It's a no-brainer that the digital copy your business puts out is important - but what exactly is so important about it, and why? Whether you're a business owner or branding your own personal image, you're probably familiar with digital copy - but how much do you actually know about the elements that make it so crucial to connecting with your target audience? Understanding the various components that digital copy impacts is an important step in creating a clear and successful strategy that will trickle through all of the other parts of your business - a 'make or break' factor.
While social media and digital platforms continue to grow, as does the gravity of your online presence. While this can seem daunting at first glance, understanding how and why your digital voice impacts your overall brand is key in unlocking its potential. We've broken down the importance of digital copy tone into three key components, explaining what they are, what their impact is on your branding, and tips for how you can nail yours. Because whether it be your website or your social media, your digital copy is a crucial cornerstone in communicating with your audience, effectively conveying your message, and fostering long term relationships and strong branding.
So, what exactly is digital copy?
Digital copy is the written text you or your brand puts out across all your digital platforms - from anything social media related all the way to the information on your website. This includes everything from Instagram captions to your website description - which are (or should be!) two VERY different things. That's why understanding what makes a digital tone and how to tailor it for your communication channels is so important.
Reaching and resonating with your target audience are two very different things, and you really can't have one without the other (at least not successfully, that is). So, what is it that makes digital copy so vital when it comes to hitting home with your desired audience? Unlike in-person interactions, digital communication leaves a lot more up to interpretation - which is not necessarily always a good thing. Once you remove vocal tone, body language, and facial expressions, it becomes A LOT more difficult to create a personable impression - making the importance of your digital tone increase tenfold. A good place to start is by determining the tone your audience is receptive to. Researching competitors' communication styles, identifying the demographics of your audience, and forming a clear understanding of how they interact with digital media are all useful ways to decide upon the kind of tone you employ. From here, you can start to develop a stronger sense of brand identity or refine your existing image further, which will be key to creating a consistent and appropriate voice between channels.
When figuring out your brand's persona, it can be helpful to imagine it as an actual person. Think of the way you want your brand to come across - what is the presence and identity you imagine your brand would have? By materialising your brand into something tangible, you'll find embodying this tone across platforms much easier. With that being said - understanding the differences in the kind of communication style your audience is seeking/expects among different platforms should also inform your tone. For example, the tone of digital copy within a website is typically more professional than other platforms such as social media, where copy is generally more informal and conversational.
So, you've figured out the kind of tone that will effectively engage with your audience - but what about the actual message itself? If your tone is off, it can completely change the message you're trying to communicate - so it's paramount that you use a method that is appropriate (delivery really is everything after all!). In the same way, where your audience may vary across platforms, so should your style of delivery. For example, given the two-way communication format of social media, platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are better suited to a dialogue-style tonality (since you are engaging directly with consumers), so it's a great space for experimenting and really building that brand voice. This direct communication makes social media an excellent platform for fostering deeper connections with your audience, where a conversational and personable tone can be an easy way of doing so. In the same sense that social media can be more informal, websites are a good place to make a positive and professional impression and should build trust with existing and potential consumers in a different way.
Long-term relationships & branding
Now that you've figured out what kind of tone is suitable across your digital platforms, you can start to consider ways to leverage off them to build long-term relationships and establish your brand. Not only is tailoring your tone to suit each platform an easy way of developing your brand persona, it's also a great way to initiate new customer relationships and foster existing ones for a low financial cost. This also contributes to your overall brand position among consumers and plays a big role in determining how your audience perceives your business.
So, if you had any doubts about just how important digital tone is - we hope we've remedied them. If you know where you want your brand to be but aren't quite sure how to get there - we're here to be your guiding hand! Our downloadable guide to creating engaging captions might just be the social media bible you've been searching for. Or, if you're needing something a little broader to really get a solid grasp on how to develop your tone, our Business Manual is an easy-to-follow guide that considers your business journey from start to finish.
WORDS | Brittany Ross