Creating a consistent tone of voice across every single piece of marketing collateral produced by the vast writers of your marketing team can be tough. However, an inconsistent tone of voice is not only noticeable, but confusing to your content consumers.
Video is no exception.
Video is a fantastic and incredibly effective way to emotionally engage with customers and sell your product, brand, and/or service. But with all the different videos you create, it’s important to nail down your brand’s tone of voice in order to ensure it’s consistent across all your videos. Establishing your tone of voice before doing any marketing is important for three reasons:
- It sets you apart from everyone else and makes you unique.
- It builds trust. People are creatures of habit and take comfort in knowing what to expect. If you have a consistent tone of voice, your audience will instantly recognize it as yours, through visual and audio cues.
- It’s an expression of the people behind the brand. Consumers aren’t just buying a product or service, they are also buying into what you stand for and how you make them feel. Brands are belief systems, they mean things to people. Your customers associate themselves with brands they trust and who share the same vision. If you tap into people’s innate sense of wanting to belong, they are more likely to stay loyal to your brand.
There are a multitude of different brand voices. And there are several subtle layers of complexity within those voices. So how do you find a voice that works for you?
Well…here is a handy exercise that will help you identify your tone of voice in around 10 minutes. This exercise is simple; it gets the creative juices flowing and it gets everyone on your team on the same page. We used it to identify our tone of voice at Wooshii. It’s called…the “Rope of Scope”.
Rope the Scope: A Recipe for Tone of Voice
All you need is…
- Some rope. (Ok so not everyone has rope lying around. If you don’t just use a table and some floor space.)
- Some post-it notes
- Access to Youtube
- Some colleagues
- Make your rope form a circle. Or, if you don’t have any rope, just use a table. Then grab a group of your colleagues.
- Jump on to YouTube. Watch five video ads that come to mind. Seriously, they can be any five, it doesn’t matter. We used: Dollar Shave Club, Volkswagen, Bupa, Booking.com, Kmart.
- Each time you watch an ad, put its name on a piece of paper and ask yourself ‘is this the type of video I’d like to make for my brand?’ If it is, put it inside the rope or on the table. This means it’s ‘in scope’. If it’s not for you, put it outside the rope or off the table.
- If there are 5 of you doing the exercise, take it in turns e.g. one person decides where to put Dollar Shave Club, the other decides on where to place Bupa.
- Now here is the key: as soon as you put the piece of paper down, ask yourselves WHY did I put it there? Why is it in scope, why is it out of scope.
- For example: “I liked Dollar Shave Club because it was fun, but to be honest it was a little bit offensive for our brand, so I put it out of scope.” Get someone to write all these adjectives down.
After completing all 5 videos, here is what we had for in scope:
- Fun, enjoying ourselves
- Approachable, inclusive
- Sincere, familiar
And here is what we had for out of scope:
- A fad
Note, it doesn’t matter if everything falls ‘out of scope’. The placement of the paper doesn’t actually matter. It’s the reason behind the placement. So if everything falls out of scope e.g. ‘too sarcastic’, ‘too exclusive’, just find the opposite adjective and put that in scope e.g. ‘sincere’, ‘inclusive.’
So voila, that’s how you can find your tone of voice in ten minutes.