Apple. Google. Microsoft. Facebook. Would these Silicon Valley giants be the iconic mega powers they are today without first establishing their own unique voice?
In the tech startup world, budding entrepreneurs are searching to build a memorable brand identity almost as much as they’re competing to create the next big industry-shaking product. Cementing a name for yourself in the technology sphere is not just about innovative ideas—though, obviously, those are important. Positioning your company as a respected industry leader and, ideally, future household name means building your brand from a well-defined, resonating voice.
Your company’s voice is the bedrock of any inbound marketing strategy, and the reason we begin most projects by interviewing key internal stakeholders. Once you’ve discovered and defined your voice, you’ll have a guiding light for all future content development.
So, how do you find your tech company’s voice? Here are a few things you’ll need to consider.
Before you define your voice, you need to understand how it fits into your brand and, on a more fundamental level, the difference between the two concepts.
Your brand is the overarching experience your company offers its customers. From the design of your logo to the color of your office walls, your brand is a concept that embodies who your company is—much like your own personality encompasses your personal identity.
Your voice, on the other hand, is the tone and language around which you’ll build all content. Your voice is reflected by your brand—it encompasses your tone (humorous or serious), your vocabulary (casual or professional) and the types of stories you share.
More often than not, once you’ve unearthed your company’s voice, all other elements of your brand—including creative design, value propositions and the channels you use for sharing your messages—are much easier to map out.
You hear us talk knowing and understanding your target audience a lot, but it’s for good reason. Without identifying your audience, any marketing effort essentially falls into the “spray and pray” approach. (See also: expensive and ineffective.) Defining your personas helps you craft better targeted content, map out your buyer’s journey, determine ROI and perfect your product(s) or service. To get started, answer these questions:
It’s important to identify your audience as early in the game as possible for many reasons, but mostly because this has a gigantic impact on your voice. For example, if you were explaining the concept of Tinder to friends over happy hour, you’d probably use a different tone and vocabulary than, say, explaining it to your grandmother over Thanksgiving dinner.
Modern technology companies are well known for their unique and eccentric cultural styles, and this has a significant influence on their voice. For example, anyone who’s spent time reading Google’s playful copy probably isn’t surprised to learn their corporate offices have slides and ball pits. (OK, maybe a little surprised—because wow.)
But, your company culture is about more than funky adult-sized playground equipment. More importantly, it consists of the values, standards and shared beliefs that define your organization. Most times, your culture will develop organically based on your leadership team, the people you hire and your communication style. To help craft your voice, take time consider these aspects of your culture:
Though the above questions may seem inconsequential, these elements weigh heavily on how you present your business within the industry. In other words, the fact that your employees wear jeans and T-shirts versus a suit-and-tie, and you hold meetings on bean bags instead of board rooms will affect your voice.
Last, but certainly not least, consider your employees—the team that spends the majority of their waking hours building, developing, promoting and improving your offering. Take a close look at the following:
Better understanding the individuals who make up your team, and their unique attributes, will help you create a more authentic company voice.
As you shape your technology company's distinct voice, remember the end goal is to create a credible, magnetic and relatable brand that differentiates you from your competitors. While finding your voice is easier said than done, considering your audience, culture and employees will help you craft a tone, vocabulary and language your prospects can easily identify and remember.
Your company's voice relies upon your market and audience. Learn about our Buyer Insight Process and how we can help you navigate your buyer’s journey.
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