Marketing on the web is so different from marketing online. Not just in terms of how you work with the formats, but also how you talk to a user.
Offline, the leaning is to tend towards the brand TOV and messaging may amble, take a left turn or otherwise just plain obfuscate the message in a tight rope walk between keeping inline with brand guidelines and the message. This can be clever, this can be cute. Branding rarely lets it be straight forward.
Online, you get to the fucking point. Quick. Fail to do this and the user gets bored and leaves. This means brand flourishes should take a back seat. But, why do we do that?
Well, this is partly because visual branding, online, is nowadays often viewed through social portals and is little more than a logo, a brand colour, maybe an image. Whilst the majority of your brand perception is how you behave online, how your company deals with it’s customers and your social campaigns. A brand’s TOV document is interpreted by creative departments, SEO departments, Social, comms and comes out as anything but cohesive (even with the best of intentions). The TOV falls away and all the user can parse is how this company has treated them at that moment. That is your brand online.
Largely, the reason to get to the point quick with more direct and obvious messaging rather than flowery messaging is because:
users leave quickly if they aren’t engaged by the content or if it seems that the content provided isn’t relevant to why they thought they were arriving on your page.
This means, less being clever with a headline & more “what can your site can do for me, the user”.
An example line would be “the more love you show us, the more love we should show you.”
What is this alluding to? Something about a two way relationship with a brand for sure. Maybe this could be a Recommend a Friend offer, or a buy 2 get 1 free offer? Well actually it’s for a subscription service. Does it tell me what I get from the service? Why I should use the service? Does it make me want to use the service? Does it make me exit because I wasn’t sure what I was being offered?
Is there greater clarity in something like “Subscribe now and never miss a weeks lottery again!”? I’d argue yes. It’s clear what the service is and what the benefit is and from here I can make the informed decision about whether this is right for me in whatever that crucial first-X-seconds-metric is this week.
Positively identifying the page I’m viewing, or the promotional email I’ve been sent, is regarding a topic I’m interested in is a trust signal to the user to carry on reading. Incredibly important when we consider that 99% of webpages conform to a negative aging Weibull Distribution* and if we can get the user to linger for a few seconds we may have captured their attention. Is it as on-brand? No, but MVT those two headlines and I bet you a tenner which will see more clickthroughs.
* Found that stat this week, knew I had to use it in context somewhere soon.