The Importance of Brand Voice

When it comes to distinguishing your brand, having an appealing visual identity and logo surely helps, but what also matters is your brand voice. In order to make your business stand out from the rest and connect with your target market, establishing a brand voice and using it consistently in your marketing strategy is vital.

There’s a reason why a hip brand catering to young adults might use “cool” slogans, or why luxury cars keep it sleek and professional. Your brand voice helps you to make your brand recognizable and reach the right audience.

Let’s talk about what brand voice is and why it’s a good idea to think it through for your brand. We’ll also cover how to create a unique brand voice that you’ll use throughout your communication channels.

What is Brand Voice?

Just like how a personality makes a person unique, a unique brand voice distinguishes a company from its competitors. Brand voice is defined as a personality that your brand consistently communicates. It reflects your brand’s values and serves as a guide on how and what you say when it comes to your marketing strategy. It also helps you connect to your audience and reach potential new customers.

You can think of your company’s brand voice almost as if it were a person. What personality does your brand voice have? What phrases does your brand use? Imagine that your brand is at a dinner party; how would it speak to the other guests?

Why is it important to establish a brand voice?

There is an overload of noise when it comes to advertising and other online content. Individuals and brands are constantly talking through social channels, so it’s important to stand out. Having nice photos, a unique logo and well-thought-out products are all great ways to strengthen your brand, but what you write needs equal care.

Having a consistent brand voice helps differentiate your company while switching up your voice in each post can quickly lead to an unfollow from your customers.

How can you create a unique brand voice?

1. Start with your brand values and mission statement.

Do you need help creating your brand voice? Look at your brand values to determine your voice and how you communicate with your target audience. Make sure that what you promote and say to your audience also reflects your values and mission statement.

Let’s say that your brand named “Green Sea Turtles” sells bright-colored sustainable cleaning products for Gen Z. You value eco-friendliness, have a modern approach and donate 5% of your yearly income to a charity that saves baby sea turtles. 

How you communicate to your customers and in what style should also reflect your products. You probably won’t be speaking strictly professionally to your Gen Z customers and the advertising could be directed in a fun, light-hearted manner.

2. Identify your buyer persona to target the right audience.

Making a list of potential customers and writing down their personalities, habits and what they might be interested in is a great way to explore your brand voice. 

Knowing that your Gen Z customer for the “Green Sea Turtles” brand is 19 years old, loves to dress in vintage 90s clothing and watches ASMR cleaning videos on TikTok can help you to create your brand voice. Making t-shirts with “God save the sea turtles” slogan and videos promoting your cleaning products showing a Gen Z cleaning her apartment can end with her saying, “Omg so clean, thanks Green Sea Turtles.”

Knowing your buyer persona can also help you to choose the tone of voice that you will use when communicating with your target audience. If you want more tips on how to reach Gen Z customers, read our blog article 5 Tips for Marketing to Gen Z.

3. Keep your brand voice consistent over all social channels. 

This includes being consistent on all your social platforms, email communication and even packaging. Think of your brand like a bundle. It would be weird if you communicate your brand in a casual, fun manner and have extremely formal emails like you’re talking to a corporate audience.

One brand that is a great example of keeping its brand voice consistent is Apple. The brand often leaves the wording simple and to the point and adds an eye-catching image to highlight cutting-edge technology. Even their packaging is simple and enjoyable to open, just like how their products are enjoyable to use.

Apple’s advertisement above for the new “unsend” Imessage feature is almost like a short movie. At the end of a message that was unsent, Apple wrote, “Relax, it’s iPhone.”

How do you know your brand voice is working?

Remember, be yourself. One way you know your brand voice is working is if your customers feel as if your company is directly speaking to them, they feel connected to your brand and they feel like they’re part of the conversation. 

You can also investigate how your customers are engaging with you online to see if your brand voice is working well. Make sure to read our How You Can Use Social Listening to Improve Your Business blog article to track what others are saying about your brand, and if your brand voice is structured correctly.


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How You Can Use Social Listening to Improve Your Business

Building brand awareness and connecting to customers online requires a holistic approach. Practicing social listening is just as important as creating meaningful content. In this blog post, we will introduce you to this topic and give you some tips on how you can get started on improving your brand through social listening.

