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When it comes to your social media presence, you need to establish a brand voice! Learn how to create your own brand voice and get the engagement you want with your captions by implementing your brand voice.
30-Day Caption Challenge
If you take away only one thing from this, make it this: BRAND VOICE. You need it.
If you’re a content creator, brand, small business, or just playing around on Instagram for fun, you need a brand voice. Why? Well, if you don’t have a proper brand voice, how do people know who you or your brand is? What is your personality? Who are you?
Brand voice helps let people know immediately your tone of voice and what they will get when they follow you.
Are you funny?
Are you somber?
Are you being educational?
All of these pieces help establish brand voice and people follow others online because of their shining personalities and voice!
I mean, why do you think Wendys has so many followers on Twitter or Duolingo on TikTok? It’s because their brand voice and personality are so effective and on-brand that no one can miss out on who they are and what they’re trying to market.
When it comes to Instagram captions, having a more informal tone is the best approach. It makes you more personable and approachable—which will be what gets you the engagement you’re going after.
Look at your caption and read it to yourself:
Does it sound like you?
Is it approachable?
Would you engage with it if it were someone else?
If not, tweak it a bit! The best way to write a caption is to write how you would speak naturally. No one wants to read a caption by a robot (well… maybe we do) so make sure your followers are actually getting YOU.
Brand voice is the personality a brand (or person or social media manager or content creator, etc etc) uses online to chat to their audience. I’m sure you follow a certain brand or content creator who has a very unique style on how they speak online.
Some of them are super funny.
Some of them are super informative.
Some are inspirational.
Whatever their personality is, you can get a distinct impression of who they are, and when you read their caption, you know what you’re getting.
So before you even get started with your Instagram account, make sure you know what you want to sound like. It’ll make writing captions that much easier.
So now that you know how important brand voice is, it’s time to establish your own.
When creating a brand voice for your company or business, ask yourself these questions. Really think about each one and write down the answers. It can take a while to figure out the answers to these questions but it's very important that you do to make sure your voice is correct for your brand.
When people interact with you, how do you want them to feel?
What adjectives would you use to describe your brand?
How do you want to talk about yourself?
What is a brand voice you love? Why? What can you learn from them and take away from their voice?
What does your competition sound like and how can you stand out amongst them?
What do you NOT want to sound like?
If you’re stuck, we love Portent’s Tone of Voice Generator to help you get started and hone more into your voice!
After you've written down your answers to the above, dig in a bit more.
Figure out who your audience is
Knowing exactly who you’re talking to is going to help establish your brand voice. If most of your audience is older women, you’re not going to write as if you’re talking to Gen Z, or you’ll majorly deter them from your content.
Nothing is worse than making your target audience feel old… Look through your demographics and get a baseline on who your overall audience is. How do they identify? How old are they? Where do they live? All of these will be huge factors in how you create your brand voice.
Establish your tone
Your brand tone is how you say something when you’re speaking to your audience. Are you more upbeat? Mellow? Sarcastic?
Figuring out the tone for your brand voice will help you create captions that are always on point and on-brand. Once you completely nail down the tone and voice, your captions will come to you quicker and quicker and you won’t spend half your morning, tearing your hair out, wondering: “Why can’t you come up with something clever, brain?!”
Review your current voice
If you’re looking for guidance and help on what your brand voice should be, take a peek at your past posts. Does the voice sound the same across all posts? Or is there inconsistency that can lead to confusion for your audience? Is there a particular post that had a lot of engagement and a really great tone of voice in the caption?
Taking a moment to review your past posts to figure out what’s working vs. what needs to be trashed will help you identify your brand’s personality and voice.
Outside of using emojis to call out your CTA, using them to add some pizzazz and personality to your caption is always a great idea. Now before you go and overload your caption with the heart-eye emoji over and over again (I am definitely a victim of this), be sure to use your emojis in a strategic way.
You can start off your caption with a string of colorful emojis to capture the attention of your followers. With something eye-popping like a series of colorful hearts, it might make your followers stop and pause, click the “read more,” and engage with the post.
Like we mentioned with the CTA, emojis can help call out a specific part of your caption to help highlight the text. Use the finger gun emoji (one of my all-time favorites) to point out some text. Add some sparkle and jazz hands to a specific word. The main thing is: Whatever point you want to get across, use emojis to highlight it.
Homework: Write out what your brand voice is going to be. Look through your demographics to figure out who your audience is and develop a brand voice document that you will follow.
Think about the tone, the style, emoji use, etc.
Ask yourself these key questions:
1. When people interact with you, how do you want them to feel?
2. What adjectives would you use to describe your brand?
3. How do you want to talk about yourself?
4. What is a brand voice you love? Why? What can you learn from them and take away from their voice?
5. What does your competition sound like and how can you stand out amongst them?
6. What do you NOT want to sound like?
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