Today is Talk Like Shakespeare Day! The world-renowned playwright and poet delighted audiences and readers with his imagery, high drama and poetic dialogue.
But if there's one thing we can truly thank Shakespeare for, it's his ability to deliver a line:
"O Romeo, O Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" (Romeo & Juliet)
"To be, or not to be, that is the question." (Hamlet)
Intonation and emphasis made Shakespeare's work a treat to listen to and the words he used were unusual for the century he lived in. And that's without delving into the poetic devices he used like iambic pentameter, which gave his work a unique rhythm and pace particularly when read aloud. Ultimately, his work stood out.
Why does this matter to you?
What can your business learn from Shakespeare on Talk Like Shakespeare Day?
Quite simply, when copywriting, tone of voice matters.
What is tone of voice? It's not specifically what you say (although this obviously matters) but how you say it that has a lasting impact on your audience. The persona, the character; the people or person behind your business needs to shine through via the words you use. Is your brand more friendly than formal? Do you prefer to sound matter-of-fact to enthusiastic?
Tone of voice also includes words or phrases that your brand is likely, or unlikely, to use. For example; 'complimentary' versus 'free'. Your word choice not only conveys a lot about you or your company, it has the power to speak to your audience, who may also use similar words. You have the power to subtly demonstrate that you're on their wavelength.
Why does tone of voice really matter?
1. People buy from people
At its most effective, tone of voice can create a valuable impression on your reader that breaks down barriers, builds trust and creates a lasting connection. No matter who your audience are, people buy from people. There's often a misconception that B2B buyers are less likely to buy based on an emotional connection with a brand, but the truth is they're human like everyone else. Tap into your buyer's pain points, hopes, dreams and fears using a voice that is consistent, persuasive and authoritative, and you'll likely gain a follower, if not a customer.
2. Consistency builds trust
Digital partner, Digilant, estimates that an online buyer can have up to 62 interactions with a company before they buy. With so many impressions of a brand happening online without a single in-person interaction, it's crucial that your voice is consistent online to build trust. It can be hard enough to make sure your message is heard above the din of your competitors, without lessening its impact with inconsistent word choice and striking the wrong tone.
3. Show off your personality, as well as your product or service!
For smaller businesses, websites, brochures and social media accounts are the shop window where your customers come to browse. Tone of voice, alongside recognisable brand colours and fonts are some of the most effective ways to convey your personality from the get-go, and give your reader a flavour of who they could be buying from. Got a great story about how your business came to exist? Tone of voice will help you choose the right words that have the most impact, all the while sounding approachable and consistent.
Get help from professional copywriters If you've not got a copywriter on your books, getting professional help to create your tone of voice will be hugely beneficial for your business. Whether you're looking to nail those social media captions next month, or improve your website copy in a year's time, one of the I am Emily team will create you a tone of voice guide that you can refer to time and time again.
Be confident with your word choice. Know the tone to use and enjoy speaking to potential customers about your service or product! Contact Emily to take the first step in creating your tone of voice guide.