How Language Affects Digital Marketing

May 2023

In the world of digital marketing, words are weapons and content is king.

Welcome to the world of digital marketing, where words are weapons and content is king. In this field, every word matters and every syllable carries meaning. “Why?” you might ask. Well, because the right words have the power to turn casual browsers into loyal customers, and the wrong words can send them running for the hills (or rather, their browser’s back button).

In my role as the Director of Content for KWSM: a digital marketing agency, celebrating over 13 years in business and serving 1,000+ clients, I lead a team of creatives in crafting content that resonates with their target audience.

Through studying Psycholinguistics at Montclair State University, and Marketing at Cornell University, I have gained a deep understanding of language and the effect it has on the consumer psyche, and I want to share some insight I’ve developed regarding why language matters in digital marketing.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring how language can help businesses connect with their audience, convey their brand message effectively, and ultimately, tell their story in the way it deserves to be told.

How Does Language Impact Digital Marketing?

Creating a brand identity that aligns with your company’s voice and values starts with the words used across your digital platforms and marketing materials.

“Properly practiced creativity can lift your claims out of the swamp of sameness and make them accepted, believed, persuasive, and urgent.” – William Bernbach                                        

The way a product or service is described in marketing can influence a consumer’s perception of its value and desirability. From social media engagement, search engine optimization, call-to-action, and more, language has a significant impact on consumer behavior in some very BIG ways.

Call-To-Action (CTA)

A Call-To-Action (CTA) is a term used to describe a prompt that encourages your audience to take a specific action, such as buying a product, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter. Prominently displaying a CTA that uses clear language on your site will help you guide the audience to the next step of your process.

Are you unsure if you’re using the best CTAs on your website? You’re not alone. Many other business owners are challenged by the same feat. When considering which CTA makes the most sense for your site, think about the action you want your visitors to take.

Case Study: I worked with a mental health treatment center in San Diego, California, to help improve their digital marketing. Their goal was to generate leads through phone calls from people who were visiting their website. They had a healthy amount of traffic going to their site already but weren’t receiving many calls from that segment of people. In the top right corner of the website menu bar, I noticed a clickable button that stated the phone number. They saw a 64% increase in calls as a result of changing the CTA text of that button to “Call Our 24-Hour Helpline”.

Social Media Engagement

Social media is a powerful tool for communicating with your audience. Using the appropriate language and tone can help to build a solid emotional connection with consumers and make your brand more memorable. When you interact using the right language on social media your brand comes to life and keeps people engaged, which helps with word of mouth, and awareness.

Do you regularly update your social media accounts in ways that encourage audience engagement? Many business owners think of their social media accounts as a spot to share updates, but it’s so much more than that. Using the right tactics and posting at optimal times will help you take your social media to the next level.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

In search engine optimization (SEO), online content is refined to rank higher in search engine results for targeted keywords. The ultimate goal of SEO is to increase the visibility and organic traffic to a website. Search results are sorted by Google based on an algorithm that follows a set of guidelines based around the acronym E-E-A-T, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

Which keywords are you trying to rank for? A marketing strategy will have a list of competitive keywords that are sorted and selected by the volume of searches that month and how difficult it will be to rank for that keyword. Using language to find the right balance between these factors will help ensure that your piece gets seen.

Case Study: One of my clients, a personal injury attorney based in California, wanted to focus on attracting more clients who were victims of dog bites since California has strict liability laws in these cases. We ran a campaign targeting people who experienced dog bites in their area using blogs, adding a service page to their website, and creating a landing page specifically for people who do location-based searches for “dog bite lawyers”. Shortly after we set everything up we received multiple form fills from people looking to have a consultation to discuss dog bite incidents.

The E-E-A-T algorithm has been around since 2014 but has only gained prominence as an SEO best practice in the past year.

What Is E-E-A-T and Why Is It Important?

Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) is a set of quality rating guidelines put in place by Google to protect its users from unreliable content. In the age of the internet, people are increasingly turning to online sources for information and recommendations.

The principle of E-E-A-T parallels the rules of rhetoric written by Aristotle over 2,000 years ago. Rhetoric is made up of 3 means of persuasion, Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. 

  • Logos refers to logic or the use of reasoning and evidence to support an idea.
  • Ethos refers to the reputation, credibility, and trustworthiness of the speaker.
  • Pathos refers to emotional connection, which involves telling stories to make the audience feel empathy, sympathy, anger, or interest.

People are highly impressionable, so along with the responsibility of providing people with the information they are looking for comes a set of ethics to make sure they are being given credible information. This is why KWSM follows the standard of brand journalism.

“Brand journalism exists because brand trust is the crucial first step in building a connection with buyers. Brand trust is built when businesses present themselves as knowledgeable, in-touch, relevant, relatable, kind, socially attuned, and authoritative. These are all goals of an effective brand journalism strategy.” 

– Katie Wagner, CEO, KWSM: a digital marketing agency

Traditional advertising has created an environment saturated with advertisements that have an adverse effect on the audience. According to a study published by FORBES, “Most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads each day. At some point, we start a screening process for what we engage with and start ignoring.”

Unlike traditional advertising which focuses on the direct promotion of products or services, brand journalism is about creating valuable content for the audience. By providing high-quality, informative content that helps establish the brand as a thought leader in its industry we create a stronger connection with the reader, which can ultimately lead to increased loyalty and conversions.

Digital Marketing That Tells a Story

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, language will remain a cornerstone of successful marketing strategies Whether it’s crafting persuasive copy, refining your website’s SEO, or helping guide your audience with an effective CTA, the right language helps businesses cut through the noise and connect with their target audiences in meaningful ways.

If you feel that brand journalism is right for you, and you’re interested in learning more about content marketing for your business, contact KWSM: a digital marketing agency by calling Tel:(949) 436-5173 or fill out the form below for a consultation on how you can better use language to elevate your digital marketing efforts!

Your story matters; we can help you tell it!

Fill out the form below to start your conversation with KWSM.

Core Values at KWSM a digital marketing agency