Engineering Copywriter Blog

Content marketing tips and insights to help grow your engineering audience

January 28, 2020

6 Secrets for Discovering the Right Tone of Voice for Your Copy

Did someone ever tell you to be careful about your tone of voice? These are indeed wise words of warning and advice, whether you are speaking or writing. In fact, the tone often conveys the strongest message, regardless of the content – in short, it’s not so much what you say but rather how you say it. It can be a challenge to find the right tone of voice for engineering articles.

Why is your Tone of Voice for Engineering Articles Important?

Tone of voice provides the expression of the people behind your engineering business. The tone of voice in your articles should not only showcase the services or products you offer, but demonstrate who it is that makes it a business. A tone of voice simultaneously represents and expresses your brand’s personality and values.

It sets you apart from the rest – A brand’s tone of voice should be unique, familiar, and distinctive.

It builds trust – Engineering articles must use consistent language so that the writing style becomes familiar to the customer.

It can be used to influence – People are naturally very sensitive to language; we typically make impressions of people as soon as we begin to listen or read.

The importance of tone of voice in your engineering articles should not be disregarded. The goal is not for your audience to observe on your fantastic writing but, instead, to remark on your superior business.

So how do you find the right tone of voice for engineering articles to get the best results for your business? These six secrets can give you a head start in the right direction:

1. Do your research…

Before you start ‘talking’ or writing, it is essential to know who will be listening and whom you are aiming to reach through your engineering articles. This is a time for asking questions, gathering information and input from your stakeholders and audiences. This will give you valuable insights into what will work and what changes you may need to make. Ask yourself things like: “What is the personality of my company?” “How do we sound to others?” And “Is this the way we want to be perceived?”

How can you gather this information from your audience?

You should first begin by identifying your buyer personas. You need to figure out your buyer personas in order to craft your tone of voice. It’s important to know why your audience is drawn to your business and articles. If you know your audience’s lifestyles, habits, and interests, you will be able to identify your target audience more accurately.

In order to acquire this detail you could:

Interview your readers: With this approach you can directly ask them anything you want and gather more personal information.

Send surveys. This will help you to gather the same information only from a greater amount of people with different demographics.

Take data from analytics. You should review your analytics software to review what your users are responding to when it comes to likes, clicks, shares, and comments on your social media. This will allow you to see which engineering topics and/or products they are most interested in.

Here’s a great article and template from Hubspot on how to create your buyer personas.

2. Find what is unique about your existing content…

Take a good look at the copy which you have already written about your business. Be realistic and objective in identifying content which could just as well apply to any one of your competitors. Then, find the unique parts which set you in a class of your own. Study these and get a feel for the exact voice that your company wants to portray.

Emphasizing a unique brand voice enables you to differentiate your brand and provide you with a competitive advantage. This is why you need to identify a brand voice for use in your engineering articles that will create a consistent tone for who your company is and what you stand for.

To determine what it is that makes your business stand out, you should ask yourself the following questions:

– In which areas are my competitors strong, and where are they lacking?

– What are my customers satisfied with, and is there anything that needs improving?

– Can we specialize or break the mold?

Once you’ve gained a clear picture of the brand voice and tone you want to portray, you then need to translate this into your tone of voice.

3. Choose words that describe the brand voice you want to create…

Think of adjectives which would describe your company and the way you want people to see you. Do you want to be formal or informal? Friendly but professional? Passionate or quirky? Confident and commanding? Once you have settled on two or three words that encapsulate the essence of your brand voice, you should consider setting values for your business which can be incorporated into the tone of voice for engineering articles.

Honesty is vital when you are in the process of developing your business’s brand values, since these are strict principles that you must adhere to. It’s important not to devise values you wish your business had, but those that you already (or have the potential to) have.

4. Define what will and will not convey the right tone of voice…

Now that you have defined your buyer persona and brand values, this is where you start to nail down the nitty gritty aspects of what kind of language and words to use that will be in keeping with the exact kind of tone you want to set. Will you use jargon? What about humor? And punctuation? It can be helpful to make a chart for easy reference where you detail the words or language elements that you do and don’t want to use.

Let’s begin by covering the formality of voice used in your engineering articles. You should start by considering your buyer persona and imagine that you had to strike up a conversation with them. What kind of words would you use? Would you opt for a polite and professional approach or would you be more personal and approachable?

Next is the technical language used. The need to use technical terms is likely to be quite high considering the topics your engineering articles will cover, but it’s good to remember that you should keep the wording as simple as possible to ensure it can be understood by the majority of your audience.

5. Be real and be consistent…

The tone of voice you use needs to fit in with the overall brand image you are creating. This would include the visual identity, imagery, and colors you use. For example, if you have a very formal-looking corporate identity, it would be inconsistent to use an informal or casual tone of voice. Inconsistency can create a dissonance which is off-putting. So aim for consistency, and be real and authentic about your product.

By providing an authentic tone of voice, you are essentially humanizing your brand. You are portraying your business as relatable and relevant. The more you humanize your brand, the better its authenticity. By using an authentic tone of voice in your engineering articles, you are building trust with your audience and displaying the people behind the business.

It’s not only important to be authentic, but you must ensure that your tone of voice is consistent. Your readers should be able to recognize your business through your writing. By making your business familiar, your audience and customers are more likely to remain loyal.

6. Re-evaluate constantly…

And finally, few things are set in concrete, especially when it comes to discovering the right tone of voice for engineering articles. You need to be constantly re-evaluating your copy, tweaking a word or two here and there, or even making major revisions if necessary. Cherish the feedback you get from your target audience, and use it to go from strength to strength as you constantly hone your message and tone.

Are you struggling to find the right tone of voice for engineering articles? If so, contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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