May I ask, What is the goal of your creative content writing? I am guessing that influencing readers falls in the top three of your top ten list. Am I right?
And, much of that content is made of verbal or written words, correct? Are you still with me?
The digital copy populating your website, posting across social media platforms and defining podcasts and video content works to get you noticed. Otherwise, why write it? After all, your business holds plenty of long to-do lists without adding unnecessary work.
Also, creative content communicates with prospects and customers. Formed from the thoughts of a writer, these words get your message out and impact readers one way or another.
In fact, words pack tremendous power.
To illustrate, remember with me a common childhood scenario: I recall chanting it over and over in a just-below-snotty tone, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” And, my friends and I would walk away from the mean boy (or girl) with an air of victory.
But, the truth is, those words stung. Some cut deep and left wounds for weeks. I still bear the scars of others well into my adulthood. And, my guess is that you relate on some level.
One of my favorite Scriptures reads, “The power of life and death are in the tongue.” And, life and learning over the years lead me to believe it. I come to understand that words encourage and build others up or they work to tear down and destroy, even kill.
And, the middle ground is slim to nonexistent. In other words, our words tend to inspire or deflate leading the wise to chose them well. So, what does this mean for creative content writing?
The Power and Punch of Our Words
With the average 7,000 words per day each of us speaks, there is plenty of room to get it wrong (or right). Often, we take for granted this norm of communication. And, words spill without thought from our lips.
The same holds true for our written interactions. Individually, we send 85 plus texts per day on average. And, with 150,000 messages sent per minute across Facebook and an average 500 million tweets exchanged daily, plenty is being communicated.
Check out how this abundance of chatter impacts us:
Uplift or Cut Deep
As mentioned, words hold the power to encourage and inspire. Sadness transforms to a smile. Guilt finds redemption. And, heartbreak discovers a remedy when we choose words which prompt joy, forgiveness and healing.
On the other hand, lifelong scars accompany words which cut deep. Often, these wounds prove preventable with forethought. Our motivation for expressing ourselves at any given time directs our language to be supportive or hurtful.
Empower or Diminish
Developing others and strengthening their resolve comes in many forms. But, words play a powerful role. Consider the speech of Dr. Martin Luther King and his “I-have-a-dream” call which empowered a generation and continues to impact us today with the message that “we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Contrarily, rather than igniting this hope, our words may diminish the value of others and extinguish the flame of potential. Again, checking ourselves and our motives curbs the negativity and frees us to find creative ways to build others up.
Speak Truth or Deceive
In general, humans want to know the truth. Our attraction to causes we believe in and people we trust speaks to our desire for what is good and honorable. And, the truthful consistency and proof of things said or written over time earns our allegiance.
Also, words weave deception. Scheming or covertly selling an ulterior motive are two techniques which often give marketing its bad rap. Avoiding deception in all communications promotes relationship, builds trust and establishes integrity.
Touch or Turn Away
Made famous by singer Roberta Flack, the lyrics, “killing me softly with his song, telling my whole life with his words.” tell of the intimacy and touch words have on our lives. The language we choose to use with one another demonstrates our knowledge of and relationship with each other.
And, the lack of this intimacy (or too much of it) turns people away. Each of us desires to be known to some degree. And, words revealing too great of a gap in this personal touch send us running. Fully listening births comments and questions which place value on others.
Persuade or Turn Off
Consider the influence a friend has to convince you to prank a co-worker or head out for a night on the town even with an early meeting looming the next morning. Words influence us to make changes, even needed changes, in our lives. And, practicing the positive art of persuasion keeps us from falling into manipulation.
Yes, as you likely know, persuasion also draws negative connotations. Leaning too hard or with wrong motive leaves others feeling used or handled. The words chosen reveal the intent of the speaker or writer. And, listeners and readers prove quick to pick up the subtlety of such speech.
Instill Courage or Give Up
Our father’s encouragement as we learned to pedal a bike sans training wheels. Or, a teacher’s insight as we tackled tough college subjects. Likely. many of us can recall a time when the words of others brought courage to take the next step.
And, unfortunately, we may also know the agony, not of defeat, but of giving up too soon due to something someone said to us. A career path not chosen. Traveling journeys canceled. Forgoing this negative use of language and instilling courage through our words to and about others diverts regret and benefits all of us.
Create Lasting Impact
In any case, words form an impression not easily forgotten for the good or the bad. In particular, repeated phrases stick in memories and those connected with a jingle or song are nearly impossible to dislodge.
And, keep in mind that a lack of words sows results as well. Perfectly timed silence may be just what the doctor ordered. Yet, on the other hand, large gaps in communication leave others to fill in the blanks with their own stories or to be hurt by the absence of encouragement or positive feedback.
So, where do the 7,000 words spoken daily come from?
