Tone isn't a style, it's your message
In order to send the right message, you also need to tone to reflect the reason your audience tunes in for the latest post. So what is the right tone to take for your blog? At PRLab, we carefully plan this during the research phase of every article we write for our clients blog. Here is what we have to decide on first:
Know yourself as well as your audience
Brand identity is crucial to your organizational success and it must be understood in crafting your blog. Are you an edgy edtech company focused on the change in the organizational structure of education? Then this is something you can leverage and you can take a more controversial tone in your articles which question the status quo.
However, if you are a more traditional company that focuses less on change but more on the excellence of your core products, then you will want to take a more educational approach. This is who you are and this is why people visit your blog page. If you start deviating from it, you will confuse yourself and your audience.
Purpose and types of blog posts
As mentioned before, every blog needs a purpose and every post has a different one. How-to articles look to inform your audience on how to accomplish something and advocate articles look to insight change. They shouldn’t be treated the same.
So when you first set out in crafting an intriguing blog post you first need to decide what you want to accomplish with it. What is your call-to-action you are trying to push on to your audience? So you have to make a decision on the type of post you want to create.
Educational blogs are the most popular, and for good reason. If you are a proptech company, then an article about how to modernize your office space on a budget is not only highly relevant to your readers, but you are a relevant source for the information. People trust your insights on your field of specialty and therefore you should leverage your expertise.
However, an educational post can vary quite heavily. Sometimes a new research comes out with game changing findings, and a blog post can be relevant on the subject. You can use the new data to debunk myths in your industry and effectively educate your audience.
More commonly referred to op-ed’s when published in a newspaper, advocacy articles do also find their way into blog posts. If you own a talent acquisition software and have long discussed diversity in hiring, then blog posts advocating for a change in the status quo is highly relevant. Although it may educate readers, the main purpose is to reaffirm your standing on an issue and that you are actively pushing for change.
In some instances and depending on your identity as a company, a good story telling article can not only provide great entertainment, but also reaffirm why your company is one of the best in your industry. Most of the time we see this in the form of a case study, but these are quite formal. If your audience appreciates being talked to and to be one worth telling and it needs to be entertaining.
Making the decision
Finally after answering all the questions above, it is finally time to select a tone. If you are a company that regularly challenges the status quo and you are writing an advocacy article, then be direct and harsh in your tone. Address the audience themselves and knowing your audience, they won’t mind it. Because that is who you are.
If your audience is a bit less receptive to this type of harshness, you can still create a great advocacy piece, but don’t be as direct. Address the industry and not the reader, that way it feels less like an attack. This is definitely the more formal approach and more common do to its conservativeness.
On the contrary, educational pieces should always be more on the formal side. You want to educate the readers on a topic and for that it needs credibility. Avoid storytelling entirely unless it exemplifies why something works or it doesn’t. But still keep it short, otherwise your message will be lost. And always address the audience directly, that way it seems like a private lesson instead of one done in a group of 50.
On the contrary, storytelling articles should always take an informal tone of voice. You are not necessarily addressing the audience, but instead giving them an inside look into your company. Here they get to see how it operates, how you handle adversity, and most importantly, it shows them that you aren’t out of touch with reality.
Ultimately, choosing a tone isn’t something that should be difficult, but shouldn’t be forgotten about. The tone of voice you choose is part of your message and a crucial aspect in how it will be received. So know who you are, who your audience is and what you are trying to accomplish.
On a daily basis, we make about 35,000 different decisions that have an influence on our life. Some of them have larger repercussions like whether or not you will be employed in the coming months, but most are small; like deciding where to eat dinner. But imagine deciding to dine in at a place called “Burts Best Burgers” and find out they don’t sell burgers. This is what it's like coming across a blog article about the “5 ways to improve your market strategy” on a company's website who is focused on fintech.
Every company has to do marketing in some capacity, including your audience members. However, no one is coming to your blog to learn about it. If they want to learn that