kept light.
Image Source: Frida.com
Frida is an excellent example of the funny tone of voice. Instead of keeping things serious, the brand chooses to adopt a lighthearted tone with funny expressions to invoke laughter from the customer.
- We’ve got the tools and tips to help you get from Point A to Point Pee.
- When a baby goes viral (and not in the millions of followers way), there’s no time to fuss around.
How to Choose the Right Tone for Your Brand Voice
Deciding which tone of voice your brand will adopt may seem intimidating. However, you should first consider who the end audience is and try to cater to what would attract them.
Your brand’s tone of voice should be the same across all platforms. So even if you have several different employees writing copy, they must first have a full understanding of your brand and your brand’s tone of voice.
As you scale your marketing and grow your business, you should also grow your social media following. Instagram (47%), Facebook (38%), and YouTube (36%) are the social platforms people now look to most for purchasing inspiration, so establishing your tone of voice and implementing it on social media will certainly bring success.
Plus, studies show that 47% of people who follow brands on social media are more likely to visit that company’s website. So, a successful social media following will bring potential customers to check out your brand’s website.
Therefore, having the right tone of voice for your brand across all platforms will ensure continuity across the board and, subsequently, reach new customers.
Final Thoughts on Types of Tone of Voice for Your Brand
Whether you are building a bold brand by increasing your social media following, writing newsletters, or investing heavily in marketing strategies, your first step should always be to define your tone of voice for your brand.
A study by Nielson shows that ads that evoke above-average emotional responses can increase sales numbers by 23%. If your brand successfully implements the correct tone of voice, it will open a large, new window of opportunities.
Once you have decided which tone of voice is most appropriate for your brand, you should start creating unique, relatable content to reach more and more potential customers.
Investing in the right content marketing courses is a great way to level up your brand and make sure your blog is publishing the best possible content. The key is to realize that the world of content creation is always changing so creating a brand worth remembering is imperative if you want to keep readers.