Did you realize, when you read something your brain maps the words to a particular voice in your head? Your inner voice reads out loud the wordsyou’re reading. Actually, not everyone has this, but most people do. Ruvanee Vilhauer from the New York University did some research on this and found out that the vast majority (82%) said that they do hear an inner voice when reading to themselves.
The interesting thing about this is, that the inner voice varies depending on the written words, grammar and even the punctuation. Certain texts manage to let our inner voice sound enthusiastic, others make it sound sad, happy, thoughtful and so on.
Marketing professionals for content marketing and digital communication take advantage of this, for example when building brands. Depending on the target audience, advertising texts have their own sound and feel. Our inner voice has a huge impact on how we feel about something. It is much more likely that we recommend a product or a brand if our inner voice sounds excited while reading a text about it.
The Voice and Tone in Writing
The voice is the distinct personality of a text, be it in a magazines article, blog post, website or just a short tweet. A writer’s voice is something uniquely their own. It is build based on the words the writer uses, the grammar, punctuation, mechanics and overall style he uses. Readers begin to construct a person based on the voice and tone of a text. Beside the headline, the first sentence is the most important part of a text. It decides whether the reader continues reading and with how much attention he will continue. The voice gives personality to the writing and helps grab the readers attention and build a relationship.
The tone is more like a subset of the voice. It adds a mood to the personality and therefore a mood of our inner voice. The writing tone helps us specify if your inner voice sounds excited, amused or thoughtful. Further, if correctly pulled through, the writing tone emphasises the whole image of a product. At some point, it’s more a matter of how something is said than what is said.
Of course, IT companies benefit from all of this like any other company. One of the main aspects if a brand or a product is successful is it’s textual presentation. Usually, IT companies (especially startups) try to make their users feel enthusiastic about their product or upcoming event. When reading their texts and tweets, often it feels like something really big and great going to happen. And you definitely don’t want to miss anything big and great. You could loose track and in the IT business it can happen pretty fast to miss something. As we all know, technology changes very fast.
The voice and tone runs through the entire marketing concept. It helps us differentiate the interesting from the boring stuff. For marketers it is an important instrument to build a friendly and trustworthy image for the product. The way we read our everyday texts, especially tweets and blogs, has a huge impact on how we see IT companies and their products, independent from their technical achievements. If the company misses to delight you about their brand and product, they will have a much harder time to actually convince you to use it. If the tweets and blogs have a more conversational, friendly and trustworthy tone, it’s more likely that you will get motivated to actually give it a try.
There are so much more details about this topic which I never could fit into a blogpost. The key takeaway of this post is that it’s definitely worth thinking about the voice of tone of a text and the inner voice of the reader when writing for a certain product, even if you are not a professional marketer. A great article to get started with this topic is listed on the website of Nielsen Norman Group.