Words for the Wise: 3 Tips for Messaging US Audiences

July 14, 2015

in Market Your Brand

Authored by CeeCee Vandiver

Words for the Wise: 3 Tips for Messaging US Audiences

For as many communication channels as they participate in, US audiences still value brevity, immediacy, and relevance. This means the words used to describe your business really matter. More importantly, this means you can’t simply transfer text from your current sites and channels and expect them to resonate there as well as in the UK.

Our partner company, Lucid Fusion, works with clients to create the clarity they need to effectively message who they are, what they do, and why they matter, in ways designed to engage audiences and maintain connection. In every engagement they emphasize just how much the words chosen will matter in effectively delivering those messages. Here are some of the rules they follow:

Create relevant impact

Your message should be impactful and grab the audience’s attention. It is important to be clever and memorable, and not rattle off a bunch of sales slogans to get your point across. Nowhere is this more important than on a website home page where you get mere seconds to engage your audience.

In the US marketplace, impact is created by challenging the status quo, speaking directly to audiences, and using powerful words. It is also created by using the fewest words possible to make your point.

Think about US audiences and how they might relate to your product or service. What do they want to hear and how do they want to hear it? Getting it right down to the actual words they use is crucial. Start by talking with your markets before trying to create a single message. Ask open ended questions to see how they describe things. Then message it right back at them with the same succinct language.

Use active voice

Nothing falls flat faster than passive words. This is one of those things that operates at the lower levels of consciousness. The words you use contribute to the gut feel that defines your brand. Simply put, if you sound passive, you open the door for doubt.

Customers want to choose a partner that will make them successful. A partner that will be there for them when the going gets tough. Use the right words. For example, does your company “help to enable client success?” Or, do you “drive client success with measurable results?”

This is just as powerful when speaking of accomplishments. Would you rather partner with a “recipient of several UK business awards,” or the “two-time Entrepreneur SMB of the year?”

Sell emotion

During the NFL Superbowl—the top US advertising day of the year—Always, a brand of feminine hygiene products, produced one of the most resonant ads. The company eschewed product branding and imagery in favor of an emotional reach, calling for the empowerment of females of all ages.

Accompanied by the hashtag #LikeAGirl, the ad immediately brought attention across all demographics, and positioned the brand as forward-thinking and one that stood for more than just hygiene.

Given the nature of the product, it’s hard to say how sales were affected. But the brand was elevated in the eyes of people outside the target demo, all because of an emotional message. On the most male-centric advertising day of the year, a female-focused company won the battle.

Americans don’t just buy from companies—they buy from people. And they want to believe in the companies they buy from. When messaging to them, don’t just sell your product, sell your business, and the foundations it was built upon.

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