Guest Post: Language Matters in Marketing and Branding Your Business by Michelle Laurey

Visual elements such as graphics attract the eye and convey meaning much faster than words can. In fact, the popularity of websites such as Instagram demonstrates how the marketing industry increasingly gravitates toward visual messaging. 

Although customers often first notice the colours and designs of your content, they can easily get lost if they don’t find some accompanying text. In other words, your language still plays a vital role in the marketing process. After all, your website uses language for articles, titles, product names and other information.

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

And, even though an image in an advertisement will spark the interest of shoppers, it’s the accompanying text that completes the sale. In order to lead a successful marketing campaign, you have to mind the language you use: it always has to meet the following requirements.

As Clear as Crystal

In many cases, you can communicate better when you use fewer words. Usually, people have many responsibilities and little time to spend reading paragraphs of text. Show respect for your audience by expressing your message in a way that is as clear as it is concise. That raises the chances of getting positive reactions.

Even when you employ brevity, make sure you wisely choose your words. For example, avoid jargon and other types of confusing insider talk. When you use jargon, you give off the impression that you think you’re better than your audience. Nobody likes to be patronised, so, use simple but effective words that everyone will understand.

Visual elements such as graphics attract the eye and convey meaning much faster than words can. In fact, the popularity of websites such as Instagram demonstrates how the marketing industry increasingly gravitates toward visual messaging.   Although customers often first notice the colours and designs of your content, they can easily get lost if they don’t find some accompanying text. In other words, your language still plays a vital role in the marketing process. After all, your website uses language for articles, titles, product names and other information.

With an Eye on the Target

Research your audience and use the knowledge you gain to precisely target your message. Although this process may cost a lot in terms of time and money, you can expect to receive an impressive ROI.

For instance, if you discover that young people comprise your audience, try weaving some slang into your content. Additionally, you may want to use thrilling language while challenging traditional perspectives.

Similarly, should you need to address older adults, you will need to use a calm and stable tone that conveys security and comfort. On the other hand, basic and colourful vocabulary is best suited for children.

In the end, consider everything about your audience as you write so they can naturally relate to your products and services. In addition to that, you must match your language to your market, especially if you sell internationally.

In the long history of marketing, there have been a lot of translation blunders. For example, Electrolux advertised its vacuum cleaner in the USA using the line “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.” Needless to say, the message didn’t resonate.To avoid mistakes like that one, consider investing into a translating service. Even if your company has limited resources, there are better ways to remain within budget than to save on translating. Just imagine how many potential buyers Electrolux lost because it didn’t have the ad translated professionally. You wouldn’t want that to happen to you, would you?

Catchy and Original

Your marketing copies should be interesting and memorable. With a little creativity, you can make people laugh while communicating serious messages. Copywriters have the opportunity to play with language: they can use jokes, puns, rhyme, even distort grammar and spelling rules.

Humour invokes emotions, thus connecting the people to the brand on a deeper level. However, there are also rules about its usage. Different people find different things funny, so, you should again adapt your jokes to the target audience.

Using humour can sometimes be risky. Do you remember the “Dumb Ways to Die” ads? It was an advertising campaign orchestrated by Metro Trains in Melbourne. Not everyone liked the ads, people who dislike dark humour considered them cruel. But, the company achieved its goal: the railroad slashed accidents by one-fifth. It proves that you have to be bold to succeed.

Another brand, Kwality Ice Cream, made its mark by changing the spelling of “Quality”. As a result, they grabbed the attention of consumers while cleverly creating a positive association with their brand.

As has been noted, intentionally using incorrect grammar can come across as witty. McDonald’s demonstrated this in its “I’m lovin’ it” campaign. Despite using “love” in a progressive form, the catchphrase resonated with audiences.

Grammar Nazi Approved

Although marketers can flex their grammatical compositions, they only should do so when audiences can tell the change is intentional. Otherwise, your attempts at manipulating grammar might appear as either typographical errors or ignorant mistakes.

In other words, your use of language reflects on the quality and professionalism of your brand. You only have a short time to make a good first impression, so don’t let poor writing skills get in the way.

Furthermore, some studies suggest that people tend to doubt the credibility of firms whose language contains mistakes. In fact, just one misspelled word can cause you to lose as much as half your sales.

To ensure that your business always uses bulletproof language, consider hiring a professional proof-reader. If you can’t afford a professional firm, there are always freelancers who can work on an as-needed basis.

Write Away!

In the modern digital world, your brand still depends on written communications. Avoid damaging your brand by clearly and concisely wording your messages. Of course, you also need to use language that meets the needs of your audience. Through the wise use of language, you make people feel comfortable and encourage them to buy from you.When you write, you can break the rules, as long as you can do so in an obvious and catchy way. Finally, make sure that everything you publish is without error. Now, get to work creating copy that supports your brand and boosts your sales. 

 


Michelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.

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