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I actually wanted to flip the title of this blog to “why use one word when a hundred will do?” People tend to use FAR too many words these days in PR and marketing material – they simply don’t know how to keep it short and relevant. And, in my experience, most audiences find long cluttered sentences a frustrating read. A great slogan to go by really is KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.
Over the years, marketing has changed. In the past, dealerships took out full page ads in newspapers with lots of space for copy. Roll forward to today and digital marketing has surpassed traditional marketing. This platform demands shorter, sharper, more focused messages. Heck social platforms such as Twitter at one time reduced marketing to 140 characters. Yet many marketers still cram as much information as possible into those messages.
The same thing tends to happen with website content including blogs, press releases, write-ups on new models, fixed ops content – you name it. The text tends to be too long and filled with all kinds of superlatives to ensure the audience knows how wonderful you are.
The problem is that there is such a thing as going too far and overwhelming your audience.
Let me put this in perspective with an example that should help make things a little clearer.
Check out the following paragraph from a press release that is supposed to get you excited about a new product. Some consider it the worst press release ever, and for good reason!
"This amazing, prestigious and sophisticated product is a quantum leap forward and performance is a greater order of magnitude and will decimate the competition. The enormity of this tremendous advance indicates our commitment to servicing our customers in a forensically sound manner.”
Yes, that is 42 words of total nothingness. I challenge anyone to read it and gain an idea of what the heck they are talking about. And keep in mind this was only one paragraph out of the press release.
If you check out other press releases and marketing materials online, I am sure you will find many other examples.
Using long, complicated sentences about how great you are without really saying anything, pretty much drives your audience away.
Great content revolves around two things: information and accuracy. Nobody wants to hear how great your business is in 200 words wrapped in a single sentence.
When it comes to marketing content, far too often people throw in every possible descriptive word to make something seem the most innovative, state-of-the-art, incredibly wonderful, awesome, first ever -- whatever. Readers simply yawn and get lost in the BS… and leave your website for the competition.
Keep your content short and to the point. Avoid using too many adjectives and other unnecessary words. Say what you want in a way readers can understand; that keeps their attention but still delivers your message. Your customers will thank you for it with their business.
If you’d like some great tips on effective content writing, what to do and what to avoid, check out this excellent article by Neil Patel.