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Our recent launch of the “Kids Say the FRESHest Things” Creative Writing Contest got me thinking. Why do we really want to hear from kids? Because they will, undoubtedly, have varying perspectives and communicate those opinions in distinctive ways. And, as a result, their thoughts will have a different impact on readers than ours. Yes, put simply, their words will be different.
Words are powerful and at the root of what we do, as marketers. Words are much more than just information-providers. Though they are terrific at that, too. Words are motivators. Action-spurrers and emotion-stirrers. Words are building blocks, serving as the foundation for our messages and the documentation of our work.
From Facebook status updates to the select few (hopefully) traffic-stopping words on a tradeshow booth backwall, the words we choose and use define us. Sure, you can complement words, and even enhance their intended meaning/job, with pictures, numbers and charts. But, when all is said and done, your WORDS are doing the heavy lifting for you. Even though they are often overlooked and undervalued, compared to design and all the “pretty”, WORDS are the critical components of marketing.
I’ve been accused of being “wordy” countless times. Mostly by our designer, Cliff, and anyone unlucky enough to trip into a fitness or college basketball conversation with me. But, I don’t take offense. As I learned at a recent copywriting seminar, as long as I’m speaking to my carefully identified target(s) and tailoring my words to the specific medium, “wordy” can be just another weapon in my marketing arsenal. And actually, the most effective one.
When you’re writing web copy or a blog entry, how do you choose your words? By how easily they flow from your pen (or keyboard)? Do you review and revise based on their impact? Do you scour your sentences for deeper meaning? Also, do you give others the opportunity to use their words on your behalf? Just as we want to hear from kids about FRESH, so, too, might the readers of your words want to hear from your customers. Harness the power of words and use them to your advantage!
So What?: The beauty of words is the many ways that you can mold them to work for you. That is also what makes them so complex. Balance the beauty and complexity and you’ll never be at a loss….for words. Determine a topic (maybe a certain press release that has been giving you fits), set a timer for 10 minutes, and start writing. Get all your ideas on paper (or screen) and don’t stop until the timer dings. This writer’s block-demolishing exercise will give you lots of content and maybe even a new outlook on WORDS.
Posted by The Health Nut (Brock Nemecek)