Did You Get My Message? — Creating Content That has the Voice of Your Brand
Here’s the secret to good branding: mastering your audiences’ perceptions at a glance. When a customer catches your advertising on television, at the top of a Web page, or in a store, your brand only has a few seconds to command their attention — and make a good impression.
That’s why it’s vital to be clear on what your brand stands for every time. It’s not just about positioning or placement. It’s about crafting an exact message that tells your audience everything they need to know in a split second.
Right Words, Right Time
Meaning and connotations filter the way that people interpret language. And nothing is more dangerous than having someone walk away with the wrong impression about what your brand stands for. That’s why it’s vital to speak about your brand in a way that resonates with your audience.
When you find a powerful way to communicate what you care about, it gets people’s attention. It’s why you want to be able to say something about what you do in a way that helps them remember you.
It’s not just what you say — it’s how you say it. And when you speak in a compelling, coherent, and consistent way, it amplifies the power of your company’s image so it’s bigger than just a line. It’s a message.
Perfecting Your Message
Let’s start with a definition: Copy is any form of language you use to connect with your audience and inspire them to take action — whether it’s telling them to buy something, vote for someone, hug their kids, or get a pedicure.
Copywriting is the verbal articulation of all your brand elements. It’s the voice, persona, and platform that embody the emotion of your brand. Brands use copy to tell the story of what they do and why they do it.
So, I bet you’re wondering how can you create copy that tells your brand’s story in a compelling, interesting way? Pay attention to what words your audience responds to. Pay attention to the language they use in their lives, and then use that language to communicate a human truth to them and show how it relates to your brand.
First, begin by defining your “movement”: the core reason you’re in business. People don’t just buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If you don’t know what you care about, it’s hard to develop a true brand personality.
Next, start crafting your message. A great message will get people’s attention and drive them to learn more. Here are a few ways to get started:
Think in stories. Speak to your customers’ dreams and ambitions, and speak about yours, too. Talk about your brand in a way that helps your customers see where you want to go and what you believe in.
Stand out from the crowd. Make it clear why you’re different than the others. Show that when people choose your business, they’re making a choice about who they want to be and what they care about.
Research. Market research is the only tried-and-true way to help you understand what your audience responds to. Create language that mirrors your customers’ values, and use the right tone, message, and medium to do it.
Have a personality. Are you funny? Serious? Sarcastic? Use that in your brand voice.
Be human. Customers are tired of disingenuous corporate language. Share relatable, human experiences — both good and bad — and you’ll find that it only makes your brand voice more powerful.
Finding Your Voice
Many companies treat copy as an afterthought. Instead, they get caught up in what they want to accomplish — sales goals, awards, and creating new products — and don’t think about how they’re going to convey their brand message to their customers. This is a mistake.
Copy is important, and finding the right way to express your brand values is vital to your company’s success. Do some soul-searching. Discover what drives your business. Create a story that matters to you and one that matters to your customers, too.
Matthew Goldfarb is a professional copywriter who has spent the past 10 years creating award winning ad campaigns for some of the largest companies in the world. Now, he is bringing those same concepts to small business owners and entrepreneurs everywhere through his company, Corporate Renegade. Connect with Matthew on Twitter and Google+.