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Lead Your Team Strategy

Is Your Corporate Language Hurting Your Brand?

Is Your Corporate Language Hurting Your Brand?
Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Corporate content is everywhere nowadays. Whether it's website copy, blog posts, tweets or emails, digital communications represent your company to the online world, and are an important component of its branding strategy. But if your corporate language is too unclear, it may be doing your brand more harm than good.

"The base level that brands need to get to [in their communications] is simplifying their language and making it more human," said Anelia Varela, U.S. director of The Writer, a firm that provides writing services and training for organizations. "This means speaking to people on their level. Once you've simplified, [figure out] how to make that language your own and stand out against competitors."

No matter what industry you're in, you should aim to have your corporate voice be clear, concise and distinct, Varela said. She offered the following tips to help brands improve their corporate communication strategy. [Creating a Social Media 'Fingerprint' for Your Business]

Define your voice. Today's brands are expected to communicate with customers through a wide range of channels. Even in smaller companies, it's likely that more than one person is responsible for writing and sending out this official corporate content. Identifying and defining an authentic brand voice will ensure that all communications are consistent, no matter who's creating them.

"More people than ever are creating content on behalf of brands," Varela said. "It can become a cacophony if everyone's not using the same voice. It needs to be second nature to them, and it's worth making sure they get the training and support they need to make that happen."

Avoid industry jargon. Every industry has its own specialized terms, especially in the rapidly growing tech sector. While using "technospeak" (or your industry's language) is fine for internal messages, the use of jargon in your newsletters, Web pages, social media posts and other communications meant for customers will likely only confuse them.

"Think about your audience as if you're speaking with them [in person]," Varela told Business News Daily. "Brand communication is about creating a conversation with customers. You're not going to get far if you use corporate speak."

Learn from social media. Varela noted that companies often try to figure out how to apply their brand voice to social media. In some cases, it's actually more beneficial to work backward and look at it from the opposite perspective.

"We should be asking what we can learn from social media," she said. "People write more like they speak on blogs, Facebook, etc. It's clear and concise. It's a good lesson to be applied to everything else."

Nicole Fallon

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. Nicole served as the site's managing editor until January 2018, and briefly ran Business.com's copy and production team. Follow her on Twitter.