Strike the right balance: Establishing tone of voice in B2B tech marketing

There are many reasons why tone of voice is crucial in marketing, whether you’re trying to establish credibility and expertise or differentiate your brand and build relationships. Hitting the right note is particularly challenging for B2B tech marketers. From the complexities of technical information to the intricacies of diverse audience personas, you need to strike the right balance to ensure you engage, inform and turn prospects into buyers.

In this blog we’ll look at seven challenges to establishing an effective tone of voice in B2B tech marketing and share some of our tips on how to get it right.

1.    Technical… but conversational

At the core of B2B tech marketing lies the challenge of conveying complex technical information in a way that is both understandable to a broader audience and sophisticated enough to be of interest to tech-savvy decision-makers. It’s a fine line to tread.

To meet the needs of audiences at both ends of the technical spectrum, try to:

  • Condense intricate details into digestible chunks but simplify without patronising.
  • Ensure that your simplified explanations remain true to the technical details – misinformation can lead to misunderstandings and erode trust.
  • Shift the narrative from how your products work (the technical specifications) to what your products provide and the tangible benefits they bring.
  • Use visual aids, concise content and real-world examples to make technical information more accessible.

2.    Broad… but specific

In the B2B tech space, marketing doesn't speak to a monolithic audience. Your tone of voice must be inclusive, to engage diverse audience personas involved in the decision-making process, such as C-suite, IT and finance. You want to entice each of these personas with your content and speak to their unique challenges without alienating anyone. Not an easy task!

To ensure you speak to the pain points of different business functions, you should:

  • Establish who your audience is and what tone they like to be spoken to in, by conducting surveys, interviews or leveraging data analytics.
  • Remember you are talking to people first, not their job roles – keep it human and craft your messages to be relatable, empathetic and conversational.
  • Where necessary, tailor content to specific personas and pain points. For example, a CFO may be more concerned with the financial ROI of a solution, while an IT professional may prioritise technical features and compatibility.
  • Retain a unified and recognisable tone that reflects your brand's values and messaging.

3.    Up to date… but without jargon

The world of B2B tech marketing demands a proactive and agile approach to language and industry trends. This involves keeping a close eye on emerging technologies, market trends and changes in consumer behaviour.

To stay current and use the latest terminology, you should:

  • Continuously monitor industry developments. This not only ensures your content remains relevant but also allows you to capitalize on new opportunities and emerging markets.
  • Proactively anticipate shifts in terminology, rather than just keeping abreast of what has already changed. It's not just about reacting to changes but also predicting and preparing for them.
  • Communicate changes to anyone involved in content creation. This fosters a collaborative environment where all contributors understand the importance of aligning their content with the latest industry standards.

4.    Professional… but approachable

By using a professional, assertive and knowledgeable voice, you can demonstrate expertise and establish your organisation as a trusted authority. Keeping this conversational, and not slipping into dry, technical speak, is the key.

Some ways to appear both professional and approachable include:

  • Avoid drowning your audience in excessive business-speak or technical jargon that may alienate or confuse them.
  • Inject empathy into your content to avoid appearing too detached or self-centred in your communication. This is about the client, not your organisation.
  • Encourage feedback through surveys, social media engagement and other channels. Analysing this feedback allows you to fine-tune your communication strategy, ensuring that your tone resonates with your audience and meets their expectations.

5.    Consistent…but channel-specific

When your audience encounters a consistent tone and visual identity across various touchpoints, it reinforces brand recognition and trust. The challenge is creating a seamless experience for your audience across diverse touchpoints while recognising the unique dynamics and format specifications of each platform. And these change regularly!

To ensure you achieve this balance, try to:

  • Develop a comprehensive brand style guide, including the tone of voice to be used across various communication channels.
  • Outline tone of voice guidelines for every channel. For example, the tone on social media might be more conversational and informal, while email campaigns may require a more formal and direct approach.
  • Regularly update guidelines according to platform specifications and your results.

6.    Timely…but timeless

To navigate the lengthy B2B tech sales cycle you need a tone that remains engaging and relevant from the initial awareness stage to the final decision-making moments.

To deliver value at each touchpoint of the buyer journey and meet the changing needs of the buyer, you should:

  • Focus on educational and informative content during the initial awareness stage.
  • Adjust your tone to provide more detailed information and address specific pain points as they move towards consideration and decision-making.
  • Showcase your understanding of the buyer's challenges by infusing empathy into your communication. Use relatable examples that illustrate a deep comprehension of their issues.

7.    Global…but localised

In a globalised business landscape, catering to regional audiences doesn’t just mean simply translating the words. Adapting the tone of communication to align with the cultural context ensures that your message is not only understood but also resonates with the target audience.

To ensure your tone and message is effective globally, you should:

  • Be aware that humour, formality and directness may be perceived differently in different cultures.
  • Consider local customs, values, historical sensitivities, social norms, taboos and visual elements. For instance, images, colours, and symbols may have different meanings in various cultures.
  • Preserve the core values, personality and identity of your brand across different regions.

Establishing and maintaining an effective tone of voice B2B tech marketing poses several challenges, from conveying technical information in a conversational manner to addressing diverse audience personas and cultural contexts. By striking the right balance between professionalism and approachability, consistency and channel-specificity, and timeliness and cultural relevance, you can craft compelling messages that resonate with your target audience and drive business success.

If you’d like to discover how Marketing Fusion can help you understand these challenges and implement strategies to overcome them, get in touch!