The Truth About Brand Voice and SEO

More content is created every few years than in the first 10000 years of human history. How do you stand out in that vast sea of content?

It’s important to develop a unique brand voice, and have a consistent take on your industry, over all your marketing channels. Whether your content is on TV, podcasts, print materials, or your website, it should sound like your company.

Many companies try a “me-too” approach to content marketing, where their content sounds the same as everyone else’s. That’s a good way to blend into the scenery and be forgotten.

By creating compelling content with a distinct view of the word, your industry, and how your company fits into both, you stand a better chance of being remembered.

People do business with those they know, like, and trust. The first key is to publish consistently, and make your company voice known. When the time is right, customers will do business with you.

Having a distinct voice means some people will be naturally attracted to what you stand for, and others will be repelled by it. That’s okay. As long as you attract the segment of the market you aim for, it’s all right to leave parts of the market for others with a better fit.

How do you capture your decades of experience, and distill that into content that sounds like you? Use your phone to record yourself talking, or use a video camera to film yourself presenting information. You can use a transcription service like Rev.com to turn those spoken tracks into a rough draft of a blog post. Polish it up for online consumption, and you’ve got yourself a piece of content that is written in your own words and your natural language.

The most difficult part of developing a brand voice is doing the reps, and creating written, audio, or video content on a regular basis. By doing the work, you refine what your thoughts and brand positioning is.

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3 Comments

  1. John Locke says:

    What are your biggest challenges in developing a unique brand voice? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Peace.

  2. Curtis McHale says:

    How much of yourself should you put in your company brand? Does that change for smaller business vs larger businesses? At what point do we move from a “small” brand to a “large” one? Finally, how do you decide on what type of digital content to use for a market? It’s also worth noting that you don’t need a “professional” camera either. My iPhone 6S Plus shoots 4K if you get the right application to push it.

    • John Locke says:

      Good questions. Smaller companies have a lot of the founder in the brand. The founders are likely to be the face of the brand, even as the company grows. Even if the founding team isn’t “on camera”, their words are often part of the website or the marketing material. As a company gets larger, it’s likely that other people will also become faces and voices of the company. Something I did long ago was write down Company Values, and I think that’s a good idea for all companies.

      When does a brand move from small to large? When the founders/leadership start handing off work to new hires because they don’t have as much time, that’s a sign they are growing. In this stage, the leadership team will still be a large part of the brand voice, but as the company scales up, more people will probably become involved. It’s a good idea to use people who are on-board for the long term.

      What kind of digital content to target? At first, it may be what you can commit to on a consistent basis. Written and video content are probably easiest. PDFs, webinars, PowerPoint, podcasts seem to take more planning. It’s hard to go wrong with written content and video content. Most of my own clients would benefit from PDFs, as those can be printed out, and distributed in person or online as well.

      I hear what you are saying about a pro camera. Having a good camera with a tripod and microphone is best. I used my iPhone 6 for this video, but I’m using my wife’s iPhone 7 for upcoming videos, mostly because my own phone only has 16GB of memory, and hers has 256GB. I’e been recording at 60fps, so that chews up space quickly. The 7 records in 4k, but I’m not sure I want to add that much editing time right now. (On a side note: I like using the phone for video, but many people should use a camera. The reason I say that is not everyone knows best practices, like holding the phone in landscape mode — most people hold it in portrait mode — and it can be overly shaky, if people don’t know to get a phone tripod.)

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