Updated: Jan 31
We live in a world that’s constantly changing, especially with the current pandemic that is definitely reshaping the way we live our lives starting today.
No one knows how this new world will end up being, but one thing is sure: it will be full of online content. Everywhere you go, someone will warrant your attention: the ads on the radio, the billboards looming overhead, the blogs on your favorite websites, even the copy on your coffee cup!
How are you supposed to reach any audience through all that noise? These days, it’s all about choosing your words CAREFULLY – and we know exactly which words will grab those eyeballs.
If you want to use online content to promote your company, make sure you use one of these words that sell:
Example: “Ten Ways YOU Can Boost Engagement on Your Social Media Sites”
Why it Works:
When someone visits the world wide web, they are looking for content that meets their specific needs. Maybe they want to find the best dress for their body type. Maybe they want to find a new restaurant in their city. Maybe they (like you) want to learn which content marketing trends will help promote their business. “You” – along with its cousins “we,” “our,” “us,” etc. – are powerful marketing words for two reasons. Firstly, they make your reader feel spoken TO instead of spoken AT. They are no longer reading a wide-reaching advertorial or sales pitch; instead, they’re getting direct knowledge that speaks to their needs.
Secondly, using personal pronouns like “you” and “we” creates a sense of comradery between you and your reader. No longer are you the distant, detached marketer – you’re just their friend, giving them some expert advice or recommendations. This helps establish trust in your brand (a VERY valuable asset) and can even help boost engagement via comments and shares.
Example: “How to Make Your Apartment More Modern (Without Losing Your Security Deposit)”
Why it Works:
These days, the internet is our ultimate tool for researching information. It is our encyclopedia, our dictionary, our expert advice from the next-door neighbor. Google processes over 40,000 search queries EVERY SINGLE SECOND – and many of those queries are from people trying to learn how to do something. Putting the phrase “how to” in your headlines, blog copy, and metadata (especially metadata) helps your content stand out among the thousands of search results found online. These two small words establish your blog, website, or ebook as the answer to the readers’ problems. After all, they want to learn how to do something, and you’re here to tell them exactly that!
“How to” is also an incredibly useful phrase when you’re creating headlines, as it draws immediate attention from your audience. However, there is one thing you should remember: if you’re going to write a “how to” headline, you need to write a “how to” piece. Blogs that claim to show your reader how to do something, but instead talk at length about different products or services, are only going to annoy your audience and turn them off. Any “how to” piece should include content and structure (for example, a list of instructions) that tells the readers exactly what they want to know.
Example: “You can double your online engagement with this one simple trick.”
Why it Works:
As we just discussed, people use the internet to learn how to do new things every day. However, most people aren’t trying to become experts in a new field. Instead, they’re looking for ways to solve a problem or improve their daily lives with minimal effort – in other words, the “simplest” solution that meets their needs. Calling your product, service, or advice “simple” is a great way to attract a wider audience. While niche content (for example, long-form blogs about content marketing trends) will always attract experienced people in your industry, the word “simple” also invites novices to explore your content AND your website. Just like that, you have a larger pool of potential customers looking at your business!
Example: “Are you ready to boost your income by writing blogs? Download our ebook today!”
Why it Works:
The internet is a pretty noncommittal place. We can browse sites at our leisure (often in our pajamas). We can leave items in digital shopping carts for weeks on end. We can read page after page of useful information, watch countless hours of video from our favorite creators, and never fully commit to what they’re selling. This is a great model for the casual web surfer, but it’s incredibly frustrating for businesses. You’ve worked hard to create that content, and you deserve a sale or subscription! So, how can you nudge your audience away from passivity and into action? By lighting a fire under them with the word “today.”
The word “today” adds a sense of urgency to your content. It reminds readers that time is passing, that it’s fleeting – and that the deal you’re offering may not be available tomorrow. Think about e-retailers like Amazon; when they post a product under “Today’s Deal” or “Deal of the Day,” you’re likely more compelled to give it a click. Sure, maybe you don’t NEED an air fryer or Bluetooth speaker, but tomorrow the deal might not be around! That same logic can compel your readers to convert from prospective customers to closed sales.
Example: “These Easy Diet Tricks Can Help You Lose Weight INSTANTLY!”
Why it Works:
Modern life moves at an incredibly fast pace. Messages zoom through cyberspace to reach the phones in our pockets. Paychecks get deposited straight into our bank accounts. And when it comes to improving our lives – be it through weight loss, learning a new language, increasing work productivity, or anything in between – we LOVE instant results.
Adding the word “instantly” to your headline or copy is a quick way (or should we say “instant” way) to reach your audience’s need for quick gratification. While we may know deep down that no one can lose weight “instantly,” we still like the idea of seeing fast results – and that idea alone is enough to pique our interest.
