Brand identity

What is the right tone for your website text?

What is the right tone for your website text?
Recognition –
A recognizable tone and style help people feel comfortable with your content, making it easier to read and share.
Understanding – After reading your content, you want people to take a specific action. Tone provides readers with a sense of the direction you want them to take. For example, an authoritative tone is less suitable for a charity organization than for a law firm.
Branding – Your tone is part of your brand. Think of the commercials for C1000 or the Staatsloterij (State Lottery).
Personality – Tone gives personality to your content and makes it distinctive. The wrong tone can turn an engaging piece into an unreadable one or a dull production process into a technological marvel.
Consistency – It’s rare for one person to handle all communication for a company. A clearly defined tone ensures that everyone speaking on behalf of your organization does so in a consistent style, which promotes all the reasons mentioned above.

Important questions for choosing a tone for your website text(s):

  • Who is my audience?
  • How do we want to come across?
  • How do we view our own organization?

Steps to Determine a Tone for Your Website Text

Step 1 – Briefly describe the personality of the “writer”/author.
Step 2 – How do people relate to your brand or organization, and what feelings do they associate with it?
Step 3 – Find a few adjectives that align with the outcomes of the first two steps. For example, formal, professionally casual, youthful, mature, scholarly, colloquial, and so on.
Step 4 – How does this align with your brand or organization?
Step 5 – Do you use “u” (formal) or “jij” (informal)? Is the language style youthful or more academic? How much jargon do you use?
Step 6 – Write a 300-word story in this tone. Talk about the brand/organization and the reader. This way, you’ll have a reference that includes the most commonly used words and phrases, which will make future writing easier.

By following these steps, you should now have a good idea of the tone that suits your writing, brand, or organization. Taking the time to think about this beforehand can prevent duplicated work and make editing text from the organization (or your own texts) much easier. Additionally, it’s actually a fun exercise because the more character (tone) this character gets in your mind, the easier it becomes to come up with content that matches this character. And we all want to write new content easily, don’t we?

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