Mea Culpa: I don't always follow my own advice. Why? Because I'm a chronic wordaholic. With an academic background in history and philosophy, my writing tends to run to the long-winded and overly-analytical. However, as a marketing tech blogger/content writer, I'm trying to reform my habits. Marketing is all about clear communication, and technology about efficiency. In order to have any chance at solving readers' problems or addressing their pain-points, I need to strive to clearly and efficiently communicate precisely what I am trying to say (there I go, again; apologies).
For my own benefit, and that of the reader, here are four actionable ways to apply the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principle to your online marketing efforts.
Hopefully you already know who your target market is and how your product or service can fulfill their needs (if you don't have this much figured out, you should go back to the drawing board asap). Once you know your audience and understand their pain points, it's important to communicate how your products and services can solve their problems. Clear messaging is the cornerstone of effective marketing.
Above all, make sure your content is lean and mean; if there isn't a compelling reason to include certain information, remove it. When in doubt, cut it out. A simple structure and a clear proposition make for the best marketing copy.
The KISS principle applies to websites as well. If you're building your own site, a good rule of thumb is to look at the design you've chosen and then ask yourself, "What can I remove to make this easier to use?" It could be an entire block of text or simply a background color or border.¹ In today's information-saturated marketplace, visitors are looking for an easy user experience. Make sure to tinker with the copy and design layout until your site is clear, orderly and easy to navigate.
Ah, now were entering my area of weakness- a clear and concise blog. A good blog should educate in an efficient manner. Make your point(s) clearly, and then for goodness sake, get out. People are way too busy to write a treatise on HTML5 (guilty as charged). It is safe to assume that your readers are looking for useful insight they can easily digest. I still defend the concept of the longer thought-leadership post, but use it sparingly. Recall your high school reading list, think Hemingway, not Fitzgerald.
Social media is all about resonance- you want to provide content that resonates with your audience and compels them to share it through their social media channels. The nature of social media conspires against long-winded content writing (it's hard to write War and Peace in a 140 character Tweet).
In today's fast-paced environment, consumers expect their information to be short and sweet. Savvy social media marketers have gotten quite good at communicating their message in a few sentences. Pictures can also be useful for depicting the benefits of your products and services, as Pinterest has shown.
Though an admittedly overused acronym, the KISS principle is a useful mantra for our information-laden society. If for no other reason, simplicity implies clarity, and clarity usually sells. So next time you find yourself writing a novella on neural mirroring or a treatise on tech trends, step away from the keyboard. After all, you don't want to annoy readers and kiss those prospects goodbye.
Are you using the KISS principle in your online content marketing efforts?
¹ Mashable, 5 Simple Tips for Better Business Websites