Finding Your Brand Voice

Written by Will McMeans, Jr. Social Media Strategist

There’s a lot of pressure to have good digital content—whether on a blog, in an email, or on social media. Many organizations, for-profit and non-profit alike, dive head first into trying to create something for each of these channels. But before you go off and start writing a blog post on Medium, make sure you have a clear understanding of your brand’s voice.

Brand Voice-05Your brand voice refers to how you communicate with your donors, your prospective donors, your partner organizations—basically everyone. It should reflect who you are as an organization and what sets you apart. Start by asking yourself some questions: How do you want your audience to feel when they think of your brand? Why do your donors give to you? Why do your employees work for your organization? You want to ask questions that aren’t so obvious, that drive at the purpose behind your actions.

If your non-profit provides after-school programs to underprivileged youth, you might say your drive is to provide children the promise of a better life and to inspire them to achieve greatness. You want to synthesize these feelings into the wording you use. Think about whether you should take a positive, upbeat tone that highlights the positive effects of your organization’s work, or a negative, grave tone to stress social injustice. Consider whether a formal or informal tone is more appropriate. To develop a refined brand voice, you need to examine every aspect of your communication.

Brand Voice-08 Brand Voice-07Using the tone you’ve established, you should begin pitching your company’s story: who you are, why you’re here, what you do. Stories are a great way of synthesizing your brand voice in an easy to follow format, and they will reach people on a very personal level. Your stories should follow the people you help, your employees, your supporters, etc. These will help build on and define your organization’s brand voice.

Once you find a brand voice that you use consistently for all of your content, potential supporters will understand your organization better and will be able to recognize your work at first glance. Expressing a cohesive, distinct character is key to creating deeper connections with your supporters.

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