In this age of influencers and real reviews, people don’t want to buy from companies or spokespeople like they used to. They’re savvy. People know that famous spokespeople are paid to say nice things about products they represent and they don’t connect with, or even want to take the time to read bland corporate speak.
People want to buy from people. They want to know who started your brand, his or her story, why it exists, and what you believe in. And even if they realize a copywriter may have perfected or completely written your copy, they want it to sound like a person they would want to talk to in real life—or they won’t believe a word you say…
So, the tone of voice on your website, landing pages, and emails (AKA how you say something) is just as important as the information you provide.
Often, companies think defining the voice of the owner of the company is enough or think they just need to define the unique selling proposition, or what differentiates your product or service from the competition. But that’s just a start. The voice can be, and usually is an imaginary person that you create with a skilled copywriter to best connect to your ideal audience as not everyone will connect with the “owner.”
For my clients, I create anything from a 3-50 page report based on interactive questions, research, and exercises to define the brand’s ideal voice, taglines, headlines, sayings, and more so the voice is unique, relatable, and consistent across all communication channels to increase conversion. But to give you a head start, here are some key questions and points to consider to create or refine the voice of your brand!
- What is this person’s occupation?
- What is his or her personality?
- What does he or she believe in?
- Does he or she whisper, talk, preach, or shout?
- Is he or she concise or verbose?
There’s a fine balance between credibility and likeability. For example, if you own a nutrition company, does your target customer want to hear from a nutritionist, a busy mom, a motivational speaker – or perhaps someone who is all of the above? Think about who your ideal customer talks to or trusts and be that voice.
If you are a pharmacy company selling a life-saving drug, you’ll want to make sure your voice is supportive, expert, and serious. But if you’re an innovative new startup talking to millennials, your voice could have the freedom to tell it like it is and even use slang and jokes. To help determine your brand’s personality, list out a bunch of adjectives and have the powers that be agree on the top 3-5.
Think about a skincare company for example. A brand that charges a ton and has a pretty bottle has to believe things like “You get what you pay for” “You deserve to pamper yourself” “More potent ingredients get you better results” and these messages and attitudes should be weaved in between the lines of what is being said.
A discount brand, on the other hand, might believe things like “Why pay more for the same ingredients or fancy bottle?”, “Don’t fall for high prices or auto-ship scams”, and “It’s what you do on a consistent basis that gets real results.” These are the gems that set your voice apart and get your customers to believe these things too or come to their own conclusions without having to say those specific words.
Think about the last time someone convinced you to do something or buy something. Was it a person at a party who you envied and wanted to be like? A confident guy on stage angry at the status quo and passionately urging you to be more? A stranger on the street who’s outfit you liked and she whispered that she got it on sale at a discount site? Or a respected doctor confidently giving you your plan without having to convince you?
Think about how different each of these approaches and conversations are. You have to find the approach that works best for your product or service and ideal customer and make sure your copy matches.
Yes, mobile with succinct copy rules these days but there’s still a time and a place for certain powerfully strategic conversations to overcome objections and get inside the head of your customer, especially in email funnels. Does your customer want to hear personal stories, detailed explanations, and rationale behind something, or do they just want to skim the page or email for information and pretty pictures? Your voice should match what your customer wants to know! But remember, there are multiple ways to present information and your copywriter should work closely with your designer to present it accordingly. For example, instead of a long-winded explanation of why you’re better than a competitor, perhaps your voice lets your customers know that it can get confusing so she made a handy chart for you to compare the two at a glance. Or, perhaps you have a representative or hired staff person who can be the ideal voice and create videos to spark a human connection?
So whatever you say, make sure you say it in a way your customers will buy it!
Debra Pivko, Founder of Intrigue Creative is an experienced Copywriting Consultant specializing in direct response sales of products and services in the health, beauty, and tech space. With almost 20 years of experience, she has written top performing microsites, landing pages, online acquisition banners, email funnels and blasts, paid social ads, advertorials, and more—you name it! She can even help you develop your brand identity and craft your idea voice and customer personas. Known for her high conversion rates, she has launched million-dollar money-makers for a multitude of companies including Beachbody, GNC, 310 Nutrition, Dermalogica, Dermstore, countless nutraceuticals, and more! Are you next? For those reading this in funnel magazine, get $500 off when you buy 20 hours on www.intriguecreative.com. You’ll get 25 hours for the price of 20! Or, email email@example.com to claim your complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.