Is The Corporate Tone A Thing Of The Past? Is There Such A Thing As Being Too Formal In Your Writing?

The tone of writing that you choose when engaging with your audience in any capacity is very important. It’s no different than changing the way that you talk in different circumstances. For example, you wouldn’t speak to your newborn nephew quite in the same way you’d talk to a police officer, would you?

But is there such a thing as being too formal in your writing? Is the corporate tone a thing of the past or does it still have its place? Read on and we’ll look a little closer…

What is a Corporate Tone?

A corporate or ‘formal’ tone plays by a certain set of rules, or ‘etiquette’. Not so dissimilar to how you might speak in an interview for a managerial position in a corporate career. Official, no-nonsense, un-opinionated, and straight down the line.

But does this style of writing still have a place in the world of modern business?

Is The Corporate Tone A Thing Of The Past?

The corporate tone does have a time and a place – but it all boils down to your audience. According to research, 78% of customer satisfaction is derived from the tone of voice used during an engagement with a brand. This means that understanding your audience is paramount.

Naturally, businesses like banks and law firms do well with a formal tone – but not in every setting. For example, to use the corporate tone in an advertisement would be highly unusual, even for such traditionally ‘formal’ business types.

In marketing, a more personalized message is far more effective. This is because emotion sells. In fact, over 90% of human purchasing decisions are subconscious, driven by emotion. Which is why using a formal tone in marketing (no matter the industry) would be counterproductive.

However, for whitepapers and another official, research-based documents, the formal tone fits perfectly. When a piece of writing is ‘matter of fact’, there is little room for emotion, opinion, or humor. While it certainly might make the document more ‘exciting’ to read, it defeats the entire purpose of the document, which is simply to inform.

Is There Such A Thing As Being Too Formal In Your Writing?

Arguably yes. Again, there are certain document types that call for formal writing and any unnecessarily ‘colorful’ language would be distracting. However, in all other online media, such as your blog posts, guest blogs, and social media content (to name a few), there is indeed such a thing as being too formal.

In fact, in these instances, using a more relaxed and conversational tone is far more effective.

Conclusion: There’s A Time And A Place

In conclusion, the corporate or ‘formal’ tone is almost certainly not a thing of the past. There is a time and a place. However, there is such a thing as going overboard with the formalities.

Know your audience and find a brand voice that will best resonate with them – then stick to it.

If you are unsure or have no idea where to begin, an online marketing agency will be able to help you discover your ideal customer, identify the style of writing that will engage them well, and factor it into your broader digital marketing campaign.

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