Your content is your brand’s sole voice. It’s how you speak to your customers and prospects.
If your brand voice doesn’t align with both your company culture and your target market, your brand will appear either inauthentic or out-of-touch. If you ignore the disconnect, your audience will tune you out.
After all, who wants to stick around to hear a singer who’s way off-key? It grates on your nerves.
The same goes for your audience.
Is your brand voice singing off-key? The good news? There’s an easy fix.
Your content analytics can tell you why. If your numbers show a drop in engagement and conversions, it’s time for a content audit.
Identifying content that doesn’t reflect your corporate culture or speak to your target customers’ needs is essential to move forward. A thorough audit can help you look at the why behind the poor performance.
You might discover that it’s your brand voice itself that’s in need of a renovation. If your content aligns with your corporate culture but doesn’t speak to your target audience, it’s likely time for a rebrand.
Otherwise, you’ll be bleeding out prospects with every piece of content you put out. Unless, of course, you want to pursue a whole new customer base.
Ask Coca-Cola how that worked out with their “New Coke” debacle.
Tweak your brand voice so that it syncs with your customers’ and prospects’ needs. After all, your customers are the source of your revenue.
Put Your Target Customers at the Center of Your Brand Voice
Back in the day, companies often branded themselves with their founder’s name. With fewer competitors and a strong personality at the helm, they attracted customers whose values aligned with the company leadership.
Today, the availability of digital communications and supply chains has spawned a more competitive landscape. Now, startups from all over the world compete successfully with established brands on ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay.
Brands whose voices fail to echo that of their customers will fall woefully behind. It’s critical to use data to target the right people and empathy to find a voice that speaks to their needs, pain points, and hopes.
Put Your New Brand Voice to Work with New Content
Successful content planning starts with your target audience in mind. Once you’ve established a new brand voice that reflects their needs, it will be easy to create content that your audience will “connect with, engage in, and most importantly, believe in,” to echo 99 Designs’ Colette Pomerleau.
Start with a Brand Style Guide
One thing that helps, especially if you outsource some of your content creation to agencies or freelancers, is to create a brand style guide.
Don’t make it all about Oxford commas and title capitalization. Instead, document your customer personas – their passions, their pain points, and what they hope to accomplish in life.
Show how your products and services help your customers conquer their challenges and achieve their goals. Include some guidance on the tone you want your content to have – humorous, serious, cheeky, geeky, or whatever other tone (or combination of tones) best reflects your brand voice.
But don’t hide your style guide on a shelf in your storage room. Digitize it and keep it on your content marketing platform so that all your teams can refer to it.
Provide Samples of Your Content That Reflect Your New Brand Voice
Along with your style guide, include several pieces of content that best reflect your customer-centric strategy and brand voice. If you use video or audio content in addition to written content, link to them as well. That way, new in-house creatives, as well as outsourced partners, can get a better grasp on how to articulate your brand voice.
Include notes that point out exactly where and how each example reflects your revised brand voice. That way, your content teams have some guidelines to show them how to articulate the “new you.”
Meet with Your Teams Before You Launch
If yours is like most larger companies, you probably have content teams in different time zones – perhaps even all over the world. Schedule several sessions at times that are convenient to your various teams.
During those meetings, unpack your new and improved brand voice. Provide examples of content that follows your new direction.
Make sure that your teams know where to find your new style guide and content examples. Most importantly, encourage them to ask questions at the meeting and afterward, if needed.
Communicating to all your teams about the importance of maintaining your new brand voice consistently can benefit your company’s overall bottom line. As a recent Grammarly post points out, brands that maintain a consistent brand voice can increase revenue by as much as 33%.
Then, Revise Past Content to Reflect Your New Voice
During your content audit, you identified content that failed to perform up to par. Now that you’ve taken your brand voice in a new direction, revise your old content to reflect the new you.
Content collaboration with your sales and customer support teams can enrich your content with information that answers your prospects’ questions and addresses your customers’ feedback. Use your new brand voice to add personality to your revised content with hero’s journey stories that put your audience at the center of the action.
When you combine compelling stories with a memorable brand voice and on-point content, a Sprout Social study shows, your brand will become a standout among your target customers. Additionally, giving your older content new life maximizes its lifetime value for your company, increasing its overall ROI.
Image via Sprout Social
Without a central repository for all your work, these revisions would take forever. From analyzing your current content’s performance to tweaking them to perform better, having a single place to ideate, collaborate on, and revise your old content will speed up the process considerably.
DivvyHQ provides you with such a virtual workspace. With a content calendar to schedule your release and specialized tools for collaboration and analysis, it’s the one tool that enterprise content teams cannot do without.
Even better, you can try it free for 14 days with no obligation. Take your free test drive today!