With limited time and shortened attention spans, it is becoming increasingly important to get to your point across quickly and concisely to make an impact with your audience.
From the home page on your website and the first email you send to a lead, to the tweets you post, the infomercial you recite or the quote you give a journalist, you need to be able to get your message across quickly, powerfully and succinctly.
So to help you make more impact in less words and time, here are three steps to follow when creating your message.
Step 1 – Think it through
Whether you are preparing for a media interview, planning your website copy or writing a social media post, think about the most impactful message you have to share.
Do you have compelling statistics, interesting information, a key industry insight, knowledge of upcoming trends, impressive results, powerful testimonials, or a great emotional pull?
When you have identified your key message, write it down without worrying about how long it is or how many characters you are using. It is more important to get the message right before making it concise.
Step 2 – Revise and Refine
Once you have brainstormed your message, take a break. Come back with a fresh perspective and evaluate as objectively as possible.
Is this really the best message? Does it address a problem or frustration? Does it give value? Does it solve or start to solve a problem? Does it make your audience smile, laugh or become engaged? Does it appeal to emotions making your audience scared, uncomfortable or motivated? Does it intrigue your audience? Does it leave them wanting more?
While your message objectives will depend on the channel you are using, it should have some purpose and lead towards the goal you want to achieve by undertaking this specific marketing activity.
Step 3 – Sharpen and shorten
Only once you have refined your message should you be concerned with sharpening and shortening it. This time when you read over your message look to eliminate words that over emphasise your point or don’t need to be there, such as ‘very’ or ‘actually’. Even words like ‘that’ are sometimes be used when not needed.
Also look for different words that can simplify or shorten your message. Let’s use “it is becoming increasingly important”, part of my opening statement as an example. Before I chose the word ‘increasingly’ I had the words ‘even more’. While it says the same thing, increasingly was more concise and one less word.
If my focus was on the amount of characters though, and I had the choice of these words I would use ‘even more’, which has one less character despite being two words.
However, if I was really concerned with word count, amount of characters or time I could shorten it further to “it’s crucial” turning five words into two.
Give it a go next time you need to create an infomercial, post or marketing message. You will find by following these three steps you will cut the waffle and create more strategic, sharper and shorter messages that will carry more impact with your audience.