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Your Voice is Our Voice

Why tone of voice is fundamental
GoFable strives to be the leading company in our industry and we want to help other content marketing agencies who might be struggling with their creative process and workflow by paying it forward. Words are powerful and their tonality can create an environment which may be unsettling to some. For a more general look on branding guidelines, click to find out why guidelines are important.
Didja get that?
Tone of voice is a very important concept because it's an essential part of communication for businesses and their relationship with customers and clients. Most companies do this well, but there are a couple of mistakes that some companies make. In terms of marketability, language is important here and if your company cannot properly communicate with consumers and the target audience about your products and services, then you may be perceived as inauthentic. It's important to set examples and show how different tones benefit companies with different audiences. For example, let's say you're writing for a tech company... it'd be awkward to joke around with your audience constantly because they are there to be in the loop with what's new about your company's product development. Imagine a writer for The Onion, a satirical news site, suddenly writing serious articles about the current political landscape in America. The Onion's audience would have gone bananas because they're on the site to lighten up after reading the news.

Having a tone that's inconsistent or saturated is a mistake that's easy to make, but it's hard to develop a unique tone of voice because it takes practice and experience. This doesn't mean that each and every company will have an industry-standard tone of voice. Each company will have a different voice despite the fact that they may have similar demographics and audiences. The more you write, the more you learn.

Speaking of the audience, the way you word what you say is important as well because sentences are often expressed in completely different ways. For example, take a look at the following sentences:

  • We're thinking outside of the box.
  • We're taking an innovative approach to…
The main idea of these two sentences are the same because you're stating that you are showcasing why your company's research and development is on top of its game. Imagine a sales representative from that company saying these two sentences to you at a networking event in the Metreon Center at San Francisco. When you hear the first sentence, you're probably thinking '"What, and I haven't been?" because you feel that even though you are in the same industry, you are also thinking outside of the box just like the company. In other words, the first sentence, to some people, seems to be very exclusive to those who are fully in the know. As for the second sentence, the language is very neutral because you are probably curious as to how the company is taking an innovative approach or what they are innovating.

From that example, words affect the impression the audience receives and how they feel about the person who's speaking. Why is that? When you read a company's content, you understand it on two levels. The facts tell the analytical side of your brain what the company does, while the tone tells the creative side of your brain what the company would be like.
Consistency is key
It's important that you do your research about clients and their industries. In addition to this, we highly recommend asking questions, because the more blanks you fill in, the more information that you have to work with before you start drafting your textual content. Be sure to keep your tone of voice consistent across all platforms, whether it's your website or social media, because that tells your target audience that you're a reliable and consistent company to deal with.

Once you have established a tone of voice for your written content, be sure to set guidelines and standards for your project team. It's essential that they understand the brand identity of the client, which also includes vision and creative direction. Essentially, this creates consistency for your brand identity and content.

In the case of producing written content, such as articles and blog posts on Medium, we have specific formatting guidelines that we adhere to. With our case studies, we have a structure in place regarding how these cases should be presented to an audience comprised of established professionals and prospective interns and students who are looking to break into the field.

Due to these specific formatting and editorial guidelines, not only do we save money on multiple drafts and resources, we also save the editors' time because they provide the backbone for the client's textual content. Since the editors adhere to these guidelines, we have an established tone of voice that conveys to our target audience. This presents GoFable as a reputable and reliable company, which is a result of engaging with our users, clients, and customers.
Essential Tips
1. Know before you show

2. Make sure you and your team, and your client are all on the same page

See our article, Trust the Process, for more details about the tips above.

3. Be active, not passive!

For this tip, we are referring to the concept of active voice and passive voice. Active voice is heavily favored over passive voice because sentences that are in passive voice often use more words, can be vague, and lead to a tangle of prepositional phrases. We don't want you to completely disregard passive voice because there are times where you need to use it, because the passive voice emphasizes the action, keeps the subject and action consistent throughout a passage, and finally, it offers a more authoritative tone. The more you write, the more you'll know when to use active voice and when to use passive voice.

4. When informing your audience, be sure to back it up with proof

This is merely a subset to our first point, but even though you're spitting out numbers and facts, they often need evidence for support. If you're writing about how well your company's Instagram page is doing, then it's best to show an infographic or some statistics as to why the Instagram page is doing well. If your article isn't quantitative at all, then it's also important to fact check with someone who has been a part of your company's accomplishments and activities.
Essential Tips
When we're writing articles, we take meticulous measures into making sure each and every word correctly conveys an in-depth knowledge of the article's topic. We don't just let our words do all of the talking, however, because with the analytics and statistics we provide, we can be a very reputable and credible agency for clients. With our thorough editorial process, GoFable's written content is the premier standard amongst competitive agencies.
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