Marketing, at its core, can be broken down into three questions:
- What do you want your company to say?
- Who do you want to hear it?
- Why are you the expert on how to say it?
That’s it! It’s as easy as 1-2-3. The easy part, hopefully, is figuring out what you want your company to say. The tricky part is figuring out how to tell the right people, and how to establish yourself as an expert.
What you say is important. How you say it is even more important. As a company, you should ideally know how you want to represent your brand. In other words, you should know your ‘Why.’ And once you know your ‘What’ and your ‘Why,’ the only other question to ask yourself is ‘How?’
Tone matters. Knowing the voice of your brand is imperative to effective marketing. Brand voice, or tone, is the distinct personality of your company as a whole. How do you present yourself in your marketing on the whole? On your website? With social media? In email marketing? What makes you, you?
Tone is what differentiates your company from every other company, both in your industry and outside of it. Whether it’s via a website, a social media post, or even a message on a billboard, you are communicating directly with your customers or customers-to-be. So, what should that communication consist of? How should it sound? Or read? How do you want to present yourself to the general public? To figure that out, to develop your brand’s voice and effectively utilize it in your marketing, there are a few key points you should consider.
Know Who You Are
What kind of company are you? Are you a law firm that wants to maintain a professional, yet approachable image that attracts clients from a variety of backgrounds? Are you a coffee shop who isn’t afraid to push the envelope and proclaim yourself ‘The People’s Choice for Local Coffee?’ Or maybe your company is a leading resource for housing finance that produces television commercials designed to educate, inform, and entertain? Are you serious or more light-hearted? Do you focus on ‘Just the facts, ma’am,’ or do you give yourself some room to play? Either of these are fine, but it’s important to know what kind of company you are and then brand yourself accordingly across all mediums.
Know Your Audience
It is just as important as knowing who you are to know who your audience is. Who are you marketing to? Knowing who your target audience is (are they older or younger? Male or female or both? Professionals, consumers, or the general public?) and then crafting your tone to appeal to them is a science that takes a certain amount of trial-and-error. Location plays a big role as well. In Wyoming, especially, people are proud of where they live and utilizing certain keywords and phrases that invoke that sense of civic pride are a good way to maintain and grow your audience.
This is a work lesson, but also a life lesson: When you know who you are and are confident in who you are, it’s a lot easier to be authentic. People like authenticity. They’re drawn to it. And when you’re not being authentic, they see through it. Because of this, it’s important to find out who you are as a company and then portray that to the best of your ability with your content. Audiences value authenticity, and if they trust you, they are more apt to buy whatever it is you are selling.
Of course, being authentic does not mean that you should not be adaptable. While you shouldn’t shift your tone or alter your voice with each passing trend, you should be willing (and able) to evolve as your company grows. As new ways of marketing become available, you should be able to take stock of your company and decide if there are new directions to follow. This goes for your written content, imagery, and more. New ways to market your company come up every day and no, that doesn’t mean you should create a TikTok account just because everybody else is doing it, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to do things like that if it fits with the tone of your company.
This is, arguably, the most important item on this list. Being consistent in all aspects of marketing your brand is imperative. Whether it’s maintaining the proper imagery or color schemes across all mediums, or utilizing the same tone in the things you write, consistency is key when it comes to proper marketing. You don’t want to be overly humorous on Monday and super serious on a Tuesday. Consistency in what you say and how you say it will frame your brand in a way that is both familiar and intriguing to your audience.
If you’re a client of The BARK Firm, none of this information should be new to you. We work with a wide array of clients and develop their branding, design, content, website and digital marketing efforts, making sure no client’s strategy is the same. There is no cookie-cutter marketing plan with us. We partner with our clients to discover, develop, and define their tone, their voice. Your voice matters, and The BARK Firm can help you find it.