A photo may be worth a thousand words, but words themselves are incredibly valuable too. In marketing, as in advertising and headline writing and song lyrics, the verbiage chosen to convey a thought provokes certain action. Some words spur people to donate to a cause. Some words prompt people to complete a purchase or share the product with their friends. The words you use can be a powerful tool; choose wisely.
Here are some tips on best words to use to invoke desired actions.
We talk a lot about brand identity and maintaining your brand throughout all collateral; this is no different for the words used in print, digital and social advertising. You still want to convey your brand’s values and mission while persuading customers to complete an action.
In order to increase sales you’ll want to use words like Sale, Off, New, Now and perhaps Best Seller. These words create a sense of urgency and savings. You could also weave in You and Your speaking directly to the individual customer. Try to use Remember in order to help your busy target audience know they need to act or else risk forgetting and thus missing out on a deal.
You can also show appreciation for your customers by remembering to tell them Thank You. We often forget to say these little words and certainly don’t remember the impact they have on repeat sales. When a customer feels they are a valuable asset to the business they are more likely to purchase again as well as share their experience with their friends.
Another great word to use in marketing is Free because who doesn’t like something for nothing? You can also try using Because. Studies have shown that this word has a drastic effect on increasing sales due to the inherent need for a reason.
When speaking about the cost or price of a product, refrain from using those two words. instead, use the word Value as this word feels more like you are getting something than simply being asked to part with your hard-earned cash.
Verbiage and Language
Who is your target audience? What is their language style? How do they converse and is it vastly different than your brand or do you truly cater to your ideal customer?
Knowing the answers to these questions is vital to a successful business. Moreover, being able to speak the language of your audience increases the chance that you’ll be heard, understood and your desired action taken.
If you are a pharmaceutical company targeting doctors, you likely will not use the latest slang heard on a high school campus. But if your product is meant specifically for teenage girls, then you most certainly want to know how they are talking right now on trend and pepper your advertising with words and sentence structure that may appeal to them.
Now that we’ve identified some words to use in your written material, let’s talk a bit about how to write copy for different advertising mediums.
Each advertising space has its own set of rules and best practices culled from decades of research on how customers interact and react to them. For instance, posts on certain Social Media platforms need to be kept to a very short sentence or thought in order to not be completely skipped if they are too lengthy. However, the same information can be much more detailed when written into a pamphlet or brochure.
Take for instance a call to action to download your free industry white paper. On your website, a simple popup box with the words “Enter your email, download our FREE white paper” is plenty of information to get the point across and spur the customer to act. Let’s say you are wanting the same end state – download the white paper – but you are presenting at a local chamber event. In the brochure for the day’s event listed alongside your bio can be a full paragraph annotating your industry expertise and your new book. This could end with a short sentence written in addition to the context of the bio. It could say, “Name is a published author with decades of expertise in the field. If you’d like a sample of her writing style, download the incredibly informative and detailed white paper.”
Taken one step further, you’re presenting at a trade show and have only moments to capture the attention of passersby. The first step is to use eye-catching displays and then you can add “Download White Paper” with a QR code printed onto a banner that sits at the entrance to your booth.
(Speaking of white papers and great graphics: Download this helpful White Paper, All Eyes On You: Tradeshow Graphics That Work)
Each of these advertising locations and mediums are sending the customer to the same goal – to download the white paper. But each uses language appropriate for the context and in a method that will reach the most customers possible.
Words are powerful marketing tools and are free to use. Remember to know the medium you are advertising on and the limitations -both real and perceived- in order to use it to the most benefit for your bottom line. Know your target audience and your brand and work to meld the two together under a common tongue.