Finding your corporate voice begins by asking why your company blogs. While secondary purposes of customer service and feedback, employee engagement, and community involvement are important, the primary purpose of most business blogs is to bring leads to the top of the funnel. With that in mind, a corporate blogs voice should appeal to the target audience and potential customers; most people are attracted to blogs that sound…human.
Finding the Sweet Spot
How does a corporation sound human? Just the word corporation sounds cold. The key is to project a helpful and professional voice without sounding too professional.
Take a Conversational tone –My friend Andy Hollandbeck suggested, “Narrowing your audience to just one specific person can give your writing more focus and eliminates the equivocation and generalizing that can creep into a post when you’re trying to be all things to all people.” Blogging for the Smallest Audience. By focusing on a specific target, your blog develops a voice that speaks to your audience—not at them,
Speak plain language – Stilted language full of insider terms, loaded with multi-syllable words, and industry catch-phrases seldom impress visitors to your blog; it puts them off. The simplest most direct word is almost always the best choice. And regardless of what your style guide suggests, use contractions, they sound real. It’s how humans talk not corporations.
Share personal experiences – One of the best ways to relate to people is to share experiences. Folks are attracted to people who show glimpses of their world. Poorly Maintained Roads cost us Twice
Have some fun – People love to laugh. Show people you’re not some callus corporation but a group of living, laughing, and loving people with real lives. Water Jugs and Customer Service
Break some rules – Your voice shouldn’t change to fit every grammar expectation. It’s OK to end sentences with prepositions and use split infinitives to maintain a tone. You should know the rules, and you should know when to break them.
Solve problems – Consumers are searching for answers. They’re looking for information about the products and services you offer. If you have an answer, even outside of your industry, share it, and you’ll be remembered. My Top Ten Leadership Mistakes
Keep it short – How long should a blog post be? Regardless of the varying answers to this question there’s only one correct answer; as long as it needs to be and not a word longer. Generations of writers have been nearly ruined by being forced to word stuff to reach a word count goal. A corporate blog isn’t the place to wax poetic.
What’s the Key to a Corporate Blog?
A corporate blog can be used to establish authority and credibility with your audience, and it’s critical to SEO. But none of this will be achieved if no one reads your blog. People want to hear the truth from another human being. They don’t want to be shouted at, advertised to, or treated as if they’re ignorant. People want to read a blog they can relate to. People want to learn, laugh, and be entertained. People want their problems solved and answers to their questions. They want it easy to digest, to the point, and conversational, like chatting with a neighbor at the fence. Hi neighbor.