What is Social Listening?

According to HootSuite, “Social listening is the practice of monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitor brands, and related keywords.” You can track any mentions online about your brand or business, which can give you insights into how people are reacting. It can also help you to quickly identify a crisis and react accordingly.

Social listening can help you:

  • Understand how your customers feel about your brand/business
  • Figure out what you can improve if there are complaints or other negative comments
  • Find out what competitors’ customers are talking about and discover trending topics
  • Complete all of this in real-time, so you can act fast if needed

Is Social Listening the Same as Social Monitoring?

Social monitoring, or brand monitoring, is when you get notified when your brand or business is mentioned online. This is useful for responding quickly when needed, but it doesn’t give you a whole picture of your brand or the industry you’re focused on.

Social listening is more expansive in that it gives you mentions about not only your brand but also conversations about your competitors, the industry and similar products. This is a more complete picture instead of just snippets related to your brand or business.

Through social listening, you can make better decisions about how to structure your marketing or social media strategy, since you have a clearer picture of all that surrounds your business.

Why You Should Use Social Listening for Your Business

1. Know your audience

By listening to what is being said about your brand or business online, you can better understand what customers want and how you can improve your offering/services. 

2. Respond to crisis 

If something goes terribly wrong in relation to your brand, you want to find out right away and respond quickly.

3. Build customer relationships

Social media can be a great way to talk to current or potential customers, but your goal doesn’t always have to be about selling something. Build relationships and respond to customers instead of just offering a product or service every time. Share useful information that piques interest instead of strictly pushing what you have to offer.

4. Learn more about your competitors

Social listening can keep you in the loop about what your competitors are doing and give you updates about the latest trends in your industry. This can inspire you to create new products or services.

5. Improve your social media strategy

Listening to your customers, competitors and your industry as a whole can help you create tailored content. You’ll be able to learn more about what your customers want and what content seems to resonate with them. Need help creating meaningful content for your customers? Take a look at our Content Strategies for Different Stages of the Buyer Journey article.

Tips on How You Can Start Social Listening

1. Use the right social listening tools

Depending on what you want to track, make sure to use the right tools. There are various social listening apps that can help you monitor your social channels. Make sure to do your research to choose the right one for your needs.

Buffer, Hootsuite, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics are just a few that are worth looking into. 

2. Create a Social Listening Strategy

You should structure your social listening and treat it as a project. Aside from monitoring tags or direct messages, monitor variations of your brand or business name, and the founder or other public figures associated with your brand.

3. Monitor your competitors

And not just the happy customers from your competitors, but keep an eye out for unhappy customers. What are they saying? How can you cater to them? You could find solutions to their problems.

We hope this introduction to social listening was helpful for you and that you can get started using these tips right away. There are so many opportunities to connect to your  existing and potential customers by using social media and the various social listening tools available.


Want to connect with your audience, and get paid for it? Make sure to read more in our article Facebook & Instagram Subscriptions Feature: How to Make the Most of It.


How Not to Annoy Your Customers on the Buyer Journey

At GoViral our marketing work is built on a solid foundation: the buyer journey. Website tools like cookies, pop-ups and widgets can help you meet your buyers where they are, but too many websites today do too much.

Fortunately, there’s a way to stop annoying your customers. Keep the buyer journey front and center when planning your website strategy. This will help you meet your buyers where they are, rather than simply throwing everything and the kitchen sink at them when they walk through the door.

What Is the Buyer Journey?

Simply put, the Buyer Journey is a buyer’s path to purchase. Customers don’t just spontaneously appear. They move through a process of research and consideration before deciding to purchase.

There are five stages to a buyer journey. First comes Awareness that a problem exists. Second, Research to try to solve the problem. Third, Consideration of one or more options. Fourth, Purchase of a product or service that solves the problem. The final stage is Post-Purchase, when a buyer reflects on their purchase and has the potential to become a loyal customer.

To map out the most accurate buyer journey, you’ll need to identify your buyer personas. Head over to our Buyer Persona Guide to learn how. Creating buyer personas can be a helpful reminder that your potential customers are people, not numbers.

