In this blog series we are reviewing how to attract the right customers with the marketing you do for your business.  So far, we have addressed using values to reach your customers in part 1 and using tone to attract your ideal audience in part 2.  Today, we will look at how keywords can initially grab the attention of the right audience.

In today’s world, there is a saturation of messages everywhere we turn.  There is a lot of competition for our attention at any given moment.  Think about your own behavior.  With deadlines, expectations, advertisements, updates, and offers coming at you consistently, how much time do you give to any one message?  What makes you stop skimming or scrolling and captures your interest?  When it comes to text, the trigger is keywords.  Keywords hook the audience in written and spoken marketing messages.

Keywords hook the audience in written and spoken #marketing messages. #smallbiz #entrepreneur Click To Tweet

Why is it so important to hook the audience?  Let’s take a different example.  When you are shopping, you might skim quickly through a rack of clothes. Suddenly an item catches your eye.  You pause and take a closer look.  It still seems appealing.  You pull it off the rack and hold it up to inspect further.  After you spend some time with it, you might take it with you to try it on.  There were a lot of decision points in this process.  At each step you continued to decide that this item was worthwhile enough for you to keep establishing a connection with it.  But none of this would have happened if you had not been hooked to begin with.

When it comes to language, a main component to hooking the audience is keywords.  Keywords are a signal to your audience.  The presence of important keywords could be enough to make the right customers stop on your message and read further.  The absence of those keywords could be the reason they don’t stop.

Keywords are a signal to your audience. #marketing #smb #smallbusiness Click To Tweet

So, what types of keywords might trigger your target market?

  1. Words that call out your target market. Let’s assume that you already have some idea who your target markets are (note: this is really important for all of your marketing).   Start by brainstorming keywords that you can use to refer directly to your target markets.  These are words that will show those in your target market that your message applies to them, because you are actually identifying them directly in the message.
  2. Words that address a pain point. If you lead with keywords that call out the pain points of your target market, the correct audience is most likely to stop there because they are looking for a solution to that very problem.  For each market or offering you have, write the specific pain point that is important in seven words or less.  Now look back at those pain point descriptions you just wrote.  Circle each of the keywords in the descriptions.  Write 1-3 synonyms for each keyword.  This gives you a full lexicon of words that can help hook your target market.
  3. Appropriate adjectives and adverbs. Perhaps your product or service has competitors, and you are trying to get the attention of your target market in a sea of similar offerings.  In this case, well-chosen adjectives or adverbs will speak to what makes your offering different in a way that is ideal for your audience.  Remember that adjectives are words that describe nouns, such as purple, soft, homemade, fresh, etc.  Adverbs are words that modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb.  For example: Gently, precisely, diligently.  Think about your offerings.  Are there descriptive words that are important for your target market?  (One great example from a corporate standpoint is the old tagline for JIF peanut butter: “Choosy moms choose JIF.”  JIF is trying to appeal to moms who identify with being choosy and careful about what they give their kids.)  Write three words for each offering.  Now you have a bank of descriptive words that you can use when trying to differentiate your offerings from others’.

If you do much advertising online, keywords might already hold a special place in your heart.  You use them for SEO and to rank higher in organic searches.  But actually, keywords are important hooks for all the marketing you do with words.  In fact, even in face-to-face networking conversations you will see the people you are talking to become more focused when you mention a topic that is of interest to them.

Chances are good that you are using language all the time to market your business.  Giving some thought right now to keywords that will hook the right audience can go a long way in converting leads quickly.  Try some of these exercises to create a bank of keywords that you can use in your material!

The final part of this four part series will deal with how to use colors to Attract the Right Customers. Click here to read part 4!