When people encounter your brand online, what do you want them to think? How do you want them to feel? What sort of emotions do you want to convey?
These are the questions you need to answer in order to figure out your brand identity – and consequently, your brand image. Answering them is critical if you’re to effectively engage with your audience. A brand with no clear identity is one that consumers cannot trust.
And if they don’t trust you, they simply won’t do business with you.
There’s a lot that goes into crafting your brand identity:
- Effective imagery.
- Colors and shapes designed to convey a particular mood or emotion.
- A portfolio of high-quality products.
- A memorable company name, logo, and slogan.
- And last, but certainly not least, language.
It’s one area where we most frequently see brands fall short. Their employees are well-trained. Their products and services are top-notch. They’re totally zeroed in on the visual components of their brand.
Yet when it comes time to actually communicate, they fall short.
Their tone of voice is uninspiring. Their copy is vague, boring, and stuffy. They focus more on making sales than on building relationships. They’re inconsistent across their marketing channels, leading to a disjointed brand experience.
In short, they fall victim to bad copy, and their brand identity suffers for it. The good news is that these gaffes are actually easy to avoid. All it takes is a bit of time, effort, and research.
First, know your prospects. Understand the language and attitude of the people you’re selling to. If your brand markets itself primarily to college-aged young men, you’re going to use different copy than if you were selling to middle-aged housewives.
Mind you, there are commonalities that extend across all demographics. When in doubt, lean towards a more conversational tone of voice. In the Business to Consumer (B2C) space, people don’t like feeling as though they’re being sold to. They want to feel like they’re engaging with an actual person rather than a business that’s trying to turn them into a lead.
And even on the B2B side of things, boring and mechanical copy doesn’t tend to perform well.
Yes, you need to tell people what your products can do. Yes, you need to demonstrate an understanding of their field, a grasp of the struggles and challenges their business faces. But you need to do all of that without coming across as a robot.
Basically, pay attention to how your audience actually speaks, and shape your copy around that- talk to them like they’re people.
Second, quality and consistency are both critical. Check your posts for spelling and grammar, and ensure that anyone posting on any of your channels has ready access to your brand’s communication guidelines. These should establish who you are, why you’re doing business, what makes you unique, and how you want to connect with your audience.
See? All in all, it’s pretty simple. Just make sure your copy meshes with the rest of your branding, and you should be just fine.