An integral, yet overlooked part of creative copywriting is the three dimensions of verbal communication: voice, tone and content. In order to captivate and connect with your audiences through advertising, your brand must boil down its strategy and messaging into these key ingredients.
Start with the 'why'
In Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, he argues that people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. According to Sinek, "Products with a clear sense of 'why' give people a way to tell the outside world who they are and what they believe." Effective and influential companies know their "why" and develop clear and articulate ways of communicating their ideas.
The "why" is foundational to the rest of your brand’s messaging and content. When you solidify that principle, you encourage the acquisition of loyal followers and, in the end, loyal customers. Leaders start with the “why” rather than the "how" or "what" and build strong messaging around the core of who they are.
The first step in determining the core of your brand is finding your unique voice. Keeping your "why" in mind, your voice should be the priority before building out the overall message for your brand. To develop your brand’s voice, you must understand what has resonated with your customers in the past while also setting guidelines for how you’re going to achieve balance in your voice and get the message across.
As you discover who you are as a brand, you begin to connect with specific communities. Brands should always have a grasp on who they are and who they aren’t, as well as who genuinely makes up their target audience. To build a unique brand voice, messaging and content should be tailored and specific to the brand’s key values, persona and target audiences to differentiate from the competition.
While the tone of a message is flexible and situational, it should always be intentional. Your brand’s tone creates a situational nuance and setting for an advertisement. The tone is always dependent on the audience you are talking to and why are you are talking to them. Those two elements will be reflected heavily in your creative copy.
Qualitative research is also crucial in understanding your existing customer base and new customers you’re trying to reach. If your tone doesn’t resonate with your audience, consumers will have a hard time understanding a brand’s personality and reason for being, and the overall message could get lost in translation.
Content should never contradict who you are as a brand, plain and simple. Raw content is crucial when writing an effective ad; however, it shouldn’t be where you start your messaging.
Every time we interact with someone, we have an opportunity to connect on a deeper level and share information that's meaningful to them. That’s the same goal in advertising. We want to share insights that listeners remember and connect with. That’s why we remember infamous brands and campaigns. If you solely focus on the information you’re trying to get across, you miss out on the deeper potential every message has.
How does this apply to audio ads?
In advertising, it's not enough to have witty copy and a great product to sell. Companies are most successful when they connect with their customers by sharing a strong sense of purpose and personality and maintaining a consistent feel and tone of voice in their advertisements.
As creative copywriters, we work to set boundaries and build rapport with a host so that the podcast or radio show we’re writing for can merge their unique voice and tone with your brand in a way that resonates with the audience. Building relationships with a host and a brand is definitely a long game, which is why successful copywriting boils down to inspiring listeners rather than just outlining the features and benefits of a product.