Talking the talk: does the tone of your website sound like your brand?
Construction Marketers promote websites using social media, paid digital advertising, SEO, physical business development materials, and automated marketing to encourage prospects to learn more about them online. While these integrated tools are indispensable to increasing online traffic to the website and expanding brand awareness, it can be easy to overlook one of the most important (and most controllable) brand characteristics you have…the voice and tone of your website. Voice and tone are vital characteristics of your branding, and allowing your voice and tone to be delivered off-brand via your website create a HUGE brand disconnect for your site visitors. For instance, if your company culture is professional but not “corporate” you won’t want to create content for your site that is deemed to be corporate in tone. Consistency across all media is key. Why, you may ask?
Here is some context for you: the average human brain is highly adept at connecting meaning with certain tones of voice. We have even evolved to be able to do this while reading text – with no audible voice necessary, we are often able to accurately glean the intentions and conviction of writers simply by reading their words. This is revolutionary! We are the only species capable of doing this, and it is one of the many things that elevate us as the leader of the animal kingdom. Yes, we may be evolved primates. Yes, a mere 40,000 years ago, we were painting cave walls with blood and berries to make drawings of deer and fish. But EVEN THEN! humans were capable of comprehending the tone of their storyteller’s drawings on those cave walls. And, we’ve only gotten better through the years.
Now, fast forward to 2018, and take a moment to Google the website of a law firm. Make sure it is a professionally designed site, not a DIY job. Notice how your brain comprehends the authoritative and legal tone of the writing – often in thick, capitalized lettering that immediately brings a gavel to the brain. The look, tone, and voice of this website is no accident; it is a purposeful and very effective reflection of who that law firm is, and positions them as an assertive and knowledgeable legal guide to all things judicially inclined. Reading the website probably feels like going to their office and sitting down with one of the lawyers of that firm, right? Perhaps now, after reading that, you might want to call it a day, grab a beer and to put your feet up. Don’t worry, the next example will be less stressful.
Let’s think about that law firm again. When you’ve got a potentially stressful legal situation on your hands – you’re not looking for a bunch of clowns, you want to feel safe and secure with those responsible and practical adult lawyers who know the books. But, to keep from sounding and seeming like every other law firm out there, they need to make sure their website content captures their character, culture, unique vision and practice model. It really CAN be easy to overlook what your website says to others and the tone in which it is conveyed. But in 2018, it is one of the most useful and important resources business owners and marketers alike have in creating a truly honest brand experience that will win the right kind of business, attract the right kind of new clients, and turn customers into repeat customers. It’s best to either work with a brand marketing firm who gets to know your branding intimately or write the content yourself if you have the skill and savvy to do so.
After reading this article, give your own website a run-through…if the tone and voice of your website aren’t a true reflection of your brand voice and customer experience in the real world, or if your best competitor can take it verbatim for their own, it may be time for a website content change that represents your brand more accurately.