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By Chris Hislop // Published on Aug 03, 2020

It feels like I’m waxing nostalgic here. And, to extent, I am. It also feels like I’m pleading for the relevance of my job. And, yes, to extent, I am…

In 2020, words are undervalued. The written word, that is. The ability to put together a coherent sentence that aides in pushing communication forward (for your brand, or otherwise). By-and-large we’ve given way to a culture that utilizes short form phrasing as a means of communicating. When we start writing into our devices, the device takes a best guess at what we’re looking to say. Convenience has (long) become king.

And we understand that. I understand that.

But, write this down: Convenience comes at a cost.

It devalues what has long been of great value. Such as competence of communicating a thought or idea clearly.

Nobody’s typing in, “great video,” in hopes that they find your great video. Snarky, but true.

A brilliant piece of brand driven graphic design is only going to amount to some sort of transaction if the design is complemented with words letting the person viewing it know what it is they’re looking at and how and/or why they’re supposed to interact with it. Think about it.

As far as your online presence and website, the written word is still the best mode of increasing your organic SEO search rankings. It’s easier for a search engine crawler to find recognizable text than it is for it to figure out what sort of image or series of graphics it’s scrolling past. Case-in-point, you can’t find something on Google (or Bing, or whatever you’re using) without inputting some sort of written description of what you’re looking for. Though telepathic internet browsing is likely not far off from being “a thing.”

I don’t want to sound like the old man in the room (I am the old man in the room – well, some rooms…), but, I can’t begin to tell you how much time I spend looking up all the acronyms I’m presented with on a daily basis. It often takes longer to look up what you’re trying to say, than it would take for you to just say it (and/or write it out). Consider the fact that, to a large percentage of your audience, the idea that they’ll need a decoder to unfold your presented communication is a turnoff and will ultimately lead to fewer future engagement(s).

We place a lot of our marketing dollars on the creation of content that is visual – like videos. Another trending media is podcasts – the recording of the human voice. And there’s a lot of value in that, for certain. However, the craft of writing – of stringing together words for a set of eyes to consume – is still a valuable marketing “art” (or, rather, core competence) that gets these other, more sensory pieces of content found.

A great video only goes as far as the written copy that’s associated with it. Otherwise, how are folks going to find it?

Strong writing goes beyond the function of search engine optimization too (obviously). When you send out an email, the end user is likely going to judge you if you’re making petty mistakes – sometimes considered lazy and lacking attention to finer details, which can effect your brand negatively without ever actually “touching” your brand…

In many ways, the writing you’re doing for your business, whatever it may be, is the face of your brand – even if it (the writing) has no face at all. From marketing, to sales strategies, to social media, to internal (and external) communications, and beyond – writing is at the root of the entire equation.

So, yeah, while it’s fun to simply scroll and internalize visual imagery, ask yourself with regard to the effectiveness of the marketing you’re doing, “how is this coming across with the end user?” Is it communicating effectively enough to incite transaction/engagement, or are you just looking for a “shareable” flash in the pan type of reaction?

Great marketing isn’t measured by whether or not your piece of content went viral – it’s measured by the longevity of the ongoing engagement. Getting a million people to look once isn’t necessarily as beneficial as getting 100 people to keep coming back and looking a million times. That starts, and ultimately ends with the messaging. And all messaging starts and ends by pushing words to paper – or a screen, as it were…

If you’re undervaluing written words, you’re underselling (and underestimating) your brand, as well as your target audience. It’s unfortunate, and easily avoidable.

Ready to tell your story?

We’d love to hear about it (and help you write all about it if you’re in need…)

Tagged Under - Business Advice + Creative + Marketing
"It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. The question is: What are you industrious about?"
- Henry DavidThoreau

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