“This product is so revolutionary”
“We are the best in the city”
“Try our exciting new…”
Have you read these lines on websites before? We all have in one way or another and we have built up a resistance to them over time. I mean really, how enticing is “new” anyway? Have you looked at how many “new” items are introduced every year?
Quite a few
People are also always talking. It’s one of the pitfalls of communication. We are not there in person to communicate as copywriters, so if what we say is dull and drab, it gets immediately brushed aside. It’s like a media buffet and we are the club crackers next to the silverware. We always get missed.
Realize that the visitors to your website and are not even really reading it. They are scanning. The mindset of most of our traffic is “I’ve seen this all before, blah blah blah”. As content strategists, we have to choose the right words and phrases to stop those scanning eyes and make them pay closer attention to your unique offer and benefits.
So we need our content to stand out!
Using simile isn’t a NEW & IMPROVED way to do this. In fact, it’s as ancient as Keith Richard’s grandmother, but it’s always evolving – always getting better.
Simile takes ordinary, everyday things and latches them to extraordinary things and experiences. It’s like plugging words into the power socket. Suddenly the lifeless and motionless is transformed and readers notice…
Let me demonstrate…
How about saying your product or service is “exciting”? “Exciting” isn’t really that exciting is it? What we should be thinking as copywriters is, sooooo how exciting is it?
- Like getting your first credit card?
- Like a toddler seeing a new balloon?
- As exciting as your first kiss?
- Like going 90 down an old farm road at night with your headlights off?
- That moment you are woken up and realize you got one hour more to sleep?
Instead of saying this is a “great product”, you could say, “it has blush making power (or not)”. All you are doing with simile is helping bring “great” close to home. Making it real. Less allusive.
Here are several more simile substitutes to try…
- as coffee made from used grounds.
- as someone after donating blood.
- as the flavor of fat-free rice cake…
- as a mixture of vinegar and baking soda.
- as a squirrel in a cage.
- as Alka-Seltzer.
- as ants on a sugar high.
- as Ronald McDonald’s feet.
- as the 60’ s.
- as the pride of a teenage rock star.
- as horse nostrils.
Or you can make a comparison…
As with “longer” –
- as the shelf life of strawberries to beef jerky maybe?
Just don’t let your writing be as boring as a bowl of grits, a one-stringed guitar, or a broke casino. Use your imagination and don’t just say it – paint it.
If your content smiles – your audience will smile back. And if you can make them smile you are one step closer to making them a customer.