Using Language to Connect with Your Customer

By focusing on language, we are able to improve things like website performance, email engagement, social media and ad performance, and user adoption.

Language is an incredibly powerful tool that can make or break the way customers engage with brands and products. It can turn users into evangelists, help customers move through the buyer journey, and have positive effects on a brand’s public reputation. At Uprise, we help clients use language to their advantage. By focusing on the language in the content we create, we are able to improve things like website performance, email engagement, social media, ad performance, and user adoption. Remember, content is only king if it’s doing its job and resonating with its intended audience. Here are three tips for creating content that will help customers move through the buyer journey.

Identify your Customer

To use language that appeals to your customer, you must first understand who your customer is. It doesn’t matter how incredible your product or service is, if it’s not getting in front of the right audience, it will likely flop. At Uprise, we work with clients to create buyer personas by uncovering their clients’ affinities, behaviors, and preferences. These detailed persona descriptions include demographics, psychographics, hobbies, media consumption, and interests that later inform messaging strategies and content creation.

Example: If a thirty-something founder develops a product meant to serve the needs of an older demographic that isn’t screen savvy or hip with hashtags, it’s important to understand how that target audience consumes information and makes decisions. Developing a super rad social media campaign with drone shots and a catchy hashtag probably won’t hit the mark.

We always tell founders to resist creating content for the sake of creating content. Instead, spend time identifying your audiences and building your buyer personas; they will become the foundation of compelling and engaging content. Partner with a team that can help you create messaging and content that is well-informed and thoughtful. You will see a difference in the way your audience interacts and engages with your brand.

Understand your Market

Product trends come and go but choosing appropriate language to refer to these trends is important. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you’ve likely heard rumblings about the debate on how we should refer to ‘non traditional meat.’ The cliff notes version: What do you call a hamburger that isn’t made of meat? It’s an interesting conversation that reminds us about the importance of semantics. To provide some clarity on the matter, the Plant Based Food Association (PBFA) released its first plant-based meat labeling guide. They hope it will create consistency across this emerging food sector. For any startup entering an emerging sector, understanding market trends and consumer expectations is a must. We work with clients to help them think through things like packaging so that they use language that is not only compelling to their audience, but also appropriate for the sector they’re in. This is especially important in markets that may be saturated or more challenging to break into. We help clients find and use language that both aligns them with competitors but also moves them to the front of the pack. We stay up-to-date on trends so our clients and their products stay ahead of the curve.

Be the Solution

Using language and informed messaging, we help our clients position themselves as a solution - an answer to their customers’ needs. We’re able to do this because we’ve already taken the time to understand who their customers are and what information their customers need before they can confidently make a decision. After personas have been created and market expectations are understood, we determine customer experience stages and ensure that our messaging and content efforts align with their customers’ emotional needs. We call it Compassionate Commerce. Compassionate Commerce leads to human-centric customer experience journeys that are supported by honest and authentic engagement points.

An important distinction to make is that while we want to acknowledge customers’ challenges, we certainly don’t want to dwell on them. We help our clients strike a balance and find ways to address their customers’ challenges while also being more solution-focused and aspirational.

Example: If you’re launching a new line of herbal supplements and want to hammer home how miserable life is without your product, chances are the people who need it most are already well aware of how terrible they feel. Instead of using language to dwell on their negative emotions, use it to shine a light on how great their life will be with your product. Meet the customer where they are and then take them on a journey that will lead them to hold your product in high esteem.

We enjoy helping clients get more strategic with the ways they use language to position themselves and their products. From helping them create buyer personas and messaging strategies to crafting emails and ad campaigns that will resonate with their target audience, we support our clients’ efforts to authentically engage with their customers.

Malinda Gagnon

Malinda is CEO at Uprise and has more than 20 years of experience in business strategy and technology at companies including Google and WPP, and has advised clients such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, VW, BlackRock, and Walmart.

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