Contrary to popular belief, branding encompasses more than a logo and a color palette. It also has a voice, and a good brand will speak with the right tone. This statement is particularly true when it comes to healthcare branding. Nobody wants to entrust their health to a physician who sprinkles corny jokes and “LOLs” throughout website content that’s dealing with sensitive and daunting issues, such as fecal incontinence. Patients want a professional, trustworthy, compassionate, experienced doctor, and the brand’s voice needs to mirror that.
You see, your voice is an extension and reflection of who you are. It helps you successfully engage your audience, generating traffic and revenue. That said, here are five tips for ensuring your brand’s voice is reaching your audience the way you intend.
1) Define Your Brand Voice
Think of this as giving your brand a personality that reflects who you are as a company. What would be the company’s likes and dislikes? How would it talk?
If your brand were giving someone an elevator pitch about you—defining who you are and what you do in 30 seconds or less—what words should stand out? Knowing those keywords will keep your brand’s voice clear and consistent.
2) Consistency is Key
To build upon the last point, being consistent is vital when it comes to your brand’s voice. You need to continuously reinforce your voice by publishing concise content at a steady pace. This will reinforce your messaging and help build trust with your audience.
3) Create a Style Guide
Once you’ve figured out your voice, design a style guide to ensure it always stays true to the brand. The guide will be your one-stop shop for voice reinforcement and aforementioned consistency. It will include everything you need to consider when creating content, such as:
- Word choice: Do you refer to yourself as an orthopedist or an orthopaedist? Do you use the Queen’s English when spelling words, like colour or flavour? Do you prefer using the term procedure instead of surgery?
- Tone: Is the tone of your content professional? Energetic? Funny?
- Design of content: How do you typically breakdown information in your content? Subheadings?
- Brand-exclusive nuances: Do you tell your audience that your services are 98 percent guaranteed? Do you even use the word guarantee?
4) Tell a Story
Telling a story with your brand voice is important. It helps your audience connect with you and helps you become the answer to their questions. It gives your brand a human feel. Compelling story-telling opportunities include a strong and personal “About Us” page and heartfelt testimonials.
5) Know Your Audience
Think about this logically: How will you know how to talk if you don’t know who you’re talking to? You need to know what your audience needs and wants, and how you can be the solution to their problem. (This “be the solution” concept is the foundation of all effective content marketing. It should always be milling about in the back of your mind.)
Create what is known as a buyer persona. In giving your audience its own personality, you can fulfill any need they may have and adopt that need as part of your messaging.
By following these five simple tips, you can create and maintain a voice for your brand that will be “louder” than the others, and truly define who you are.