Concrete Images, Convincing Messages & Bacon
Has a word ever stopped you in your tracks? What about a picture? It happens to me all the time. This morning I read a tweet from Ann Smarty and immediately decided what I’d have for lunch.
One lunch-sized pizza later, I’m here contemplating the power of Web content to implant irresistible messages in my brain. Here’s another one, this time using a simple image.
Does the computer come with the bacon? ‘Cause that would be a deal! I can totally see a shopper coming across this page and being compelled to click “I want one!” because of bacon-induced hypnosis. In fact, Susan almost did that this morning. [Shipping is only $5! Bacon! For $5! --Susan] Don’t worry; bacon-laced subliminal messages never hurt anyone. [Mmm, bacon. --Susan]
In all seriousness, Woot is obviously on to something. It’s not a new idea, but using your product or service to paint a pretty picture is a great marketing device. Sometimes a consumer will do it for you. They may already have a vivid image in their mind of how your product or service will fit into their life. Sometimes, though, they have no idea how your product or service is going to fit, how it’s going to make things easier, or why it’s something they can’t go without. Regardless of which side of the fence your potential customer might fall on, go ahead and err on the side of caution. Break out the figurative canvas and paint that picture because:
Let’s do a little exercise and paint “textual pictures” for three random professions. Through detailed imagery I’m going to try to address a few questions: What would a client have after receiving your services? What do they have now that’s not good enough? What smells will be present? What will it look like? What feelings might someone have?
Florist: Reaching out to someone in moments of joy or pain, the soft fragrance and silky blooms of an elegant floral arrangement can soothe the soul.
Car Detailer: Once gone, the new car smell of fresh leather and window cleaner can’t be replicated. Take care of your car today and extend the life of its classy interior.
Dentist: At Family Dentistry of Coopersville, we take gentle care of your ivories to turn them into shiny pearly whites usually reserved for the big screen.
What are the colorful, tactile images that come to mind when you think of your niche? When you’re writing, avoid figures of speech — most barely hold meaning any longer. You can also try brainstorming all the little details that might be present in the scene you’re painting. You may not use them all, but the image will be much more real and fleshed out if you’ve got an actual picture in your mind. And, of course, see how many of the five senses you can hit. Shoot for sensual overload and then scale back if it’s too much.
Whatever your process, it’s time to dust off that imagination. Or mention bacon. That usually does the trick.