Opinion: Use words wisely to win clicks and influence people
When a consumer searches for your product or service online, you have a couple of seconds to catch their eye -- everyone knows this, but we need to remind ourselves of that fact.
This means your ad copy needs to be written with both precision and creativity.
Remember, you're not writing a short story, we're talking about ninety five characters over three lines in which to grab attention, persuade and engage.
We talk about a good "call to action". It's a simple, if slightly over-used phrase, but the meaning needs to be reignited. And it's not just a big "buy now" button on your website -- although that can help -- it's the message in the advertising.
Marketing departments, even entire companies, have become snow-blind to online marketing buzz speak, and equally, to their own websites.
From copy to imagery, to navigation and layout -- they look but don't see, read but don't digest, critique but don't have the objectivity to do it effectively.
You need to identify what works and what doesn't -- and it should start with your ad copy.
But it's not just about testing creative that works, it's coming up with fresh copy that gets it right first time and wins the click.
Marketers need to have the confidence in their own copywriters to talk about using language effectively, without apologetically saying "but of course we'll test it to make sure".
"We've got some industry-leading copywriters. We'll develop copy then test it...".
This doesn't suggest confidence in your own copy -- what you're saying is "we've got industry-leading copywriters, but we don't trust them to pitch it right".
Testing is essential. Understanding your customers is too. But it's time to switch the focus back on to clever copy and the emphasis should be on getting it right first time.
Influencing your target consumer as they conduct an online search is an art. This is where position, message, pitch and tone can influence how you're perceived, how effective your ad copy is and, ultimately, how large your share of the search traffic will be.
Rhetoric is the language of persuasion. It's what helps politicians succeed, and courtroom litigators convince.
There's an inherent power in how you phrase something -- how you pitch it. It depends on your audience, naturally.
During the first presidential debates, Abraham Lincoln would talk for an hour without stopping. Now, Barack Obama's responses are kept to two minutes, but he has a "digital echo" that immediately posts, tweets, forwards, replays and links to his message over and over and over again.
Is it really a coincidence that repetition is a core tool in rhetorical, persuasive language? If a consumer sees your message three times are they more likely to convert?
Using words wisely you'll influence the consumer, become a 'mental bookmark' and win the click again and again.
Tom Griffiths, Business Development Manager, digital direct agency, Cheeze.
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