5 reasons why word choice matters in content marketing

by | Mar 2, 2020 | Analysis, Public Relations

It’s easy for business owners and digital marketers to get so caught up in the big picture that they fail to pay attention to the small details that weave into the larger fabric. Perhaps this is most evident in the way in which brand leaders treat individual words.

Though any successful marketer will assure you that he or she takes content seriously, few give enough attention to the individual words that make up the larger content strategy. The result, too often, is missed opportunities, improper branding, and a lack of influence.

If you are designing or updating your content marketing strategy, take the time to think about word choice. Here are some specific explanations:

1. Words can communicate urgency

Few psychological approaches pack as powerful a punch as urgency. If you can cultivate a greater sense of urgency on your website pages, landing pages, and social media profiles … you can successfully move people to action.

“Urgency causes people to act quickly,” marketing expert Neil Patel writes. “Many of the problems that affect conversions are issues of cognitive friction—people think too hard, wait too long, or simply don’t respond to our calls to action. Raising the urgency level cuts through a lot of this delay to create a significant improvement to conversion rates.”

There are numerous ways to increase urgency, but a lot of the communication occurs through word choice. Simple phrases such as “limited time,” “only a few left,” and “limited time offer” can encourage visitors to make a decision.

Even simple words like quick, hurry, never, instant, approaching, rapidly, and fast, can get people to act. While these terms undeniably work, you ought to be honest and precise about how often you use them.

Excessive use can cause a word to lose much of its meaning. For the best results, be smart about how and when you deploy “urgency” words.

2. Words provide color and detail

Whether you’re crafting a rental property listing or trying to sell a car, words provide the color and details that fill in the gaps for customers. Every purchase decision is rooted in emotion.

Some words stoke more positive emotions than others. Compare two statements about the same candy bar:

  • Try our new chocolate bar.
  • Indulge in our creamiest chocolate bar to date.

Both lines refer to the same candy bar, yet the latter one is significantly more appealing. That shows that word choice matters a lot.

3. Words can directly increase sales

A simple change in word choice can have a significant impact on sales, in a quantifiable manner. This has been shown to be true over and over again.

Monthly1K—a business software for entrepreneurs—is a perfect example. When the company wanted to increase the number of online courses it sold each month, it replaced its existing headline (which read How to Make Your First Dollar) with a new and improved title that read How to Make a $1,000-a-Month Business.

Though all other details remained the same, the altered wording of the headline boosted sales by an impressive 6.5 percent. Everything else had stayed the same!

4. Words humanize your digital presence

Digital brands enjoy a number of benefits to which offline companies never had access in previous decades. However, there’s one distinct disadvantage that comes with being an online company: the lack of face-to-face contact and personal interaction.

For online brands, it’s vital to overcome this absence of human interaction through strategic marketing and customer service. With the right word choices, you can humanize your brand and speak the language of your customers.

You can show them you care and help them see you’re to be trusted with their dollars, information, and privacy.

5. Words promote consistency

Finally, word choice has a way of promoting a consistent message. Your voice is your brand, so the more precise the language, the more familiar you’ll become to your audience.

Thus, you want to make sure you maintain a consistent vocabulary in your content marketing efforts. A style guide can help keep you accountable.

Are you giving weight to words?

Words clearly have value. Sometimes it’s not whatyou say, but howyou say it that matters the most to online customers.

The question is, are you giving the proper attention and focus to your word choices? Doing so could transform your approach to content marketing in the months and years ahead. Don’t miss this!

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is a freelance tech and computer writer