Great Language Feels Good,
Works Good Too
PG Bartlett
12 July 2013
My Groundhog Day Surprise…
“We need a new voice”
Why?
 Buyers rely on content for 70%-100% of their process
 “We sound the same as our competitors”
– Stuffy, boastful wi...
So what?
“Our language is hurting our business”
What they did
Hired consultant (thewriter.com) to help them:
 Define their voice
 Develop before-after examples
 And tr...
Results so far
…
How would you measure results?
 Impact on language: metrics?
 Impact on activity:
– Web traffic
– Support calls
 Impact...
Third-party research
All: +124%
Concise: + 58%
Scanable: +47%
Objective: +27%
“Users detest marketese”
http://www.nngroup....
Language Matters!
 We knew it
 Our contacts at our customers knew it
 And maybe we can get executives to know it too
We Decided to Humanize Our Own Content
Our action plan:
 Define our voice
 Rewrite our website
 Modify our software
Define Our Voice
Start with the end: audiences & goals
People who
love
language
Their
bosses
• Connect
• Motivate
• Educate
• Follow our ex...
Our new voice
But what good is it if you can’t find it?
Taboos
 Buzzword-laden
 Jargon-filled
 Complicated
 Boastful
 Equivocal
 Impersonal
 Long-winded
 Irrelevant
 Una...
What makes a web page good?
 Scanable text
 Highlighted keywords
 Meaningful sub-heads (not “clever”)
 Bulleted lists
...
Scanning – NOT Reading
http://www.nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/
Rewrite Our Website
acrolinx.com: Before & After
www.acrolinx.com
Does Great Grammar = Great Language?
http://www.wimp.com/frylanguage/
Change Our Software
Measuring Dimensions of Voice
Trend or blip?
Content Marketing
Every key measurement depends on good content.
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34080/Why-Marketers-Need-to-Rise-Above-the-Deluge-of-Crappy-Content.aspx
What Happens When Volume of Crap Soars?
Better language will matter more than ever
So what did I learn?
 Executives may start realizing language’s power
 In deluge of crappy content, language matters mor...
What problems remain?
 Assessing scale of problem
 Internal alignment
 Voice definition
 Remain distinctive
 Localiza...
PG.Bartlett@acrolinx.com
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Corporate Speak vs Natural Language: Finding and Aligning Your Voice

1,127 views

Published on

This presentation is about language that reeks – and how to take out the #&%@$. People have read so much nonsense that they’re becoming immune to marketing. Powerful words like “powerful” have lost their power – thanks to the drone of corporate language. Let’s take out the buzzwords and jargon. Write shorter, simpler sentences. Talk human instead of corporate. And let’s show your bosses how better language is better for business.

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,127
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
479
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • The Nielsen/Norman people also studied how people look at web pages. What they learned is that 79% of web users scan and only 16% read. (However, we don’t know if the readers are the ones who are most interested, or if that’s just the way they interact with all web content.)These are “heat maps,” and they show the results of eye tracking studies that record how people actually look at web pages. The reddest areas are the ones that are viewed the most.They discovered that people tend to scan in an “F” pattern, which you can vaguely see. The left-hand image shows the heat map for an “About Us” page; and on the right is a product page.These heat maps should guide you on where to place your most important content – and where you need to invest the greatest effort.
  • Corporate Speak vs Natural Language: Finding and Aligning Your Voice

    1. 1. Great Language Feels Good, Works Good Too PG Bartlett 12 July 2013
    2. 2. My Groundhog Day Surprise… “We need a new voice”
    3. 3. Why?  Buyers rely on content for 70%-100% of their process  “We sound the same as our competitors” – Stuffy, boastful windbags  “Even our fans criticize our #$%@& content”
    4. 4. So what? “Our language is hurting our business”
    5. 5. What they did Hired consultant (thewriter.com) to help them:  Define their voice  Develop before-after examples  And train their people
    6. 6. Results so far …
    7. 7. How would you measure results?  Impact on language: metrics?  Impact on activity: – Web traffic – Support calls  Impact on business: – Revenue? – Satisfaction?  Something else?
    8. 8. Third-party research All: +124% Concise: + 58% Scanable: +47% Objective: +27% “Users detest marketese” http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/
    9. 9. Language Matters!  We knew it  Our contacts at our customers knew it  And maybe we can get executives to know it too
    10. 10. We Decided to Humanize Our Own Content Our action plan:  Define our voice  Rewrite our website  Modify our software
    11. 11. Define Our Voice
    12. 12. Start with the end: audiences & goals People who love language Their bosses • Connect • Motivate • Educate • Follow our example • Language matters to their business • How we can help • Follow our example
    13. 13. Our new voice But what good is it if you can’t find it?
    14. 14. Taboos  Buzzword-laden  Jargon-filled  Complicated  Boastful  Equivocal  Impersonal  Long-winded  Irrelevant  Unapproachable (walls of text)
    15. 15. What makes a web page good?  Scanable text  Highlighted keywords  Meaningful sub-heads (not “clever”)  Bulleted lists  One idea per paragraph  Start with conclusion  Half the words http://www.nngroup.com/articles/how-users-read-on-the-web/
    16. 16. Scanning – NOT Reading http://www.nngroup.com/articles/f-shaped-pattern-reading-web-content/
    17. 17. Rewrite Our Website
    18. 18. acrolinx.com: Before & After www.acrolinx.com
    19. 19. Does Great Grammar = Great Language?
    20. 20. http://www.wimp.com/frylanguage/
    21. 21. Change Our Software
    22. 22. Measuring Dimensions of Voice
    23. 23. Trend or blip?
    24. 24. Content Marketing Every key measurement depends on good content.
    25. 25. http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/34080/Why-Marketers-Need-to-Rise-Above-the-Deluge-of-Crappy-Content.aspx
    26. 26. What Happens When Volume of Crap Soars? Better language will matter more than ever
    27. 27. So what did I learn?  Executives may start realizing language’s power  In deluge of crappy content, language matters more than ever  Content strategy includes: – “Right voice”
    28. 28. What problems remain?  Assessing scale of problem  Internal alignment  Voice definition  Remain distinctive  Localization  Measurements
    29. 29. PG.Bartlett@acrolinx.com

    ×