Of course, this is not the only way to use “instantly” in your copy. You can also use this word in the same way you’d use “today”: for example, “Click here to download our latest “how-to” guide INSTANTLY!”
The only thing worse than a deal that could be gone tomorrow is a deal that could be gone in a flash. The word “instantly” adds an even greater sense of urgency to your content.
Example: “Sign up for our newsletter today and get our free sales guide absolutely free!”
Why it Works:
“Free” is an interesting word in the marketing world. In just four little letters, it decreases the monetary value of your product (in fact, it ELIMINATES it)… but it raises the perceived value of the product. Customers love receiving free things. It makes them feel like they’re getting special treatment. That can increase their positive feelings about the company that’s showering them with freebies – aka you!
If you decide to include free samples or extra content in your blogs, make sure to include something that will give your customers extra value. A great piece of downloadable content, like an ebook or video, can help solidify your business as an expert in your industry. Once your audience trusts you, you’re likely to see increased engagement, more views to your blog or website, and eventually a nice bump in sales.
Example: “The Ten Best Restaurants Now Open in Seattle. You HAVE TO Visit Number Four!”
Why it Works:
Everyone wants to be the best. More importantly, everyone wants to EXPERIENCE the best. Calling something “the best” immediately adds a sense of gravitas, as if the thing you’re writing about (a product, a business, or a piece of advice) is a cut above the rest – and so are the people reading about it!
Using “best” in your copy will draw your readers in for several reasons. Firstly, your audience will be interested in the topic of your blog because they believe in its high quality and exclusivity. Secondly, your audience will be more interested in YOU and YOUR BUSINESS; after all, if you’re far enough “in the know” to know which products or services are the best, you can probably offer them more valuable wisdom over time!
This word is incredibly powerful in the world of content marketing. But remember: like Spider-Man said, with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure you only use this word if you truly think the content you are offering is the best possible content to meet your customers’ needs. If you say something is “best” and it doesn’t live up to the hype, your reputation can suffer as a result.
Example: “Thinning Hair Stressing You Out? Try This Secret Hack to Boost Hair Growth!”
Why it Works:
There is only one thing customers like more than the “best” info: super-secret info. Everyone wants to feel like they’re in some exclusive club, privy to knowledge that the rest of the world just doesn’t have. If you want your audience to REALLY feel like they’re getting value from your content, you’ve got to use this word in your headlines and your copy. And the word “secret” isn’t just a great way to elevate your content’s value. Just like the word “best,” it adds an expert sheen to you and your business! After all, if you have this secret knowledge to impart, what else can you offer your customers?
Giving away your trade secrets invites your audience into your inner circle and creates a greater sense of trust between you and them. This can be instrumental in increasing your brand identity, building customer loyalty, and (of course) boosting conversion.
Example: “You Won’t Believe How Effective These Headline Tricks Can Be!”
Why it Works:
We’ve all seen these kinds of headlines. In fact, they’ve become so commonplace that they’ve nearly reached parody level:
“You Won’t Be Able to Watch These Videos Without Laughing!”
“You Won’t Believe What This Actor Said in His Latest Interview!”
“This Skin Care Hack Works So Well, You Won’t Believe Your Eyes!”
While reading page after page of these headlines can be eyeroll-inducing, there’s a reason the formula has stuck around: IT WORKS. Seriously, look at the headlines above.
Sure, they seem silly… but you must admit, you’re a little interested.
Using “won’t” in your headline challenges your audience. Can they make it through the videos without laughing? Will they believe whatever the actor said?
Dangling this shocking news in front of their eyes will often help secure a click – and getting viewers to your webpage is half the battle. There’s no harm in tossing a few “you won’t believes” into your content marketing. However, make sure you use this power word sparingly! If you use it too often, the word will lose its power.
Example: “The Ultimate Guide to Making a Living Online”
Why it Works:
Think about the article you’re looking at right now. That’s right. This one. Why did you click on it? You probably clicked because you want to punch up your copywriting with some new content creation trends. You needed a little help finding out how to boost engagement, or simply how to stand out in the sea of online copy.
You wanted guidance to help achieve your goals. And sure enough, here we are – with a GUIDE that promised to do exactly that.
Calling your blog, newsletter, or other online copy a “guide” is a great way to attract a wide audience. Like “how-to,” it suggests that your readers will learn something new. Like “simple,” it suggests that the writer – in this case, you – will make the information easy for the reader to understand.
But the word “guide” adds one extra connotation: it implies that the content will be comprehensive. With just one blog, your readers can learn all they want to know – who could say no to that?
If you incorporate these words into your content marketing, you will be sure to attract more eyeballs, build brand trust and loyalty, and boost sales across a wider pool of users. So, what are you waiting for? Get started with these “secret” power words and start selling more “today!”