Adapting your brand’s tone of voice for audio is a must

In the new era of voice assistants and endless podcasts, getting your audio brand strategy right is more important than ever before, writes Core's Hannah-Louise Dunne.

Not since the halcyon days of pirate radio has aural storytelling caused such a stir.

With voice search, smart home speakers and podcasts all winning new audiences, publishers and brands are continuing to test new ways to reach their target market through audio content.

And as the search for the perfect type of audio content continues, one challenge stands out:

How should brands and publishers adapt their tone of voice for new audio platforms?

Here are some things to consider when making the move to aural content to help your brand maintain its tone of voice.

Define your active voice

An immersive and absorbing platform, consider how your tone of voice translates to conversational language. Are you speaking to audiences in long and complex sentences? Or could your brand story be articulated using active language?

With audience attention spans growing ever shorter, opt for clear and concise language to communicate your message or story. Use definitive terms when describing a plan or narrative – i.e. it will happen, rather than it may happen.

And consider how the nuances and intonations of natural conversational language can be harnessed to add even more personality to your brand.

Test and learn

Radio remains a tried and tested medium. But when it comes to translating types of content to the new smart audio platforms, we haven’t quite cracked the code. Which means there is no time like the present to test and learn what types of content best reflect your brand, story and resonate with your target market.

Perhaps part of your objective or tone of voice guide is to showcase your expertise to the market. If so, why not test out ways to bring that expertise to life through a short snappy podcast or content series created for the smart home audience?

Globally, publishers and brands are doing just that. Take the US for instance, where the New York Times and Bloomberg are testing and learning from creating bespoke content for smart home devices.

As leaders in carving out new ways of bringing their respective brands to life across digital, their move into testing aural content formats can offer us all valuable insight.

Style guide

Finally, take the lead from news brands, who create a standard style guide for writers and sub-editors to ensure a consistent tone and style across all touchpoints and editorial output.

An efficient way of ensuring readers consume the same style of content, no matter who the creator is, adopt this approach for the aural world.

Create a style guide which considers how your tone of voice will be translated to the spoken word and share this with your team to develop a consistent delivery of content.

Hannah-Louise Dunne is head of content partnerships at Core.


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