Communication Education- Don’t Take that Tone with Me!

by Chris Hoole · 23 comments

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Howdy BGB’ers… I know, you missed me. 😉  

Unfortunately I’m still pretty sickly at the moment, can’t seem to shake it.  

So big thanks to guest blogger Chris Hoole today for picking up my slack with this thought-provoking post on language, voice, and how it can affect your business success.  

Ya’ll know what to do by now right?  Make him feel warm and welcome and all that jazz.  We bloggers live for that stuff! 🙂

Tone of voice for copywriters, or their offline cousins, is essential.  Whatever business you run, a massive part of your marketing materials will depend on the written word.

Even TV adverts start out as scripts, so getting the right words to get your message across is crucial.  When it comes to online marketing – be it article marketing, blog posting or web copy itself, there are a number of approaches to take.  The Internet has changed language, or at least the way it gets used, more rapidly than any other previous communication technology.

Text-speak sometimes looks like it needs a Bletchley Park code breaker to decipher it;  while some people bemoan the ‘death’ of the English language, others see this sort of development as proof that the language is well and truly alive and kicking.  Let’s face it, you can’t text-speak in Latin.

When it comes to online marketing materials there are arguments for both sides; some argue that your articles, blogs and web copy should be informal, using language and/or symbols that ‘people’ understand.  Others argue for a more formal tone, which suggest ‘authority’.

So who’s right?

Considering the Market

OK, I’ll admit now that I don’t have an answer to that.  There’s too many different factors to take into account.  As a business you need to know your market and this will be one of the major factors to consider when it comes to the tone of voice you adopt and the style of language you use.

I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, with those who see changes in language as a bad thing.  As a writer and copywriter I like to see languages evolving, I’ve even been known to invent the odd word or two from time to time.  At the same time I prefer, generally, a more formal approach.

However, if your market is likely to respond to text-speak, to understand it and most importantly to trust it, then it’s the way to go.  Trust is the key word here, because online communication has to build trust, first and foremost.  Online shopping is new, (I mean its been around a few years now) but it’s still new.

More and more people are accessing the Internet and there’s a huge increase in the range of backgrounds and ages of the people who do.  Older generations, unfamiliar with anything more techy than a typewriter are being forced online in droves, as businesses and government agencies go virtual – to cut costs and become ‘more accessible’.

The growth in the range of Internet users is taking a sharp upward curve.  These users need sites that seem ‘authoritative’ and this is where, to some extent, I think the more formal approach can be a winner.

Best of Both Worlds

Writing that is good quality, sounds authoritative, possibly journalistic in tone, can give you access to a broader range of Internet users, and help to establish trust with them.  But this also depends on the platform you’re using to communicate.

For article marketing, email marketing and blog posting, it can work well.  If you’re accessing your clients through FaceBook or Twitter, it can be less useful.  As is often the case in life – and business – combining both approaches brings the best results.

This is where making the right choices in your marketing campaigns is essential.  With the growth in Internet use and the range of platforms to work from, creating good, workable and appropriate copywriting for your business needs to be approached seriously.

Any business needs a solid business plan and a marketing strategy should underpin this.  By joining forces with established seo copywriting agencies, you can develop the right tone of voice, the right language styles and the right mix as required.

No one business will be entirely the same and getting this mix right can be a serious factor in success.  Whichever route you choose, and both are probably equally important, at the end of the day ensure that you pay due care and attention to the tone of voice you take with your customers!

Like this post?  Feel free to share it with your pals, I won’t object.  In fact I’ll give you a big fat thank you for it!  Xo!

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