At the heart of a successful strategy for blogging for manufacturing is the ability to be able to write about often highly technical subjects in a way that communicates your expertise, but that remains fresh, accessible and enjoyable to read.
A key element of this process is to agree on a clear and consistent ‘tone of voice’ for your company or brand.
But what exactly is your tone of voice?
And how can it help you to engage with your audience, increase rapport and better tell your story?Why tone of voice matters
It’s not just what you say, but how you say it.
Tone of voice is the way in which you use written or spoken language to connect with your prospects.
It conveys the distinct character of your brand. It humanises your product or service. And it expresses what it is that you stand for.
Identifying the right tone of voice relies on considering two key factors:
- Your brand personality - who are you and what do you stand for?
- Your audience - who are you speaking to (your buyer personas) and what's important to them?
Your blog can be an invaluable tool in helping to drive traffic to your website and in enabling you to secure quality leads that you can ultimately convert to customers.
But while it may seem counter-intuitive, your blog may not be the best place to dictate your opinions or to 'sell' your product or service.
If there’s something that will put anyone off the quickest, it’s that feeling of being “sold to” or "told what to do." So establishing the right tone of voice is going to be crucial.
By positioning yourself in the role of mentor, peer or friend, for example, you can then offer your prospective customers a rich pool of resources rather than an array of products.
It's a chance to put yourself in your prospects' shoes, to start a conversation and to build a relationship based on what matters to them.
Your choice of words
Part of the process of establishing your tone of voice in your blogging is to accumulate a bank of words, phrases and grammatical guidelines that are consistent with your brand.
Even the smallest of adjustments can hugely affect the meaning of your message and how it's received.
Think for a moment about your choice of language, grammar or syntax.
Something as simple as swapping out “You must…” or "You will..." with "You could..." or "You'll..." could make all the difference between a brand personality that draws your prospects in, or one that drives them away.
And while a degree of formality is important in establishing your authority within your industry, the key is to communicate that expertise in a way that's accessible and relatable for your prospects.
Too much formality in your writing could result in you presenting an image that's inflexible, inwardly focused or verbose.
While opting for too casual a tone of voice could see you coming across as flippant or suggest you lack the substance to back up your claims.
It can be easy to assume that the people reading your blog posts know as much about your subject as you do. And that they understand all the terminology, acronyms and turns of phrase that are applicable to your industry.
Sure, some technical language will be needed (and expected) when you’re writing about a specialist or niche subject.
But equally too, stuffing your blog with jargon or overly complex language may just end up confusing your audience and cluttering the intent of your message.
Facts are of course important. And there are things that your prospects will absolutely want to know before they purchase your product or service.
But it's also important to bear in mind where your prospects are at in their buyer's journey and to pitch your content accordingly.
Ultimately we all like to make human connections. And we all like to buy from people we trust.
By keeping in mind your company's tone of voice you can use your blogging efforts to initiate meaningful conversations and to establish rapport with your manufacturing prospects.