Wielding the Power in Creative Content Writing
Words initiate from the heart, from our thoughts. And, the fuel we put into our minds influences this reservoir. In other words, your travels, reading materials, daily activities and media choices impact the way you think which informs your words.
In developing creative business content, the heart of your company, your mission, drives your words (or, it should). Furthermore, this source unifies and focuses your efforts. Copy needs to birth from the core of who you are as a business to develop your brand.
What does this mean for creative content writing? At the core, you need to think about what you are saying, how you are saying it and why you are saying it. The cost of your words is too high for you to be casual or unintentional in using them, particularly in the digital world.
The current truth-in-advertising trend further supports the ideas that you lean hard on the positive power of words. While creating a bit of angst to flip the emotion (i.e. the melancholy with the joyous, the scary with the hopeful) proves successful, tearing others down, deception and impersonal tactics employed as a strategy tend to backfire.
And, a lack of communication through content breeds a sense of indifference. Finding the just-right amount of copy and postings for your audience says that you are listening, paying attention and that you care.
The Basics of Words Online
Words that make people feel good and spark their curiosity prove valuable in digital content. Furthermore, creating a clear image of a product or company through language works to your benefit. But, to do this well, you must return to the basics of knowing your audience well.
A few key points:
Address Native Tongue
Reading a foreign language proves frustrating if you are not functionally fluent at the minimum. Yet, this scenario is all-too-familiar to consumers when you talk from your extensive experiences. Instead:
- Learn the jargon of your consumers. Remember what it is like to live on the other side.
- Avoid talking industry-speak that is familiar only to colleagues and comrades.
- Write conversationally and personally.
- Keep messages focused, simple and clear.
- Hold to the truth.
Create Consumer Relevance
Insight, information, entertainment and more fall on deaf ears if the topics do not interest. Consider the last time your spouse and his or her colleagues engaged in conversation around their work as you stood looking for a reason to politely excuse yourself. To keep things interesting:
- Discover the topics relevant to those interested in products or services such as yours.
- Weave words into useful content around these subjects.
- Again, keep word choices and content meaning relevant to your audience.
- Find synonyms which speak more clearly, and draw a picture for your readers.
- Pen headlines which provoke curiosity but withhold a few secrets to be revealed in the content.
Use Power-Packed Keywords
The words typed into the Google search box get your website and content found. But, these keywords need to be the ones used by your audience or the crowd you draw may like your article but have no need for your product or service. Be sure to:
- Know the phrases your audience searches and their derivatives.
- Create content around these most-often Googled terms.
- Avoid overpopulating content with keywords. Search engines frown on this technique.
- Understand search engine algorithms and keyword best use practices.
- Integrate a mix of synonyms or variations.
- Include long-tail keywords.
- Find words high in search rates but low in competition. In other words, fill the gaps others are missing.
Add Punch With Power Words
Creating an experience rather than information on a page requires engaging reader emotions. Pulling at their heart strings. Getting into their minds. To do so:
- Identify the impact you intend the story to have in terms of emotion.
- Know that fear best grabs and holds attention.
- Plan a flow of feelings rather than a static experience.
- Carefully chose power words to evoke emotion and draw readers.
- Use lists of these potent terms to inspire you.
- And, sprinkle them throughout your content.
- Keep in mind, this strategy proves quick to implement.
Capitalize on Proper Timing
Even right words spoke at the wrong time threaten damage. And, good words left unsaid prompt discouragement, disconnect and indifference. Therefore:
- Provide sufficient content to clearly communicate your product and calls to action.
- Remember frequent postings draw the attention of search engines.
- Research the ideal number of posts, blog entries and contacts which make customers feel valued but not stalked.
- With regard to social media, know the best times to post in order to gain attention and reaction from your audience.
- Allow no lag time. Keep content current and posts responsive for the sake of readers and search engines.
Creatively Spilling Words Across the Web
Effective content provokes, entertains or informs with honesty and relevance. Addressing the questions or interests of readers, written and spoken copy say to your prospects and customers, “We want to build a relationship with you.” or, “We care about what concerns you.”
Several methods of creating a picture in the mind of the reader spice up online content. These include:
- YouTube or Vimeo testimonies, interviews, how-tos, skits and more.
- Infographics, graphs, charts and other graphic representations.
- Social interaction via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and the like.
- Website landing pages, blogs, emails and more.
And, the language of each of these formats provides opportunities to personally connect with your audience in the digital world. And, this increases your chance of connecting in the real world through a long-term customer relationship.
However, throwing a few words on the screen via your keyboard or microphone fails to get the job done. Intentional word selection and placement harness the power of words to your advantage. And, as a bonus, you can feel good about not hurling them along with the sticks and stones. All of which hurt.
If you need help with creative content writing, contact us today, take us up on our free consultation offer. And, let’s get the power of words working for you.
P.S. Leave a comment below as to what you think of this post. Was it helpful?