Article was originally published in Boston.com's Global Business Hub Blog on Feb 20, 2014
“Built around best-in-class, commerce and industry solutions, we offer the most complete, cloud-enabled customer experience solution in the industry, creating a streamlined, efficient environment where companies can definitively differentiate themselves across all channels, touch points, and interactions…”
Go ahead and admit that sentence made you glaze over. Did it tell you anything you needed to know about a product or service? Nope, not really – a classic scratch your head and think “huh?” moment.
Research shows people skip over marketing jargon. It’s essentially meaningless, despite the persistent belief that the buzzwords add credibility to the content, like some sort of secret handshake between a company and its customer – “you know what I am talking about, right?” (wink, wink).
Hey, it happens to the best of us – we occasionally find ourselves “efficiently extending leading-edge platforms” and “leveraging turnkey solutions.” It’s hard to resist when you’re in a rush to get out that 35th email of the day.
To help weed out all that “foul” marketing-speak out of business communications, White Rhino recently launched its free application, Marketing BS Detector, that allows marketers to scan websites or blocks of copy to spot the worst offenders.
It’s not easy to consistently churn out clear, compelling content, but it’s critical to do in this age of miniscule attention spans and information overload. Here are some helpful tips on developing content that would captivate your audience:
Make it simple, clear, and human.
People get frustrated when they don’t understand what you’re talking about. Think back to how your family yawns when you talk about a scintillating work project. They hear your industry lingo and start backing away slowly. Same thing happens on the web. When people scan copy and start to drift off a few sentences in, chances are they’ll bolt for a better alternative.
Make it useful.
“I love fluffy, vague content that sends me on a wild goose chase to find what I came looking for!” said no user, ever. When we scour the Internet, we look for substance – typically, the answer to a question. Help people quickly and they’ll love you for it.
Make it fun.
You can write about product features until you’re blue in the face. But people retain information the best when they are entertained and involved.
Find a way for your customers to actually interact with your content. Make it fun, magnetic and make them feel in control of it. The emotions they’ll feel during that experience will go a long way in building trust with your brand.
Make it addictive.
Research shows that we’re all born with the desire to play games. It’s in our DNA. How can we turn this innate desire into a powerful marketing tool? The answer lies in using game mechanics to appeal and drive desired behaviors. Throw rewards into the mix and your marketing has just become irresistible.
Make it about them.
Me, me, me - we all love talking about ourselves. While it’s very tempting to go on and on about how awesome our company, product or service is (let’s face it, we’re only human), it’s infinitely more valuable to focus on your customer instead. What do they fear? What makes them jump with joy? Make your story about them and how you’ll make their lives better. Spark that visceral emotional charge and the person on the other side of the screen will feel connected to your brand.