Effective content captures a reader’s attention, leads to actionable results, and inspires loyalty — even if your reader isn’t ready to make a purchase. Writing effective content is challenging, but there are simple ways to maximize the impact of your content to ensure that new readers become loyal clients for years to come.
One simple way to boost the effectiveness of your content is to focus on word choice. In a nutshell, words matter. And that’s a good thing, because the words you use are one of the few things you have complete control over. We’ve composed a quick guide to word choice to help you get started:
1. Establish exclusivity
Using language that implies exclusivity is an effective way to convert leads. Framing your services or the benefits of your product as something that’s exclusive to your clients or customers increases the chance that your audience will listen. If you use words that make customers feel special, you’ll soon have them scrambling to join your club. The following words, for example, help create an atmosphere of exclusivity and special access: be the first, new, and now.
2. Focus on benefits (rather than features)
Sure, features are important, but they’re not very exciting. What’s exciting is what those features can do for you. Getting consumers to take action means focusing on benefits — and doing so using words that embody action. Tell people what life will look like with your product, what they’ll be able to do with it, what they can accomplish, and why they’ll never want to be without it again. Good words to describe benefits include: discover, powerful, proven, more, and value.
3. Focus on story, not on buzzwords, jargon, or acronyms
Nothing will turn off your readers faster than including words they don’t understand in your content. You might want to demonstrate that you’re current with trends in your field, but don’t forget to define and explain those new trends to your readership. Definition of new or unusual words and terms are key. And if you can find a word that is widely understood that means the same thing as cutting-edge buzzwords, use that in your article, rather than turning your reader off by including language she has no way of understanding.
4. Use a thesaurus to find dynamic synonyms
Your first draft of a blog or social media post doesn’t need to be perfect. Instead, you should focus on getting your ideas down. After you’ve finished writing the early draft, you can then look to a thesaurus to find a more sensory, visual, and dynamic word that means the same thing as the word you chose originally. Specific language is always better.
5. Find a consistent tone
Words build on each other to create tone. Tone can be formal or informal, funny or serious, informative or persuasive ... the list goes on and on. The best way to create the tone you want is by paying attention to your word choice. Choose formal verbs (think initiate, implement, provides) if you’re employing a formal tone or choose casual verbs (like gives, delivers, makes) for a less buttoned-up tone.
6. Engage through personalization
Customers are wary of marketing that doesn’t recognize their uniqueness. It feels fake and disingenuous. While mass advertising doesn’t offer many ways to personalize messaging on an individual level, speaking in the second person (you) is an easy way to create the perception of a closer connection with your reader. When you use the second person, readers feel recognized, included, and an integral part of the conversation.
7. Use because to highlight the why
In the world of content marketing, because has become a very important word. Because is a flashing red light that tells consumers that they’re about to read something important and relevant. Because is the calling card of the thought leader, and thought leaders are extremely influential in converting leads. So, never leave the reader hanging. Don’t just make a claim (anyone can do that); lay out the reasons behind that claim. Readers will have more confidence in your content if you back up it up with facts and logic.
Here at Prose Media, we know that you’re an expert in your field. We’re here to help make sure that your content marketing reflects that experience. For content that converts leads because it’s the most informative and compelling it can be, sign up to gain free access to our platform and learn more about how we can help.