Now that we know how to start building our strategy, let’s take a look at the different types of pop-ups you might put on your website.

Make Cookie Notices Compliant and Unintrusive

Let’s talk cookies. Cookies are text files that collect information about website visitors, usually in an attempt to improve the user experience. Most websites that use cookies (hint: if you use Google Analytics, you use cookies) are required to notify visitors and explain how their information is used. In some areas, including Europe, website owners are required to get consent in order to use optional cookies (cookies not necessary for the functioning of your site).

When required, cookie notices must be displayed to every first-time visitor. This means you can’t segment your visitors based on where they are in the buyer journey. You might think first-time visitors are all in the Research phase, but some may have interacted with your brand through a different channel. Some even may have made a purchase already. Perhaps they purchased in person but never visited your website, or perhaps they cleared all the cookies in their browser and are starting from scratch.

The point is, the cookie notice is a pop-up that can’t be reliably mapped to the buyer journey. So instead, focus on 1) fulfilling regulatory requirements and 2) choosing a pop-up that covers as little of the page as possible. Consult your legal team to ensure you’re following regulations, and opt for a banner-style pop-up, preferably placed in the footer. A pop-up that covers your entire page obscures important information and is more likely to annoy your visitors.

Add Help Widgets Only Where Necessary

If you want to install a help widget on your website, consider which pages will attract visitors looking for help. Leave the widget off all other pages. 

Of course, consider your brand. If the entire purpose of your website is to provide live help, and this is clear to visitors, you’re probably an exception to the rule.

Place your help widget at the bottom of the page. Visitors typically read a page top down and left to right. By placing the widget at the bottom, you give your audience a chance to find the information they need first. Only after scanning the page will they reach help, which they can bypass if they no longer need it.

As far as the look of your help widget, make sure it fits your branding without blending into the page. Use contrasting colors to make sure the widget stands out for those who need it, as well as for those who just need to find the close button.

Target Newsletter Pop-Ups to Visitors in the Later Stages of the Buyer Journey

Are you trying to get more subscribers to your newsletter or other regularly published content? Newsletter pop-ups rarely make sense on the homepage of your website. 

Exceptions: maybe your website is a sub-site intended for loyal customers. Or maybe you’re able to display the pop-up only for visitors who have been to your site multiple times (or based on different parameters you set). Some Content Management Systems such as Hubspot allow you to target pop-ups in this way, which you should use to your advantage. 

Many marketers value newsletter sign-ups highly because you are collecting email addresses of people interested in your brand. Considering email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach buyers, you should treat the people behind those emails as respected, valuable contacts. Make sure to include a clear Call to Action on your newsletter sign-up, and enough clarifying information that visitors understand what they’re signing up for.

CASE STUDY: PharmaLedger

In February 2021 our client PharmaLedger came to us with a request. A consortium exploring blockchain technology’s application to real-world health care challenges, they like many brands were struggling to gain subscribers to their monthly newsletter.

They didn’t want to annoy their visitors with an intrusive pop-up, but we came up with a solution: a pop-up from the footer that appears only when visitors leave the site.

The chart below shows total newsletter subscribers, with a sharp increase after we made the pop-up live in February 2021.

Use Video Auto-Plays Sparingly

Do you have embedded videos on your website? Unless the primary purpose of your page is to play video, you should probably opt-out of auto-play. 

The key, once again, is to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Why are they visiting the page in question? If it’s a landing page only accessible from a link that makes it clear they’re clicking to watch a video, auto-play is a great option! If your page serves different functions for different visitors (like most pages), leave it to the visitor to decide whether to play the video.

Video auto-plays can doubly annoy visitors with images and sound, so tread lightly. Remember, your website may allow you to track click percentages or how many seconds a video is played. This information is impossible to gather if the video auto-plays.


Want expert guidance on leading your customers through the buyer journey? Contact us to request a proposal.


Best Practices for Email Marketing

What is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is still the most effective marketing channel, leaving behind newer marketing channels like social media. 

