Make your brand stand out! Create swipe-worthy marketing messages with these literary devices! [Tuesdays: “Write with the Pen of the Masters”]
These are some of the things people put on written copies to make a particular message stand out.
Marking things makes it easier for the readers to remember a certain message, especially if it’s an important message.
As a writer, business owner, or marketer, what are some of the techniques you can use in order to make your marketing message stand out?
According to Joanna Wiebe’s CopyHackers Book 1 titled, “Where Stellar Messages Come From,” you develop a sharper eye and ear for great messages by learning about rhetorical devices.
A rhetorical device is a technique that an author or a speaker uses to communicate his or her message to the readers or audience with the goal of persuading them.
If you’re trying to create a “swipe-worthy” message for your brand, using a few rhetorical devices will help make your copy sound good.
Not cute. Not clever. Not desperate for attention.
Good to the point that people keep on reading your content…
You overcome their objections about your brand…
You neutralize their anxieties by offering benefits and features that will delight them.
Here are seven literary techniques that you can use in creating your marketing message, as stated in Wiebe’s book:
This is a rhetorical device that features a repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive sentences, phrases, or clauses.
If you’re going to use anaphora in your copy, it’s ideal to repeat words or phrases in sets of three.
This is because repetitions sound better when grouped in threes and applying this device helps you make your copy “sound nice.”
For example, instead of:
“Use Crazy Egg heat maps when Google Analytics isn’t enough, your clients and C-levels need a snapshot of user behavior, or you’re considering a website redesign or an A/B test.”
Use anaphora and write:
“Use Crazy Egg heat maps when Google Analytics isn’t enough…
When your clients and C-levels need a snapshot of user behavior…
Or when you’re considering a website redesign or an A/B test…”
By using “when” three consecutive times, breaking the sentence into three, and adding ellipses at the end of each line, the second message sounds more appealing and rhetorical.
Aside from that, it enables readers to transition more smoothly into each scenario that is stated in heat map software Crazy Egg’s message.
- Hyperbole + Simile
Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration in order to make a point or an emphasis while simile involves the comparison of two things to make a description more emphatic or vivid.
When used together, these figures of speech can lead to images that create “sticky” messages in your target market’s minds, helping them better recall your brand.
In a 2012 article on Android reporting website Phandroid, one blogger described photo-editing software Snapseed as:
“Google already using Snapseed for Android (It’s like Instagram on steroids)”
By combining hyperbole (the idea that Snapseed was more full-featured than Instagram, therefore using “steroids” as an exaggeration) and simile (“It’s like Instagram on steroids”) into one sentence, the blogger was able to create a vivid picture in the mind of anyone who would read the article for the first time.
- If TTT
People often use logic to justify the decisions they make. That’s why clauses that serve as cues for logic such as the If TTT clause (If this, then that) easily resonate with them.
You can apply this method especially in your website, email, and mobile marketing.
An example of a good If TTT clause is Beachway Therapy Center’s website headline in 2014:
Through the headline, Beachway assured its audience that if this (trigger) happens, then that (action) should follow. It was further backed up by the center’s statement below the If TTT clause, making it easier for them to appeal to their audience.
When you introduce a new concept or idea by framing it in the context of something that’s already known by your target market, you reduce confusion.
Making comparisons between your brand and something that your target market is familiar with can help them visualize what your product or service is all about, what it offers, and how it can be beneficial to them.
In 2014, project and task management software GetFlow.com, or Flow, compared itself with other softwares such as Basecamp, Asana, and Wunderlist.
Here’s how GetFlow.com used comparison to inform its target market on what its business is all about:
“Choose Flow when spreadsheets, whiteboards, and sticky notes just won’t do…
When Wunderlist and Trello aren’t enough…
When Basecamp and Asana are overkill…”
Not only did GetFlow.com use comparison, but it also applied anaphora in marketing its brand message to its target market.
However, be careful to not misrepresent the other brands you’re comparing your business with. If you’re not sure that you’re comparing different brands appropriately, it would be better to just use other methods in your message.
Anthimeria is the usage of a word in a new grammatical form, often forcing a word to “behave” differently than what it ought to.
For example, tech giant Apple used this method in its slogan:
If you think about it, Apple’s slogan is incomplete since there is no object that’s explicitly stated.
Think different (what)? Apple leaves it to the people to fill in the blank― “Think Different thoughts,” “Think Different computers,” etc.
Aside from that, the slogan is also grammatically incorrect since people don’t “think different,” they “think differently.”
Thanks to anthimeria, phrases or messages of this type are acceptable and still understandable when it comes to marketing your brand.
- Living Sounds
Words that create a “sound” in structure can easily find their way into the memories of your target market more than bland phrases could.
Take a look at this sentence:
“Every time my phone buzzes with a new message, I feel a zing of joy.”
Notice the words “buzzes” and “zing.” Do those words ring a particular sound image in your head?
Adding living sounds into the sentence makes it more lively, instead of simply stating, “Every time my phone receives a new message, I feel joyful.”
Use it to add flair to your marketing message. However, don’t overdo it so it won’t result in awkwardly written copy.
In 1998, American magazine Psychology Today wrote an article about Communication Studies Professor Matthew McGlone’s study.
McGlone gave his students a list of phrases that rhyme and phrases that don’t such as “Woes unite foes” versus “Misfortunes unite foes.” He discovered that his students believed rhyming phrases described human behaviors more accurately.
Rhyming has a natural cadence, and phrases that rhyme often stick more easily in people’s minds.
Here’s how video maker software Animoto.com used rhyming on its website subhead:
You don’t have to be too heavy-handed or like Shakespeare in using rhymes for your marketing message.
Think of rhyming words that are appropriate for your brand image. Like Animoto.com, the tone of your message could also be simple, fun, just a few steps, and you’re done!
If you find it difficult to come up with messages that could easily stick in your target market’s minds, no need to panic.
Observe. Take note of what your target market often talks about. The more you familiarize yourself with your target market’s needs and demands, the more you’ll get an idea of how you should present your brand to them.
Another way to solve that problem is to READ, READ, and READ.
Read lots of great articles, books, or novels. The more you read, the easier it will be for you to identify messages that are catchy and memorable.
The next time you create a marketing message or write copy, apply one (or more) of these seven literary techniques and see how it can help you draw your target market to your brand.
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Write with the Pen of the Masters”
Who doesn’t find content writing to be a skill that requires a lot of practice and effort?
In fact, many people may even find copywriting very intimidating.
However, you can be a good writer as long as you have the right tools. You won’t always get things right the first time, but with enough time and practice, you’ll get the hang of it!
When you write a copy for any brand or for your company, your aim is to make an impact and…
…to get people to remember.
Getting people to remember means getting consumers to buy your product or to avail of your service.
And when you get your content to deliver the results you want, THAT is a great copy!
Every Tuesday, we publish content based on tips and insights from the masters of content writing, copywriting, and storytelling.
Become more familiar with ways to write great copy that helps you gain ROI from your efforts, drive profitability, and achieve your business goals.
Learn time-tested tactics that better capture the attention of your target audience, and maximize the benefits of great copywriting.
Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Write with the Pen of the Masters!”
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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