At the same time we’ve always been taught to ‘show’ and not tell, and yet ‘showing’ naturally takes a more long-winded and creative route; finding synonyms for the dull or uninspiring has become almost second nature to us logophiles (or a person who loves words – see what I did there?), and with the Dictionary app (an app!) readily available on our desktops, it has unsurprisingly become our tool of choice.
When it comes to writing content for marketing purposes (whether it be text for a website, branding, or even print collateral such as brochures, booklets, or posters) the power behind storytelling is not one to be understated; it helps us to first hook our audience, then reel them in and keep them interested. It’s not a new phenomenon that people respond well to captivation, but rather an inherent understanding of knowing what makes us tick, what surprises us, grabs our attention, or makes us nod along in agreement.
And yet, while words are a really powerful thing, it’s the way we as marketers and storytellers use them, which gives us that power too. Not all words are created equal (remember my love for synonyms?) and in our time-pressed and technology-driven world, it’s more about finding the balance between what word to use, and when, that has the ability to direct the way our content is received. Because throwing together a smattering of flowery, fancy words will not convince your readers that you know what you’re talking about. Instead you need to be punchy and vivid with your prose, and create an experience for your audience that will illustrate your message in a clear and impactful way. By all means embrace your craft and continue to right-click for those synonyms, but never forget the age-old teachings to “show, not tell” and that less sometimes really is more.