Each person you reach through your marketing is on a journey towards becoming one of your customers. Some won’t make it to the end and there are various different reasons why that might be. One of the big reasons is because of barriers that already exist in their world, but you might also be building barriers between you and them without even realise it.
If you’re not speaking the same language as your followers, then you make it harder for them to understand the benefits of your product or service and trust you enough to buy.
Are you using any words or phrases (jargon) that mean little, if anything, to your followers?
Jargon can creep into your marketing content in two forms;
Words or phrases that are used widely in your profession but that your customers may not be familiar with or understand.
For some businesses, customers will work in a similar or related industry. In others, the customer has nothing to do with your industry at all. Either way, your customers don’t share your zone of genius; if they did, they wouldn’t need your product or service. So there are likely to be some words and phrases that you use on a day to day basis that don’t hold a great deal of meaning for them.
When you use this type of jargon, you’re building a barrier between yourself and your crowd. You’re almost asking them to put blind faith in you because you’re not explaining, in their own language, what it is you can do for them.
This isn’t about being patronising or dumbing down your message – I’m in no way saying that your customers are stupid! It’s simply about creating a message that resonates with them and which they have to question as little as possible. If they have to contact you to ask what something means then you’ve added a speed bump to their journey.
The second type of jargon tends to fly under the radar. It’s the words and phrases you use to describe your product or service. Terms such as high-quality, luxury, value, innovative… words that are used so freely in marketing copy that they’ve almost lost their meaning.
Your product might be high-quality but what does that mean to your customers? How does it differ from what they can buy elsewhere? What is the benefit to them of buying a high-quality product? Why not go for cheap and cheerful instead?
Saying that your product or service is innovative tells me very little about it. What exactly is it that makes it different to everything else? How will that difference benefit me?
You don’t have to avoid using these words altogether but explain where you can and focus on showing rather than telling. Show me how high-quality your product is, perhaps through photos and reviews, and explain to me why that quality matters, and I’m going to trust you with my business much more quickly!
Time to take action…
Have a read through your own marketing copy and keep an eye out for any jargon that’s creeping in. If it’s on your website or social media bios then you might consider editing it. If you spot any jargon in your social media posts, think about how you can use your customers’ language in future and how you can do more showing rather than telling.