News flash: Digital Marketing Should Be Specific

In the news business, editors write headlines to be a specific as possible to quickly convey the news and not leave room for ambiguity. They also do it to grab attention. A dull headline just won’t keep the attention of readers. This craft applies to digital marketing.

This practice must be applied to business marketing in the digital space as well. You don’t have much time or space to speak to your target audience. This is why you must be economical with your words. Pick precise words to quickly get your message across.

Remember, you are speaking to a specific audience, not mass media, so there is no need to speak to billions when your objective is to address millions or thousands. Be direct. People don’t have time to dillydally and will scroll past vague wording. A friend of mine is fond of noting “if you don’t say it straight, it comes out crooked.” Even if not crooked, indirect wording is a time waster. In reaching your selected audience, say something of value to them by being instructive with your content.

You are competing for attention in a crowded marketplace. Do you have a browser or two open right now? How many tabs are open? Are you looking at your phone too? digital marketingAll day long, there is a digital barrage of information flying at your audience. To hold their attention, you will need to project: authority, integrity and appeal. Your authority rests on your subject matter expertise. Stick to your knitting. Don’t get way off topic and try to appeal to too many people. For example, why are so many businesses using motivational slogans for self-improvement in their marketing of businesses that have nothing to do with self-improvement? Yes, I like #MondayMotivation, but I’m not clear on what it has to do with pastries, meteorology, animal rights, financial news, etc. We all know it’s a gimmick to rise in the pile of tweets by using that hashtag, but unless you are a motivational speaker or life coach, I would not use #MondayMotivation every Monday or in your Twitter profile. What are you selling? Build your online brand around that. If you sell pretzels, by all means go to town on #NationalPretzelDay, but for the most part most of us do not need to participate in every trending hashtag to garner attention.

When using technical language, elaborate with explanations in layman’s terms. Not only will you endear yourself to someone trying to quickly get up to speed on a topic, but you’re creating more searchable content with the synonyms.

Precise wording will appeal to people who don’t have time to mess around, such as decisionmakers. I just scrolled through my Twitter feed and saw a lot of mumbo jumbo and then two Tweets that were crystal clear. One was a writer seeking to interview ovarian cancer patients, and the other was about the latest debate over transgender rights. Did I click on them? No, but the next one is about business trip savings tips and that grabs my attention. What do these Tweets have in common? They are direct. They are specific. They are precisely worded.

For more communications consulting, contact Katharine Fraser.

 

Don’t Be Shy in the Digital Realm – Get Out There with Content

The more you put out there, the more you get back. When starting or revving up a brand, the more you update the website content and post to social media, the more presence you have in the digital atmosphere. If you remain silent, you are dormant.

This is analogous to face-to-face networking. You pick and choose which business events to attend and which to avoid. The same goes with content marketing. By thoughtfully choosing your words, and yes, hash tags, you can speak to certain target audiences.

There are metrics to show how much reach you have attained. A main driver should be searchability. Can someone find you in an online search? Again, the more content produced in your brand’s name, the more likely you are to show up in search results.

Now, the actual content matters and I argue it should be written in a tone consistent with your corporate culture. A lot of digital clutter is created when content writers use the same techniques and wording (think of lists with phrases like Top 10 Hacks.. or Companies Killing It…). Distinguish yourself in a crowded marketplace with original content.

Moreover, each time you blog anew, it ideally is topical enough to be considered fresh, notes Search Engine Land. In addition, each blog is an opportunity to get noticed by search engines due to indexing, notes HubSpot.

Great, eh? Now what do you want to blog? Often we are so immersed in our work and business, we are too close to see all the subject matter that can be promoted in blogs. Start with a list of questions, issues, challenges and requests you hear from clients and prospects. These are the same things that people search for online. Your blog content should address those interests and answer those questions. You should incorporate those query words into the blog and show how your business provides solutions and offers the products and services that solve problems.

Include specifics and even anecdotes about your customer service. Once the person reading your content (yes, we want people to actually read the content) sees a real-life example of how you provided a product or service, then they will decide they want that too. Give them reasons to pick you over a competitor. But, to be part of that marketplace, you need to pipe up and blog. For more blogging insights, see more by consultant Katharine Fraser.