The authentic voice and why it matters
We live in a world where there is so much information thrust upon us from so many different sources that we’re not always sure what or who to trust. It’s therefore more important than ever that companies communicate with an authentic voice, to not only provide credibility and engage with their audiences but also to stand out from the crowd. As the shop window for companies, or perhaps more the corporate mouthpiece, a company’s website is key to achieving this.
So, what do we mean when we talk about an authentic voice? Well, it can be expressed in many forms: a company’s purpose and its reason for existing; how as a business it differentiates itself and creates value for its many stakeholders; and what makes it sustainable with the promise of long-term and fruitful investment.
When it comes to writing content for corporate and IR websites, the authentic voice can’t be an afterthought. We can’t assume that just cutting and pasting from other materials will be sufficient or that it will effectively cut through the noise that so many other companies and sources are creating. By not considering the tone of voice of your content, you’re at risk of alienating your customers, deterring fresh new talent from joining you and maybe even encouraging potential investors to look elsewhere.
Showcasing who you are
An authentic voice provides you with the chance to showcase who you are and what you stand for without the filter of third-party sources, such as news aggregators, forums or social channels. For professional services firms, the tone might be formal and confident; if targeting potential graduate recruits in the gaming industry, the tone should be completely different and a more informal, tongue-in-cheek approach might be more appropriate. Having a voice that can flex with your audiences’ needs but remains consistent in tone across channels is crucial, ensuring a greater understanding of and transparency about the business.
Stand out from the crowd
Whether you communicate in a bold and aggressive manner or a soft and quiet manner, it will ultimately affect how you are perceived by your audience. If companies didn’t give due care and consideration to their voice, then every business would sound the same and memorable brands such as Just Eat, ASOS and Paddy Power wouldn’t be the household names that they are today. The right type of authentic voice can showcase the depth of your expertise, the impact of your innovation and the importance of your culture – all aspects that your stakeholders will be using to evaluate a company like yours.
Establish your authority
When audiences recognise a voice, it becomes more familiar to them. The consistency of the tone and message, the use of language and the personality voicing it all build recognition. In building this familiarity, stakeholders are more likely to trust what it is you have to say, ensuring your industry standing, making you an authoritative voice and ultimately influencing sales, recruitment and investment decisions. Reflecting this voice throughout the different channels that a stakeholder may engage with provides companies with the opportunity to educate, engage and persuade.
If you would like to discuss your authentic voice, then please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org.