Consistency is one of the most important qualities of website copy creation, but creating a consistent brand voice is especially important. According to Forbes, a consistent brand voice builds trust with your audience because they’ll know what to expect from your content; it helps the audience distinguish you from your competitors; and if you use different tones and styles (that still reflect your brand), you can highlight how inclusive and flexible your brand is. When customers see that you are reliable, trustworthy, accurate, inclusive, and flexible, they are more likely to become loyal customers.
Web copy can be a vital tool in creating a consistent brand voice, but a consistent brand voice also helps web copy, so the two are mutually beneficial. This article will give you tips on identifying your brand voice, establishing consistency in your web copy, maintaining your brand voice across multiple pages, and measuring the impact of your brand voice.
Identifying Your Brand Voice
Before you can create a consistent brand voice for your website copy, you need to identify what that voice is. You need to think about your brand’s mission, values, and target audience. A brand mission is a statement that communicates a brand’s goals and how the company plans to serve its audience. This statement is different from your brand voice (the way you talk to your audience) and your brand identity (typically the visual elements of your business).
Defining your mission statement will help you identify your target audience. To do this, you should create a buyer persona – a character that represents your customer. It should include their age, occupation, education, personality, and social/economic background. You may even create an image of them. The persona will help you target your marketing efforts more effectively and figure out what tone is most appropriate for your audience.
Reverbico lists eight tones – positive and inspiring, humorous, strong and aggressive, proud and exclusive, considerate and simple, highly emotional, elegant and sweet, and absurd and weird – that companies use as their brand voice. Nike’s “Just Do It” is an example of a positive and inspiring brand voice that is almost globally and instantly recognizable. It’s uplifting and promotes fearlessness in people when they are chasing their goals. You want to establish a voice that is unique to you and that your customers can recognize. For this, you need consistency.
Establishing Consistency in Website Copy
Creating consistency across your website is not an easy feat without strategies in place. The best way to create consistency is to design a style guide. This document should set the language, tone, punctuation, and grammar you want to use in your website copy. You could also set the layout or formatting you want to employ. For instance, you could specify that headings be of a certain style or size and subheadings be of another. Writing all this information in one document to which all your writers have access will help them be more consistent.
Whether you decide to employ writers and proofreaders or hire freelancers, you will need to ensure that they are comfortable with the style guide and your brand voice so you maintain consistency across your copy. You could create trial documents (this is especially important for freelance writers and editors), which allow you to check that everyone you hire is comfortable working to your standards. Having example articles available for your writers will also help them check their work against your requirements.
Check out this article for more information on how to proofread your website.
Maintaining Brand Voice Across Different Website Pages
Your brand voice must be consistent across all pages on your website, including your blog and product pages. So, if you use humor on your landing page, you should use humor throughout. Dollar Shave Club is a great example of a company that mixes humor and sarcasm across its website and social media. Its ability to provide informative content while also not taking itself too seriously makes the company a very relatable and likable brand. This consistent humor is what makes it stand out from its competitors.
Your last line of defense against inconsistency slipping through is your editors and proofreaders. They should be your final step in any content creation because they will catch the errors and any inconsistencies that have slipped through during the writing process.
You should never skip this stage because so much is at stake if you publish incorrect or inconsistent copy. You could tarnish your reputation in your industry if you let spelling mistakes slip through, and brand voice inconsistency will discourage your customers from purchasing your products or services. Having a team of editors review your completed copy will help catch any mistakes before they reach your audience, saving you embarrassment.
Measuring the Impact of a Consistent Brand Voice
All this effort is completely useless unless you have some way to measure the impact of your copy. As you are creating your copy, you should also think about what key performance indicators (KPIs) you need to use to see whether your website copy is performing to the best of its ability. Some KPIs you may want to use are click-through rate, the number of visitors to your website, engagement levels, and the number of conversions. The consistent brand voice that you have worked so hard to create will impact all of these.
If your voice or tone is different from one page to the next, your customers may become disoriented or confused, making them less likely to want to engage with your website again. And this is not ideal! Hubspot is a remarkably consistent website that promotes consistency to increase its brand awareness and customer loyalty. It strikes a balance between lightheartedness and informativeness that is present across all its pages and blogs. By doing this, they have positioned themselves as a hub of information about sales, marketing, and service, one that many people turn to for advice.
Creating a consistent brand voice for your web copy is vitally important to increase brand awareness, build trust with your audience, and convert visitors to customers, but it’s not easy to accomplish. However, taking several steps will help you do this. First, you must identify your brand voice by defining your brand’s mission and target audience, both of which will inform your brand voice. Then you should establish a workflow that promotes consistency. A style guide is the best way to do this. Once you have your brand voice, you need to maintain it across all your content. Having editors and proofreaders check your work is a great way to ensure that all your content uses the same tone and voice. Finally, you need to use KPIs to monitor the impact your copy is having on your goals. If you find that your content is not performing well, you can redo these steps until you find what works for you. But remember to push for consistency in all your content.
If you want to learn more about writing great website copy, checkout our comprehensive guide to writing excellent website copy here.