Writing for Your Business: Setting the Tone For Your Content
Just like choosing your words in everyday conversation, choosing the tone your marketing materials set makes a difference. Whether it’s your blog, brochure, website or newsletter, how you communicate with your prospects matters.
Choosing the tone you set with your content can be challenging, but it allows you to be consistent in all business communication outlets once you do. The tone a business chooses should reflect the culture of the company, including how clients are treated when face to face with someone. Here are three broad categories to consider:
- Casual — This is often the style you see on hometown, local business websites. Whether it’s a craft fair or hardware store, the casual tone speaks to customers in a conversational way, often welcoming and can get a bit corny. Some play fast and loose with grammar and spelling, but this isn’t advisable as it often comes across as sloppy. Even slang and colloquialisms have a common spelling, so Google it if you don’t know it. This is also a popular choice for companies marketing to kids, as it avoids one-dollar words.
- Tech-Savvy — For companies catering to the first-adopters crowd or to IT departments, using technical jargon and the latest web tools can be a plus. But businesses that specialize in a technical field for the everyday person, such as a computer repair shop, should stay away from technical jargon and complicated tools that require client input. Unless you are completely sure your audience knows what you mean, put it into layman’s terms or simply describe the benefits rather than the minutia.
- Professional — For businesses that want to show they take their customers seriously, a professional tone is a must. It instills confidence in the prospect, so they know the people behind the content are competent. For industries like finance and law, this tone has content that is straight to the point, removes unnecessary words, and avoids contractions. This doesn’t fit for every company, as it can come across as stiff.