Effective marketing campaigns don’t make a consumer work too hard to understand the message. Audiences want clear communication delivered in a convenient, succinct format; they don’t want to waste time trying to figure out who you are, what you do or why it matters.
If you want to reach your potential customers, make sure your marketing message is clear and easy to digest. Below, 14 members of Forbes Communications Council share tips for creating simple and effective copy for even the most complicated products.
1. Start With The Headline
Consumers are ready to purchase products or absorb content, so the best thing you can do is to make it easy for them to do so by speaking directly from your very first touch point: your headline. The clearer your headline, the more likely your target audience will click through and the closer they will be to taking your desired action — whether that’s to buy, subscribe, register or donate. - Christina Crawley, Forum One
2. Hook Them With The Benefit
With so many products out there today, it can be difficult to differentiate yourself — and consumers really just want to know what they’re going to get out of it anyway. Once you’ve hooked them with the benefit, they’ll click further, where you can go deeper on products and technical specs. - Marie Rosecrans, Salesforce
3. Focus On The Solution You Offer
Not every product is fun and sexy, especially in the business-to-business space, and some products and services take more than an elevator pitch to explain. But it ultimately boils down to what the customer’s problem is and how your product or service solves it. If you focus on that, you will always be able to craft a quick and effective message. - Kat Krieger, Joyride
4. Don’t Assume Understanding Of Industry Knowledge
Ditch the jargon, speak like a human and edit out any assumed understandings. Sometimes when we’re too close to a product or industry we forget that while we’ve internalized nuanced messages and implied meanings, others haven’t. I always think, “How would someone who doesn’t know this industry at all read this?” Then, edit accordingly. - Robyn Hannah, Dynamic Signal
5. Ditch The Details And Highlight The Differentiators
The tech behind our artificial intelligence (AI) solution is extremely complex, but the concept of AI in the marketplace is becoming easier to understand for most consumers. Don’t get into the weeds with product specifications and features; they will get glazed over. Focus on highlighting current client experiences and benefits delivered or high-level features that are key differentiators of your brand. - Gabriella Sophia Doucas, Elutions
6. Get Your Customers’ Input
Send a survey to your customers asking them to describe your product or service as if they were describing it to a friend. Find the common trends in their answers and use that copy to build a better message. Your message needs to be clear, use everyday language and be conversational. Nail it and you will convince them to consider you as they go through their evaluation journey. - Alexi Lambert Leimbach, Xcellimark
7. Connect With Customer Emotions
Marketers need only worry about two things: the emotions behind the product and the value of the product. Marketing works best when you emphasize emotion and hint at the value. There is no need to connect the dots between what a customer understands and what a customer feels — they’ll connect those themselves. Self-made connections are much more meaningful than marketed ones. - Jeff Grover, Best Company
8. Don’t Say It — Show It
Visuals work great to explain a topic in an easy and fast way. Instead of just lengthy text, the data can be converted into an infographic or a video. This normally leads to higher views and engagement. If you can condense the gist of your marketing message to one line, it is more likely to stick. What’s the bottom line of your message? Make it easy to remember! - Preeti Adhikary, Fusemachines Inc.
9. Write Simply, Then Cut It In Half
Products may be complicated, but what they are solving shouldn’t be. Focus copy on what benefit will be gained or what problem will be solved. I’d also suggest writing your copy, then going back the next day to cut it in half — you might be surprised how succinct and efficient with words you can really be. - Alina Morkin, Voices.com
10. Use Consumer Search Language
Use keyword search data to help guide your message. People search with specific language, phrases and intent. Search engines like Google and Bing give you that data. If you use consumer search language you will resonate more with them, and your content or product can potentially be found if you optimize them to target the terms using SEO. - Lavall Chichester, JumpCrew
11. Think About How A Child Would Describe Your Product
Sometimes we are too smart for our own good — trying to get the message just perfect. What if we were to toss that aside and take a kid approach? Did you ever notice the simplicity of a child describing their favorite toy? How would a child describe your product? Use that as your starting point, and you’ll be amazed at how your complicated product doesn’t have to be complicated in the message. - Bobby Chow, Firmenich
12. Share The Micro-Moments Of Your Journey
Today, buyers engage with your story in micro-moments. That’s why you must simplify. Every aspect of your story must be rooted in a simple, foundational concept. That concept must be omnipresent across every channel and touchpoint. This is the only way that buyers will take away a clear, compelling and consistent story — from the micro-moments that they share with you during their journey. - James O’Gara, OnMessage
13. Convey Your Message In Just 15 Words
You can convey any key objective or product benefit in 15 words or less. I know it’s not easy, but it can be done for anything if you know your brand, product and audience. Most marketers wait till the end to convey the most important part of their pitch, and by this time their audience has already checked out. - Edward Bourelly, Omni-Culture Marketing, Inc.
14. Leverage User-Generated Content
Leverage customer testimonials or third-party reviews that address the value proposition of the product. This validates the effectiveness of the product while quickly explaining the benefits of it. That will eliminate all of the features that usually get shared in marketing copy and keep your message short and to the point. - T.J. Welsh, Stryde.com
This article originally appeared on forbes.com