Data suggests that the number of email users increases every year, making it is a great way to generate more leads for your business and build a community for your brand. This is why email marketing should be the key pillar of your strategy. 

Serving a purpose in the buyer journey, emails can be promotional or informational. You can announce special offers, new products, sales or discounts with a clear call-to-action (CTA) through promotional emails. 

Informational emails are typically company announcements, newsletters, etc. Imagine your company reached a milestone or there are some issues with shipping, the best way to reach your contacts at once is through an email. 

But if you’re confused about where to begin, that’s absolutely normal. We’ve put together a list of best practices for email marketing to spruce up your emails. 

Don’t Buy Contact Lists

Well, the reason behind this is two-fold. First is the GDPR. These regulations restrict marketers to send emails to unsubscribed consumers. 

Secondly, there is no point in sending emails to a person whose contact you bought rather than an interested customer through a previous interaction. You will see the results drop instantly. 

Clean Your Mail List Regularly

Following the previous point, it is equally important to review your subscribers and remove the ones who haven’t engaged with your emails for a long time. We know it could be extremely satisfying to see a huge senders list, but sending out emails to non-engaged users will affect the open rate.

The key is to analyse your campaign quality against your loyal customer base.

Personalise Greetings

How often do you come across an email that reads, “Dear Member”?

Terms like members, subscribers, VIP or others should be for internal use. Using a personalised greeting gets the attention of the reader right away. And you don’t need to write 50 names and send out 50 emails manually anymore. Marketing tools help configure the greeting and automatically send the emails to the names on your list. 

Incentivise the Subject Line

Want to increase your open rates? Include the offer in your subject line. 

Free shipping”, “$25 off on your first purchase” or “Earn referral bonus” are examples of some incentive focussed subject lines that could work wonders. 

Great practice for subject lines is to keep it between 30 to 50 characters. Why? Email services often cut off lengthy subject lines and your readers won’t be able to read it fully without opening it. 

You aren’t writing a story in the subject line; create a sense of urgency for them.

Make your CTA the Hero

If your user has to scroll down to find the main message and CTA of your email, chances are you’ve already lost him. 

Research suggests that 57% of the time is spent on above-the-fold content which is the information that’s visible to readers before they scroll down. To increase your conversion rate, the first thing your recipient should see is the main message and CTA. 

Email Signature and Logo - A Must

41% of marketers said they use email signatures for branding and visibility. 

Even if you are sending an email to all contacts in the database on behalf of your company, it should include a signature of a specific person. The reason for this is to there is a human behind the email. People tend to read emails more when they see it is from a person rather than the marketing team. 

The chances of a customer making a purchase goes up 34% when logos are included. The best way to leverage it is to include your company logo in the email signature.

Build a Cohesive Look

Your webpage should match the emails – headline, copy, and look. Consistency is the key to email marketing. 

The look and feel of your emails shouldn’t be far different from your other assets like the website, landing page, social ads, etc. Not only does it help build your brand visibility, but it also increases trust in your customers. 

Say No to “No-Reply” Emails

What is the point of your email marketing campaign if your customers can’t even interact with you when you send them promotional materials? Personally, I don’t even bother to open emails with the words “no reply” or if the sender’s address is noreply@xyz.com

As previously mentioned, your customers are far more likely to open an email when they see it is from a human being. Marketing tools allow you to set automated emails from a specific email address. Set it to your first name to give your emails a human touch

There you have it! You can use the above practices to add a competitive edge to your email marketing campaigns. 

Marketers today have many channels to promote their business, but the challenge is learning how to prioritise your efforts for the best results. 


Want to prepare an email marketing campaign for your business? Contact us to learn more.


Content Strategies for Different Stages of the Buyer Journey

What is a Buyer Journey?

We usually don’t make purchases on a whim, and instead, there is a whole process of research and consideration before anyone shells out those bucks. So in simple terms, a buyer journey is your buyer’s path to purchase

Buyer Journey gives marketers an insight into the pains and problems experienced by their customers and the influencing factors that push them to make a decision. It allows you to better empathise with the buyer and position your products or services along the process. 

With the aftermath of the pandemic, around 57% of the buyer journey happens without any human interaction even taking place. So how do you engage your buyers without actively interacting with them? 

