Content Marketing

How to establish an effective B2B brand voice

Establishing the right B2B brand voice for your SaaS business can be a lot of pressure. With so many startups out there emulating the same tone, positioning, and overall feel, it can be difficult to set yourself apart from the competition and even get bogged down feeling like you all sound the same. 

That’s why you’ll want to conduct a branding exercise with key stakeholders in your company. This exercise will help you establish what you don’t want to sound like and what you do want to sound like to effectively narrow down the words that best describe what you wish to emulate. 

Your brand voice should be directly tied to your positioning and messaging. This framework will help you effectively produce content that consistently represents your value propositions and tone for prospective clients. 

Now that we’ve walked through the branding exercise and positioning and messaging framework, I’ll walk you through how you can use your brand voice across your content to tell an effective and consistent story to your clients and website visitors.

Why use a consistent brand voice?

It’s no secret that the most impactful b2b businesses have a brand voice that’s memorable. Hubspot, for example, has a brand voice that’s helpful, approachable, and engaging. Their brand voice is portrayed through a variety of content materials, like Hubspot Academy and the Hubspot Blog. 

Similar to a brand logo, the way you represent yourself through your voice will affect the way your prospects view your business. At the end of the day, even though your marketing efforts are geared toward B2B SaaS, you should still try to resonate with real PEOPLE. 

And that’s why a consistent brand voice matters. The more consistent you are with the way you sound and present yourself to prospects, the easier it is to establish brand recognition and trust. Take the classic burger chain, IN-N-OUT, for example. Sure—it’s the complete opposite of a B2B SaaS business, but we can break down their brand voice to understand why it’s important to their overall brand presence and popularity. 

Unlike their other fast-food counterparts, IN-N-OUT has always stuck to a simple, straightforward menu. And their menu is also reflected in their marketing materials-nothing fancy, consistent, and dependable.

in-n-nout example for brand voice

Many say IN-N-OUT’s marketing strategy (apparel, limited locations, consistent branding) has led to their cult following and success in the fast food space. Even their slogan, Quality you can taste, is so straightforward, but sets them apart from their competitors by emphasizing quality over quantity and modesty over accelerated production. 

So what can B2B SaaS businesses take from this popular fast food chain? Your product matters, but married with a consistent brand voice and messaging, you can get the buy-in you need to gain a loyal following and customer base. 

How to establish a B2B SaaS brand voice

Now that we’ve covered why a consistent brand voice is important, we should probably go over HOW to establish a brand voice.

At Kalungi, we like to walk our clients through a simple process, laying out hundreds of brand voice attributes and adjectives and narrowing them down to just 4-5 words. At first, this can get a little tricky, especially if you’re working with others on your team.

If you all disagree, it can be a big eye-opener indicating your team isn’t fully aligned. If this is the case, you need to listen. Why did they choose the words that they chose? What don’t you like about these words? Most importantly, think about their roles at the business. Do they see a different side of the company than you? If they’re more client-facing or on the sales side, listening to their reasons might be worth considering.

Not sure where to start? One option is to think about an inspiration brand you can all agree on. For example, Starbucks makes it a point to use a functional and expressive voice. This means they anticipate their audience’s needs, while using colorful and passionate language. Your team can all think of brands that you think your business aligns with and then break down their brand voice.

Afterward, you can all vote on the voice you think your audience would resonate with the most and use the inspiration brand to build your voice moving forward.  

At the end of the day, you can visualize how you WANT your voice to come across. However, if it doesn’t fully align with how your clients already view your brand, you might lose out on a great opportunity to retain more of your current clients. 

You need to think about your brand voice in a holistic sense, because it’s going to touch every department of your business. That’s why listening to different perspectives is important, because you’ll want to embody your business as a WHOLE, not just what you perceive it to be. 

To get to the bottom of your brand voice, Kalungi has a template you and your team can follow. 

Audit your existing content

Next, you’ll want to audit the existing content you already have to see how you can repurpose it to reflect your brand voice. 

You can start here:

  • Whitepapers
  • One-pagers
  • Testimonials
  • Nurture sequences and emails
  • Sales decks

Comb through each of these assets and highlight what matches your voice and the outliers that don’t. You’ll want to work closely with your content team to nail the brand voice and ensure it’s aligned with your content all across the board.

You can also audit your blog content and prioritize the pieces that have the highest traffic. Break it down: what about these pieces that resonate with your audience? Can the brand voice be attributed to their success? You can also look at poor performing blog posts and repurpose it to fit your new brand attributes. 

Our content audit template is a tool you can use to help you prioritize what you need to optimize and when. It even helps you break your content down by category so that you can take out all of the guesswork. 

The bottom line is—a content audit should be done ideally every 6 months to ensure your messaging is aligned across all content channels. An inconsistent brand voice will almost always drive prospects away because it won’t resonate with them. Not only that, but you should use a content audit to stay on top of your SEO efforts and Google Search Engine visibility as well. 

It all comes down to messaging

For a solid messaging and positioning framework, you’ll need to nail your brand voice. This way, you can ensure that all of your content deliverables like blogs, website copy, social posts, and sales enablement pieces reflect the same tone. 

I recommend checking out our blog on how to build a solid messaging framework to learn more. It walks you through how to use messaging to set yourself apart from your competition and nail your positioning and value propositions.

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