Listen to the voices!

A business tone of voice is how a company communicates with their audience. Most often, this will actually be through the written word, but it still counts as their voice! Any other method of communication – blog posts, emails, social media posts – that gets the word out in the business’ favour counts as their tone of voice.

We’re going to discuss what a business tone of voice actually needs to be effective, as well as some examples of tone of voice. By the end of this article, you should be able to have all the know-how to implement your own strong tone of voice for your business.

What is it?

Many different aspects can form an overall business voice. Word choice, order, rhythm and pace can affect how a business comes across – and finding a consistent voice to stick to should be many businesses’ priority.

A business’ tone of voice is important, as this is how its customers perceive them. It’s vital that a business has potential customers on-side, and tone of voice can make or break these interactions. Consistency in their communication can create closeness, and trust, which is vital – 88% of people said they valued brands they trusted when it came to purchasing.

dictionary definition of voice

What does it do?

Not only does it showcase the business, but a business tone of voice also represents the people working behind the scenes of the brand. Its personality can shine through, allowing its values to be more clearly visible. Now, the business is in a better position to influence and persuade its customers.

After a trustworthy relationship has been established, tone of voice can be used when dealing with sensitive information or difficult-to-understand topics. A hard concept can be explained using simplified language and examples, or sensitive information can be better transferred with more academic or specialist language.

Additionally, a business’ tone of voice is a unique way for them to differentiate themselves from their competition, especially in a saturated market. No matter what tone of voice a business chooses to use, as long as it’s standardised for the business, it will be recognised as originating from the company.

a trio of people meet for business purposes

How to find the right tone of voice

Defining your brand’s core values is one of the first steps to finding the right tone of voice. Creating a mission statement, with company goals, the target audience and other relevant information can give you a better idea of who you’re targeting, so you can more effectively tailor the tone of voice to appeal to them.

Find the goals you want from your communication, and work these into your key messaging. Be persuasive if you want to make sales or gain promoters, and be trustworthy if you want a loyal audience. If you are still coming up with nothing, find opposing tones, like serious/fun, enthusiastic/matter-of-fact and do some research. Soon enough, you can cut down a larger category into an easier-to-define one.

Passive/active voice

Another thing to consider is whether your tone of voice is active or passive. A lot of companies struggle to decide on which one to use for their business. A passive voice speaks about an action taking place, but an active voice leads you to believe that the action takes place as an effect of their actions. For example, a passive voice would state ‘your shopping will be delivered’ whereas an active voice would say ‘we will deliver your shopping’.

In broad terms, the biggest decision a business will make is whether they’re formal or casual in their tone of voice. A formal tone is authoritative, but can come across as impersonal. A casual tone allows a business’ personality to shine through, but can also come across as inexperienced. It’s a fine balance and it must be what your target market expects from your brand.

man on phone

All done!

Okay, thanks for following along with us as we discussed what a business tone of voice is. We’ve also gone through why it’s important to make your business communications effective. Try making your own tone of voice, and see how your customers respond!