Ever been in a sports arena or train station, where there are dozens of conversations going on around you, making it impossible for you to hear the person standing next to you? This scenario rings true in the marketing world as well. We are bombarded daily by thousands of images, messages, and opinions – all with the purpose of enticing us to act. Buy this! Think this! Don’t go there! Like this! So, as a business owner, how do you get YOUR brand voice heard? Well, it won’t be by pretending you have a plan of action, when all you really have is your Great Aunt Vera cast as the voice talent behind your brand. Matching voice characteristics to your brand attributes gains big strides in realizing your goals. It’s simple really: three-part strategy, two-part process.
The Voice Recordings Strategy:
1. The vocal characteristics of your chosen voice talent should coincide with the characteristics of your brand, which means you need to be able to define and verbally illustrate those characteristics consistently in both voice and vocabulary. It may be helpful to create a brand chart, where you list three general terms that define your brand – like classy, fun, and smart. Now you have a better understanding of what type of professional voice talent you should be looking for. Review your answers to the following questions:
- What emotions do you hope are elicited in your customers when they think of your brand?
- What adjectives are the OPPOSITE of what your brand represents?
- What is the first thing your customers should think of when they hear your brand name?
2. Align your brand voice with your target customer personas. In other words, if you offer the latest in hip and trendy outerwear for women, ages 18-30, you probably don’t want a “grandma” voice featured on your messages on hold. It would be confusing, to say the least. Your customers need to be able to identify with your brand, thus, your brand voice should appropriately correspond to your target audience. Ask yourself:
- Am I able to describe my target customer?
- How should the voice talent sound to these customers?
- What kind of person would my customer relate to?
If you are unsure about the answers to these questions, ask your marketing department if there are written customer profiles or persona worksheets available to review. Different voice types convey different meanings, and a distinctive voice makes your brand both recognizable and sharable. Does your brand require a deep, powerful, reassuring voice (think Dennis Haybert as the Allstate Insurance man)? Or maybe a quirky, funny voice is more suited to the task (think Flo and Progressive Insurance). Regardless, the voice talent you choose should reflect the way your audience speaks.
Consider the following suggestions:
- Try calling your competitors’ headquarters or call centers to listen to their voice recordings.
- Many companies use voices that are formal and “professional sounding.” The trend today is towards a more conversational and informal sound, and more companies are using unique voice talent to stand out.
Building your brand persona by using professional voice talent throughout your core messaging builds consistency and trust. If you strike the right chord with your customers, you’ll leave the right impression. Our free eBook, “The Essential Guide to Voice Marketing,” explains the benefits of using professional voice talent, the importance of emotional engagement, and how Voice Marketing fits into your marketing strategy.
The Professional Voice Talent Process
1. One of the most effective ways to define, and then execute your brand voice is by utilizing your own Marketing department. More likely than not, they already have written customer personas and profiles, strategy statements, and branding guides. They’ve done their homework when it comes to understanding what problems your customers have and how your business offers solutions to those problems. Having a clear picture of who you are trying to reach is essential in executing successful messaging through various channels – from internet banners, to on-hold music, to social media.
2. Engaging your internal stakeholders and potentially, a voice services firm, is another important piece of the Voice Marketing puzzle. In other words, you need to meet the team you’ve assembled to carry out your branding strategy! Once you have an idea of who you will be working with, consider the following:
- After you’ve engaged a voice services firm, ask them to present standard sample demos, targeting a broad audience, using five or six different voice talents. Then rank those samples in order to further define the direction in which you want your voice brand to go.
- Once this is accomplished, you can request your voice service to provide a custom demo – they’ll do it for free. You may also ask for a second, slightly different demo based on feedback from your planning session.
- Ask if the talent chosen to do your voice recordings is willing to participate in a live coaching session, where you can listen in and give feedback. This important step increases the likelihood of your brand voice being heard loud and clear.
Voice Marketing is just one of the many avenues we travel with you on your journey to success. Request your own custom demo, or visit our Voice Marketing page to learn more about the services we offer, including coaching sessions and script writing and review.