Content Strategy

Content strategy: A consistent voice and story

A look at two companies who use a consistent voice and story in their content strategy, and how it builds trust and credibility for their organization.

Voice is the unique sound to your company, representing both your brand and personality. Your voice influences everything about your business, from client meetings to speaking events to internal communications. It also affects all communication methods: social media, blogs, website content, printed content, advertising, newsletters, etc.

Giving your company a consistent voice—regardless of style—is important to engaging with your audience and building trust with current and potential customers. If you have a voice that’s upbeat and enthusiastic on your Twitter account, yet the voice of your website content is dull and abrasive, it causes confusion; the voice sounds like it could be from two separate organizations. However, if your company’s voice is friendly and informative throughout all communication, your audience better recognizes your brand, and, therefore, trusts you as a whole.

Think about your relationship with a close friend. If they are consistently friendly and kind, you trust their personality. However, if that friend were inconsistently friendly – rude or unkind at times – you wouldn’t trust their personality. The same goes for your brand’s voice. An empathic voice creates a connection with your audience and elicits emotions. A voice that sounds like a real person is trustworthy and, well, more enjoyable than a robotic and lifeless voice.

Let’s take a look at two examples of voice from Pinterest and Envy Labs. Both companies serve as great examples of how they use a consistent voice to captivate and build trust with their audiences.

Creating community

We’re all familiar with Pinterest: their beautifully minimalistic design and collection of inspiration leads all types of people to their community. And so does their content. Pinterest has a unique voice to their brand; they are friendly, empathetic, encouraging, and insightful. Their content’s voice focuses on camaraderie—every “pinner” has a place within the Pinterest community.

Pinterest also uses that friendly, empathetic voice to create a trustworthy connection with their audience. Notice how they give pinners direction and ideas in how to use their product and encourage their audience to become a part of their community. They use tabs called “Make a wishlist” or “Organize an event” to draw in their readers and subtlety give suggestions into using their product.

Stories are a powerful communication tool. We tell stories every day: when talking with friends, coworkers, spouses. It’s the events in our lives that engage others. And Pinterest takes the reins with their story about Sarah and her grandparents’ 1963 A-frame home.

“Sarah bought her grandparents’ 1963 A-frame house in 2011 to keep it in the family, and she’s been fixing it up ever since. She uses Pinterest boards to see how far she’s come and keep track of products and projects.”

Pinterest uses a real user’s story, and their voice behind that story, to engage their audience and build credibility with their community.

Customers feel valued

Meanwhile, Envy Labs takes a similar approach to their voice. They use an upbeat, honest voice, allowing their relaxed culture to shine through their content. Instead of telling potential customers about their process, they show them – with a delightful voice and story. Their voice shows that their team is encouraging and understanding towards customers’ needs and that they are ready to take on your project.

Notice how their voice makes customers feel welcomed and valued. Using phrases such as “brainstorm beyond established norms and invent digital solutions” shows Envy Labs’ expertise while maintaining encouraging and motivating content. These phrases also give insight into the credibility of their company, their process, and how they handle customer-client interactions.

Like Pinterest, Envy Labs uses stories to engage their audience; they incorporate an upbeat and honest voice when talking about the beginning of their process. Using phrases like “we explore our compatibility by listening” and “let you drill us” makes readers feel important and heard—all while continuing that honest and upbeat voice. Users that feel important and heard trust a company with their projects, and this is exactly what Envy Labs does.

By creating a story about their process and using a consistent voice, Envy Labs ensures users can trust their company.

So why is voice and story important to your company?

The important thing to remember is voice doesn’t change often. A company’s voice may change over time—like a teen’s voice changes as they mature into an adult—but it shouldn’t change drastically from one situation to the next. Voice should be consistent whether you’re addressing a client or a team member. Consistency is memorable; a consistent voice ensures customers know who you are as a brand and trust your services.

Looking at our examples above, each company maintains a consistent voice. Pinterest and Envy Labs took a humanlike approach to their voice—creating an engaging conversation with readers rather than a dry textbook of information. In doing so, both companies build trust with their audience; they are able to engage their readers on a personal level and gain credibility with their audiences.

Whatever personality your company has, it’s important to be consistent with your voice. Defining a consistent voice allows your company to engage your audience across all methods of communication, giving you a chance to reflect the personality and culture of your brand.

Does your organization have a consistent voice? How will a consistent voice help build trust with your audience and give your business credibility?

Written by Megan Whalin

writer. dog mom. PNW.

Website: http://meganwhalin.com

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