One of the biggest mistakes you could make when creating content for your physical therapy clinic’s blog is not paying attention to your tone of voice.
A lot of content creators are concerned with finding the best topics, crafting compelling headlines and optimizing their articles to perfection. But, they forget that what makes them stand out from the promotional clutter is having a distinctly human voice. People don’t want brands talking to them in a boring, formal matter. They want authentic communication.
Finding your voice can be a difficult process. Unlike other content strategies, your voice is not a metric you can track or an element you can tweak. Your voice is the connecting force between you and your readers. It represents who you are. It tells your story. Readers take that voice and build their sense of your identity around it.
If you are serious about standing out from the content clutter published every single day, you need to start paying attention to your tone of voice.
Here’s what you need to know to create a distinctive voice.
Tone of Voice: A Different Approach
The tone of voice represents your physical therapy clinic’s personality through the written word. It reflects in what you say and how you say it. However, the tone of voice incorporates more than just the words you choose but their order, rhythm, and pace as well.
Defining your voice means defining the person behind the content. It encompasses your story, your beliefs, and values. It’s what makes your readers feel like a real person is behind the articles they read.
The concept of the tone of voice can be broken down into four main components: character, tone, language, and purpose.
- Character: This is your physical therapy clinic’s blog personality described in adjectives. Ask yourself, if your blog would be a person, how would it sound like? Would it be friendly, professional, inspiring or playful?
- Tone: The tone helps you refine your voice and adjust it based on factors such as audience, channel or situation;
- Language: The words you use to create your content matters. The revision of a single word can change the mood of a paragraph or even the entire article;
- Purpose: Why are you creating the content? What do you want to achieve through it?
Analyzing these four elements can help you understand your online persona and define your tone of voice.
Why Having a Distinctive Voice Is Important?
Imagine that your best friend sends you the following message:
“To improve your work-life balance dynamic, you are summoned to participate in a collective activity which will reinforce your social capital and norms.”
Translation: “Hey, we’re going out tonight. We won’t take no for an answer?”
Coming from a friend, this overly complicated way of communicating seemed odd and unnecessary. And, yet, this is how a lot of PT clinics express themselves. One moment they are your friends and the next one they confuse you with jargons.
Do you know why this happens? It is because most of them don’t have a clear tone of voice. They haven’t established their identity and, consequently, have no idea what their brand is supposed to be. That is why sometimes they sound like your best friend while other times they sound just like your parents.
Having a clear tone of voice can help your physical therapy clinic adjust their communication. That is just one of the many benefits of creating a distinctive tone of voice. Here are others.
- It Defines What Makes You “You”
A distinctive tone of voice is an expression of your PT clinic’s personality. It tells your audience who you are, what you value and what is unique about you. Your tone of voice is an expression of the person behind the content.
- A Clear Voice Builds Trust
There is a strong connection between familiarity and trust. Something familiar requires less effort to process, so we feel more relaxed and comfortable around things we already know. Having a clear and consistent tone of voice helps you to become familiar with your prospective patients and gain their trust.
- It’s a Powerful Emotional Tool
One of the things you probably fuss about when creating content for your PT clinic’s blog is the words you use. You do this partly to improve your traffic rates and to boost conversion. But, it’s also a great way to create the right emotion.
Defining your online personality, your voice, and the words you are going to use to convey a specific message can help you connect with your audience on an emotional level. Words can influence and persuade people.
- It Translates Your Values Into Words
Abstract information is boring and hard to follow. For example, let’s imagine your physical therapy clinic’s value is “innovative.” But, what exactly does this mean? How can you translate “innovative” into specific actions?
Having a distinctive tone of voice can help you translate an abstract concept into something specific.
How to Make Your Voice Sound Human?
You’ve defined your personality. You’ve found what makes you special and you’ve created a distinctive tone of voice. Now, it’s time to learn how to make your voice sound human.
When asked what is the best way to make your voice sound human, most experienced content writers will tell you that you need to write just like you talk.
While this is a good piece of advice, putting it into practice can be a bit frustrating. When you talk, you use words and phrases such as “like,” “um” or “does it make any sense?” We are pretty sure an article filled with these words is not going to be very engaging.
There is a better way you can sound human in your content: appeal to your readers’ emotion. Here’s how:
- Write from First Person
Do you know what most people’s favorite topic is?
The answer is them.
According to one study, people talk about themselves for about 60% of the time of a conversation.
The question that begs to be answered is why, in a world full of wonders and ideas waiting to be discovered and discussed, do people spend so much time talking about themselves? According to researchers, when two humans chat about their personal experiences and feelings, their bodies release oxytocin. Simply put, talking about ourselves make us feel good.
You need to start writing in a more personal manner. Use a lot of pronouns, such as “I,” ”you” or “we,” and address readers like you would in real life. That way your style will appear more natural and interesting.
To make your voice sound human, try writing your articles from the first person. Address your readers like they are in front of you, and you are telling them about the best therapy for neck pain.
- Avoid Being Clever
Nobody likes a show-off. Research suggests that using more sophisticated words just for the sake of looking smart is usually not a good idea. In one study, researchers took a long and complicated dissertation abstract and created a simplified version by replacing the sophisticated words with shorter synonyms. The participants of the study rated the author of the simplified version as more intelligent.
When you use simple language, you avoid the risk of misinterpretation. Furthermore, since people don’t have to process the information and think twice about it, they feel more engaged.
- Be Controversial
How many times did you come across a controversial headline and you couldn’t help but click on it?
When they write, most people tend to get overly formal. They think about how others could potentially read what they write, so their voice sounds very scripted. Stray from the norm by not being afraid to be a little controversial. Write candidly, and it will help you engage with your readers.
- Tell Stories
Everybody loves a good story. We love them so much that when we don’t have a story, we make one up. But, why do we feel so good when we hear a story?
According to one study, when we are being told a story, the language processing areas of our brain activate, as well as the parts that we would use if we were to experience the events of the story. In other words, when we hear a story, our brain lives the entire narrative of events.
If you want your voice to sound human, then you should integrate storytelling in your blog posts. Because stories activate peoples’ brain in such a manner, your readers will feel more engaged and connected with you.
- Obey the Irish Pub Rule
The Irish Post’s editor has a simple rule when choosing the topic of a new article: he won’t publish anything that wouldn’t be appropriate for a conversation in a pub. He calls this rule of writing the “pub rule.”
When people read something online, they are distracted by a million other things. To keep them engaged, you need to brainstorm topics that would spark an interest in your readers.
There is a colossal amount of content posted on the Internet every day. As the content creator of a highly specified niche, you are pressured to stand out from the crowd and add value. Having a human voice can help you capture more readers and can give your content personality.
For more content marketing tricks, visit our blog section at PatientSites.com. We post all kinds of exciting things happening in the world of Physical Therapy and Marketing.
If you need help with your content marketing strategy, we can help you turn your physical therapy clinic’s website into a lead generation machine.