Your Written Brand – Do You Know Who You Are?June 6th 2017 Sally Ormond Branding, copywriting, Sally Ormond, written brand
Brand is everything in the business world, but for most people, it starts and ends with a logo.
The mindset seems to be that a cool logo will instantly attract an audience that’s willing to part with its hard earned cash.
Well here’s some disappointing news for you – a logo won’t sell your products/service, especially if you’re just starting out in business.
Granted there are plenty of logos out there that will make loyal customers buy, such as Apple, Nike, but that is because the logo is associated with something that consistently offers quality and innovation.
When you’re starting out, you have to get yourself noticed, for the right reasons, and that means concentrating on your whole brand.
What is a whole brand?
Your brand incorporates everything:
- Your website design
- Your logo
- The content on your website
- The voice/tone you use
- Your ethos and values
- Customer service
- The way you greet customers
The list is pretty much endless, which is why just concentrating on your logo (and either spending a small fortune or being tight and only paying a fiver for an ‘it’ll do’ effort) is a huge mistake.
Why the tone of your content is critical
In that list, I mentioned the voice/tone of your content.
Most people don’t usually associate the way they write with their brand, and that’s a big mistake.
For most prospects, your website is the first contact they’ll have with your company. That means your words perform multiple tasks. They have to engage, convince and persuade, convert, converse, convey your personality and business ethos.
A lot of companies don’t see the content on their site as important. Most of the budget goes on the design and functionality, with the content being an afterthought. In fact, it’s usually not until the finalised web design is received and the site’s full of Latin that the realisation dawns that the website isn’t going to come full of content.
Then, with the launch date fast approaching, the content is cobbled together in-house with little thought about how it should be written. The result is usually pages of content that talks about the company, completely ignoring the needs of the reader, and consisting of jargon and mindless marketing-speak.
As a result, it doesn’t attract traffic, and the visitors it does receive are instantly put off leaving you with a large bounce rate and no conversions.
Developing your written brand
OK, so now you realise you need to put a bit more thought into your content, but how do you come up with your written brand?
The first step is to take a look at your business and consider how you want your customers to feel about you. Do you want them to see you as approachable, innovative, quirky, serious, professional, personable, cool, etc.?
Then it’s time to think about your product/service and the benefits it offers. By that, I mean how it makes your customers’ lives better, not what colours it comes in or any other feature.
What do you offer that no one else offers? You are bound to operate in a competitive market, so it’s important to show how you differ from everyone else.
After following each of these steps you now know how you want to sound (your voice), the main benefits your offer and your USP (unique selling proposition). Now all you have to do is construct your content.
Pulling it all together
The voice you have decided on will dictate the vocabulary that you use. It’s important you write in plain English and do not use any jargon, technical terms or empty marketing hype (i.e. we are brand leaders, etc.).
Your headline will contain the main benefit you offer so your reader can instantly see why they should do business with you. Your content can then go on to talk about secondary benefits and your USP.
All of that should be written in the second person, so it sounds to the reader as though they are having a conversation with you.
You should then use case studies and testimonials to offer proof of your product/service and how other clients have benefited in the real world, bringing your offering to life.
A big ask but worth it
I admit all of this is a big ask, especially when you throw your SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy in for good measure, which is why it may be wise to bring in a professional copywriter to help you.
Far from being an additional expense, using an experienced writer will be a wise investment in your brand.
Not being an ‘insider’ they will be able to see your business from your customers’ point of view, delivering a new dimension to your writing that will strengthen its ability to engage, persuade and convert readers.
Of course, on top of the actual writing, they will also be able to help you with all the other stuff I’ve already talked about (finding your voice, etc.).
Remember, your brand is more than just a logo; it’s the whole of your business and every touch point.
Sally Ormond is an international copywriter who has been helping brands get their message heard.