An Essential Checklist to Create a Brand Voice for Your Content

March 28, 2022

Is your audience able to tell if an article came from you even if it lacked your brand logo? Would they identify that two different pieces of content published on different platforms came from the same brand?

Brands commit many mistakes during the content development process. Mixing up various voices and tones is one of them.

The inconsistent brand voice mistake is more common when a brand grows and mainly occurs when different freelance writers and content agencies are involved in the content creation process.

It creates a significant disconnect between you and your audience as they won’t have a way to identify your content and relate to it.

Why is maintaining a consistent brand voice important? Here are four vital advantages of paying attention to your brand voice:

  • It helps your brand stand out from other competitors
  • Consistency is also important in growing a brand identity
  • It helps build a relationship with your target audience
  • It is a vital aspect of building a positive brand image

These benefits go a long way to show that you should be paying more attention to your brand voice.

So, how do you create a consistent brand voice for your content?

Which Samples Would You Love to Emulate?

The first step to creating your brand voice is collecting samples of content that you’d love your brand voice to emulate. Samples are instrumental in providing inspiration for establishing a brand voice.

You can take a look at everything from blog posts, e-books, videos, and landing pages. Your goal in this process is to analyse representative samples you’d wish your brand voice to embody.

Stay away from competitors’ content. You don’t want to emulate the same branding techniques or branding voices. Remember, your brand voice should make you stand out from the rest.

It may be helpful to look at how your competitors have established a certain brand tone or built a strong relationship with their audience.

Consumers Believe in Custom Content

However, don’t try to mimic their style. Emulating a competitor’s success could work against you. Get these samples outside your industry. Compile those you find adventurous, funny, or whichever style you find relates to your brand.

Which Three Words Describe Your Brand Style?

Now that you have a few samples that you’d love to emulate for your brand voice, it’s time to do a comprehensive analysis.

What are the common themes you notice in these samples? What three words would best describe their brand voice? Look at it as how you’d describe someone’s personality to someone else.

Don’t stop there. If you’ve already written a few pieces of content, look at them too. You want to look at them from a holistic approach, so review all your content, from landing pages, sales copy, and blog posts.

Look for what is common and jot these characteristics down. Here are some examples of traits you could notice:

  • Uplifting and inspiring: A motivating and leadership style that could encourage your audience to go for what they want to achieve or excel at it.
  • Funny and humorous: This could be a great strategy for helping your readers cope or overcome complex situations.
  • Friendly but informative: You could use a fun yet helpful tone to add some personality.
  • Highly emotional: This brand style is mainly used when you want your brand style to elicit an emotional reaction. Your goal could be happiness, admiration, or empathy.

Keeping a list of such traits will be essential in developing a complementary brand voice.

Do You Have a Brand Chart?

Your brand voice is now slowly taking shape and heading in the right direction. The next item to check off your checklist is a brand voice chart which will put things more into context.

A brand voice chart acts as a quick reference tool to ensure your content adheres to your desired brand voice.

How does a brand voice chart work? Generally, it describes three to five adjectives you’ve identified that you want your brand voice to emulate. You analyse and organise these qualities and explain why they’re important to you.

Any content creator or freelance writer should know the kind of voice to use on your content by looking at your brand chart.

Here’s an example of a comprehensive brand chart:

CharacteristicDescriptionDoDon’t
PassionateWe’re passionate about providing world-changing solutions.
  • Applaud the audience
  • Show enthusiasm
  • Use active voice
  • Use passive voice
  • Be indifferent
  • Sound like everyone else
ApproachableWe create content so that we can be understood.
  • Use natural language
  • Use contractions
  • Sound too formal
  • Be too serious
  • Use a lot of technical language
CompetentWe are experts at what we do and write from an informed perspective.
  • Use data and statistics
  • Use relevant quotes
  • Show authority
  • Describe ideas in detail
  • Be ambiguous
  • Be afraid to bring out the expert in you
HumorousWe are witty and target an audience with a sense of humour too.
  • Integrate jokes and mild sarcasm
  • Include unexpected comparisons and examples
  • Carry yourself too seriously
  • Go too far. Observe limits.

As you can see, as well as outline the key characteristics of your brand voice and explain why they’re important, a brand chart also draws a line on what to do and what to steer clear of. This is what makes it an actionable tool.

Do Your Writers Understand How to Use Your Brand Voice?

Defining your brand voice and putting it into action are two different things.

If you’re creating your content in-house, meet with your content writers and go through the brand voice chart together. Show them some of the sample articles that hit your brand voice expectations. Let them know what to emulate and what to avoid.

You can also go ahead and show them how you’d revise and edit some of your past content that doesn’t hit the mark. Print the brand voice chart and give each team member a copy.

To stay on the safe side, create an in-house content style guide for everyone to follow.

If creating content in-house is not an option, you can outsource all the hard work to a competent content writing agency like CopySmiths.

Content writing chart

Update Your Voice Chart Accordingly

Your company is going to keep growing and reaching new heights. During this process, you may need to make a few business decisions, such as rebranding to match your current status.

Your brand voice chart is not a one-time affair. It’s important to revise and update it from time to time.

You can set a regular schedule, say quarterly, where you meet with your content team and review your brand voice chart. You can make a few changes if some voice characteristics haven’t been implemented fully or don’t work well.

For example, you might find that some of your writers are uncomfortable using certain attributes in your content. Perhaps your editors or key approvers have to rework most of the copy. If this is the issue, you might have to update your Dos and Don’ts or refresh your brand voice.

Creating a Brand Voice Is as Straightforward as It Could Ever Get

Your brand voice is essential, especially when developing a brand identity. Don’t commit the mistake of mixing up various voices and styles.

Looking at a couple of samples whose style you’d love to emulate will give you inspiration. Describe your types of style in three to five words and create a brand voice chart describing why they’re important. 

Ensure your content writers understand your brand voice chart so that your voice is implemented throughout your content. Keep revising and updating it as your company grows so that your audience can identify your content even when they find it on different platforms.

Like recognizing an old friend, they can recognise your brand through its brand voice, wherever they find it. And that’s what branding is all about.

CopySmiths

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. In my 20 years of experience, I have helped online businesses create high-performing content specifically on an eCommerce store's blog. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.