The words on your website are reaching readers in a certain way, whether you like it or not. The tone of voice for your website copy will go a long way to deciding whether you’re connecting with customers.

A while ago, former Apple marketing vice president Allison Johnson revealed that Apple never used to refer to marketing strategies or advertising campaigns. They used them like every other business, but it was more of a question of internal attitude: Apple didn’t want to feel like they were selling anything (consciously or subconsciously).

Johnson worked for Apple between 2005 and 2011, during which time they released several products (including the iPad and iPhone). She says that just before the release of a new product, Apple would turn into a ‘launch machine’.

What does that mean?

Effectively it meant that Apple would just focus on teaching and informing people about their new product, rather than selling.

This technique has quickly become part of Apple’s culture and it is highly effective: when Apple has a product that’s ready for consumers, the whole world writes, tweets and blogs about it. That’s not a coincidence.

Apple’s tone of voice and ethos is to focus on the facts: what have they launched, why do you need it and what problems it will solve? And they keep their words as simple as possible. They’d focus on these principles so hard that you’d forget you were being sold to. That’s magic, stealth-like marketing.

I don’t think a lot of companies think about their tone of voice and their attitude to communication. Certainly, not many businesses operate like Apple and I wonder why.

So what’s your tone of voice? Who are your best customers? Who’s most likely to visit your website and how do they want to be talked to?

Look at the words your business uses and make them work as hard as possible. You could do far worse than focusing on your customers’ relationship with your products, rather than the products themselves or their relationship with you.

Matt Press, Splash CopywritersThis blog was brought to you by Matt Press of Splash Copywriters 

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