From not-quite-convincing declarations of love to inadverturtledly cringeworthy product packaging: Valentine’s Day is always a good reminder that it’s worth spending some thought on how you want to come across, and what words you want to use.
Sweet tortoise! Probably the most romantic animal on earth.
Yep, we focus on love letters to customers rather than messages on Tinder. And we like to keep things simple. So here’s a practical, 4-step plan for choosing the right words for your business, all wrapped up in a memorable acronym: BACK.
If your words have your BACK, they are:
If your brand has a distinct style, everything you write needs to speak the same language — from your Facebook ads to your customer care. Otherwise your company will appear disjointed, and people will trust you less.
You may want to keep things a little more sober when writing about serious stuff, and take the fun side of your brand up a notch when you’re celebrating.
But many companies have a bit of a Jekyll-and-Hyde thing going on: their social media marketing, sales pages and customer care sound completely unconnected.
Think of the people who buy from you as ‘co-creators’ rather than ‘consumers’.
Traditional, ‘corporate’ language won’t be able to engage co-creators — you’ll want to be at eye level, sharing expertise like a knowledgeable friend.
It’s not always easy to hit the right tone the first time around.
So here’s a tried-and-tested shortcut: listen really closely to how the people you want to engage with speak, and mirror that. Spoken language is a better guide than the written word, because we tend to censor ourselves subconsciously when we write.
It’s worth the effort: the more you speak the language of your tribe, talk about people’s needs and show how you meet them, the more your marketing cares for your customer.
At the same time, your support turns into a marketing channel. And your customers will feel empowered.
What better definition of ethical marketing?
Clarity is a must for any business.
The Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level is a useful test if you want to check the readability of your website.
It will tell you how many years of formal education your page visitor needs in order to understand it.
Aim for grade 8 or below — that’s the level of most Stephen King books.
You’re the expert in your brand, products and services — you have the right to speak with conviction.
A confident tone helps people believe what you’re saying, which is so important in this age of transparent business.
As an expert, you can also afford to be really specific.
Refer to real situations in your customers’ real lives, as if you were writing a novel.
Most brands stay generic because it feels safe — but those specifics are what sets you apart as the true “we understand exactly what you’re going through” experts.
Once site visitors feel this safe with you, they’ll be more likely to buy.
And less likely to contact you just for reassurance.