Figure Out Your Core Values
What is it that you want to say to the world? What is it that you feel is important? Do you want your business to be a beacon of light to your audience, shining down on them, creating joy and happiness? Do you want your business to be a wake-up call and teach lessons for your audience? What do you want your audience to think about when they think of your brand?
Get to Know Your Audience
Marketing is all about what’s in it for them, not what’s in it for you. If you can remember that, for every piece of content you create, you’ll be half way there. Every story you tell - be it through an article you write, a video, or a press release – should all be focused with the audience in mind. The best way to do that is truly understand who your audience is by studying them and immersing yourself in everything there is to know about them. How you speak to your audience will be directly related to how well you know them.
Identify the Value You Offer Your Audience
Depending on your products or service, there is some type of value that you are offering such as more time, less worry, or another intrinsic value. Your value might be tangible as well, but usually your value lies in how you solve your audience’s problems and issues. For instance, a breath mint company isn’t selling candy; they are selling fresh breath.
Differentiate Your Business from the Competition
How are you going to stand out from the crowd? One of the ways to do that is to decide how you’ll express your values to your audience. How will you deliver the goods and/or services that you’ve promised? How will you provide more time, more health, more of whatever value your company offers while also sticking to and expressing your core values?
Decide If Your Voice Is Casual or Formal
Once you combine all of the above, you will need to decide if your audience will respond better to a casual or formal voice (or someplace in between). How you speak to your audience is a very important factor in determining if they will understand your message.
Determine Acceptable Lingo and Terms
Once you’ve decided whether your voice is casual or formal or someplace in the middle, you can come up with the type of terms and lingo you’ll use throughout your content marketing, regardless of format. For example: Formal - “I would like to inform you about a sale we are having during Memorial Weekend.” Casual – "Hey y’all! Check out my Memorial Weekend price cuts!”
Create Documentation as a Guide
Whether you’ll be creating all the content yourself, or getting help, creating documentation to guide you through the process will help. Be specific about which font to use. Write down the type of words you want to use, too. The terminology, lingo and jargon is important because it will mean something to your audience and help you get your message across in a way it will produce the results you desire.
Don’t Try to Be Someone You’re Not
The worst thing you can do as you’re creating and developing your voice is to try to be someone you’re not. If you are not generally formal, don’t even try to be formal. If you’d feel fake being casual, don’t do it. Be yourself. If you’ve chosen your audience well, it will be easy for you to be who you are and market to them in a successful way using content.
Content marketing is the most effective form of marketing today, bar none. Finding your voice will help make everything easier. You’ll be able to not only create content easier, you’ll also have a guide to help keep it consistent across all marketing channels.
Finding your professional voice for your content marketing doesn’t require that you become someone you’re not. It requires that you learn more about who you are, what your business stands for, and who your audience is. That can only make everything more effective.