*This post was originally published on May 26, 2020 and has been updated to reflect the changing landscape of marketing.
Chasing an audience that is scrolling, swiping, and sprinting through an endless internet is exhausting. It’s like trying to make a whisper heard in the center of Times Square – on Near Year’s Eve.
So instead of chasing, Magneti uses simple rules to write messaging that is quickly sticky. Here’s what we’ve learned:
1. Become One With the Audience.
Yoda would say: “To write for your reader, become them you must.” Before your fingers ever slam the keys, give yourself the gift of research.
Consider the lifestyle of your ideal customer and how they like to feel. Then translate that desired emotion into tone, phrases, and terms which produce that feeling.
Short and punchy? Smooth and relaxing? Sarcastic? Compassionate?
Become your reader and ask what you want to feel, then let loose on that empty page.
2. Paint Them a Picture.
The stickiest messaging does more than inform, it paints a watercolor of images in the reader’s head.
Promising your reader they’ll “make connections” is fine, but it won’t create the same visual as “build strong bridges.”
The dictionary is a rich garden, so pick the ripest words and keep your audience hungry for more. Imagery is everything.
“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
– Anton Chekhov
3. Fire Up the Senses.
When we read or listen, our sensory brains crackle with electricity. Words that tickle our other senses snap messages into memory.
It doesn’t have to be a literal use of the sense like ‘smell the roses’ or ‘taste the victory’ either.
Adjectives like “sweet, soft, damp” and nouns like “scent, flavor, sound” also connect with these senses.
Delicious writing has a fragrance. Give your reader’s senses a seven-course meal.
4. Move them. Transform Them.
Moving your reader to new opinions requires action, so fill your writing with movement.
Changing statements to phrases that convey a growth or shift will inspire your audience to become, build, and create the message in their own minds.
Fire off powerful verbs like these, especially in your Calls-to-Action (CTAs). Would you rather ‘Learn More’ or ‘Become an Expert’? ‘Contact Us’ or ‘Solve Your Problems Now’?
5. Burn the Fluff.
Turn 100 words into four. Impactful writing gets to the point fast.
Each word brings the reader to the next.
Write a full message, then cut it in half. Then do it again. Only the essential survives.
Take out fancy language and ensure that nothing is unnecessary, redundant, repetitive, extra, excessive, gratuitous, verbose, pleonastic, supererogatory…
6. Repetition Is Powerful.
Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself.
Powerful messaging uses powerful language. Tucking a modifier into a sentence twice or doubling down on a powerful verb can set your phrases apart from the masses.
In the immortal words of Commander Taggart: “Never give up… Never surrender!”
Go Forth and Make Thine Messaging Sticky.
Intentional messaging sets your brand apart.
Use these rules to shape your message into engaging words that are lightning quick, super sticky, and give all the feels to your audience.
Hone your inner Hemingway. Shun the Shakespeare.
Then take a deep breath and relax as your messages stop chasing, and start sticking.