Content strategy is your answer. It is essential to prepare a content strategy for each stage as it will be easier for you to motivate the buyer to make a purchase when they hit the human interaction part of their journey. 

Let’s dig in a little further to understand better the different stages of a Buyer Journey and the types of content for each stage. 

There are five stages to a Buyer Journey:

Awareness Stage

Example: “I am thirsty.”

This stage is where the buyer realises that they have a problem. They don’t know how to meet or solve the problem yet. Their goal is to alleviate the pain, but this is only an information-gathering step. 

They are looking to get a better idea and give a name to their problem. They are not ready to make any decision. 

Your content strategy should focus on the pain and problems of your buyers and provide them with big-picture industry-focus resources that can help them define their problems. Your best choice is press releases, social media promotions, or advertorial content that leads them to the next stage.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What is the priority of the challenges for buyers? 
  • How do buyers talk about their goals or challenges?
  • Are there any misconceptions buyers have about addressing their problems? If so, what are they?
  • What are the consequences of buyers’ inaction? 

Research Stage

Example: “Where can I find some drink?”

Once buyers have a little understanding of their problem, they get interested in finding a solution. They start discovering products, brands, and trends. 

The goal of your content plan is to educate and help buyers evaluate buying criteria. Usually, buyers trust videos, webinars, events, or ebooks in the research stage.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How do buyers educate themselves on these goals and challenges?
  • What are the symptoms that bring their attention to the problem?
  • What will help them identify the problem and push them to your products or services designed to help them?
  • What online or offline sources do they find reliable?

Consideration stage

Example: “The vending machine has water, soda and juice. What should I buy?”

Now that your buyers have clearly defined the problem and are committed to solving it, the next step is to guide them through different approaches or methods available to them. Your content strategy should help them make a decision

While case studies or data sheets can prove helpful in this stage, offering demos or leading them to trusted reviews will motivate buyers to solve their challenges. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What are the different categories of solutions available to the buyers?
  • In what way do buyers educate themselves on the various categories?
  • Are there any pros and cons for each category? If so, how do buyers perceive them? 
  • What factors influence the buyers’ decision for the right solution for their needs?

Purchase Stage

Example: “I will buy a soda.”

When your buyers reach this stage, they are ready to make the final decision and has a solid reason for their choice. They have already decided on the solution and evaluated providers. As a marketer, you should focus on learning if they have any objections before making the purchase. 

Your content should not only validate their decision but also make the purchase process easy. You need to cater to their every question and provide the best service to them. This stage could be where your buyer makes his first human contact with your business. 

Your sales approach must highlight a unique selling proposition that provides value and set you apart from the rest. While they are talking to sales, your content strategy offers support to keep their attention. Engage them in live training, demos, user guides or kick-off events

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What do buyers know about your products and services? 
  • What do they like about your products and services compared to your competitors? 
  • Do they have any concerns?
  • Do buyers want to test the products or services before making a purchase? 
  • Do buyers need any additional information, such as user guides or manuals? 

Post-Purchase

Example: “The soda is flat. I should have got water.”

Excellent customer service leads to brand loyalty. In this stage, your buyers expect an exceptional product or service performance and excellent customer service. Play your cards right, and you get a loyal customer base. Who knows, they could turn into an advocate for your brand. After all, word-of-mouth is one of the only forms of marketing that comes from your buyers. 

To keep them coming back, offer loyalty programs, build customer communities (online and offline), send newsletters, or even check in through phone calls. The goal is to make them feel cared for. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How are buyers expecting to receive post-purchase support and guidance?
  • What obstacles could buyers face in your products or services?
  • What are buyers’ expectations of your products or services?
  • What actions do buyers need to take to achieve the best result?
  • How do buyers rate your product or service, its value, and their satisfaction?

So there you have it – The buyer Journey and all its stages. 

Before you jump on creating your buyer journey, make sure you know your buyer personas. Be sure to read our article, “The Importance of Buyer Personas“. 

Don’t forget that the primary goal of Buyer Journey is to build a more customer-centric strategy to meet the needs of your target audience. 


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