Finding Your Small Business’ Online Voice
May 11, 2018
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Every successful small business needs a strong online presence. There’s no other way to get the word out about your brand and reach potential customers.
But how should you present your business online? It’s true that you need to have a sound marketing strategy, but you can’t develop that unless you answer the most basic question about your company first.
What is the voice of your business?
It may be easier to visualize this if you think of your business as a person. What would it look like? How would it walk down the street? What would it sound like? What would be its favorite meal? Favorite color?
When developing your business’ personality, you need to have two things in mind.
- What is your business trying to achieve?
- What appeals to your target market?
As you answer those questions, a unique personality begins to form in your mind. This is your brand. Choose personality traits that both represent your passions and your target market’s interest and ideals.
Choose personality traits that both represent your passions and your target market’s interest and ideals.
For example, if you’re offering IT consulting services to other businesses, emphasize your brand’s professionalism, fast and secure processes, and reliability. A minimalist design with mild futuristic elements may be your best bet.
But if you’re producing organic textile for environmentally conscious millennials, create a brand with a clear commitment to fair trade. Before choosing a design element, always ask the question: would my target market like this?
Your Online Voice
Your voice should be an integral part of your brand’s appearance, and consistent with your business’ overall goals. But first and foremost: it should appeal to your target market.
For example, humor and a light tone may not play well with with an IT consulting business. On the other hand, millennials may feel drawn to a textile brand that has a quirky, socially conscious voice.
Pick a voice that is consistent with your brand’s message and appeals to your target market. But can you use that voice all the time for all of your brand’s communications, both online and offline?
The rule of thumb is that your brand’s voice should be consistent, regardless of the medium you’re using. On the other hand, customers may have different expectations from online media than newspaper ads.
Depending on your business’ size and your target market, you may use a slightly different voice online than offline.
This means that, depending on your business’ size and your target market, you may use a slightly different voice online than offline.
The internet allows for an immediate exchange of ideas with your customers. This means that you’re able to create a conversation, and dialogues may require a slightly different voice than monologues.
Similarly, you may reach a different part of your target audience online than offline. If that’s the case, you can choose a slightly altered online voice, but make sure that it’s always a tone that appeals to your niche, and that it fits into the overall image of your brand.
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Simple and Approachable Image
Regardless of your target market, a simple and approachable brand image is always preferable to an overly complicated one (unless you’re selling baroque furniture).
The same is true for business processes. Make sure all your processes reflect your brand’s voice and are as efficient as possible.
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