Biz Tips: How Staring at Clouds Can Improve Your Marketing Results

Biz Tips: How Staring at Clouds Can Improve Your Marketing Results

Biz Tip:

How Staring at Clouds Can Improve Your Marketing Results

An image of a sky scraper surrounded by cloudsI don’t know where you live, but I’m in Chicago. And this time of the year, October, November, I tend to call it 50 Shades of Gray. Not like the book. It’s the clouds in the sky. Every single day is gray and cloudy, or rainy and cold.

I really miss the sun. Have you ever laid down on a bright sunny day to look up at the clouds, and just let your mind wander? Well, that same kind of thinking can help you improve your marketing results.

Today, I’m going to talk about how staring at clouds can improve your marketing, but not the clouds in the sky that are white and fluffy. These are the kind of clouds that are on the internet. What I’m talking about are word clouds. If you’ve never seen a word cloud, it’s a collection of words from a series of text. It could be an article, a web page, or anything with text. The words get bigger the more the word is mentioned. They display in various colors. Some colors are bright while some are darker. Depending on how you look at it, certain words will pop out at you.

Simple Research

word clouds created from the 2020 presidential nomination acceptance speeches.

I did an experiment this weekend. Since we’re close to a presidential election, I put up two-word clouds that I found that had both Biden’s and Trump’s nomination speeches. It had all the words that they mentioned. Obviously the more they said a word, the bigger the words appears. I asked people to look at them and give me the two words that popped out one from each candidate. As I went through all of the results, about 80% of the people saw different words.

Now, obviously people’s political leanings, their recent experiences, maybe something they read or saw on the news that day might have changed the way they answered that question. I think it can be the same when people are reading our marketing messages. Depending on their frame of mind or maybe what they just read, they may see them differently. It could help us to know what our marketing messages are saying to people, and we could use a word cloud to do that.

The Tools

I’ve found two different easy to use word cloud tools.

One is called wordclouds.com, and the other one is called tagcrowd.com. Wordclouds.com allows you to import a URL, and then it gives you a lot of creativity. You can change the color themes and the shapes. You can do a whole bunch of different things with it. And it can create some really cool graphics and different impressions of what you want to see.

On the other hand, the other one is called tagcrowd.com. This one is a lot more simplified. Yes, it gives you the ability to import a URL, but it will also allow you to limit the words shown. You could say, “Show me just the top 20 or 25,” or maybe all the way to 100.

You have the ability with these two different tools to look at different URLs and see what words are popping up.

5 Questions

The first thing I’d like you to do before you utilize these tools is to answer five core questions. These five questions are about what messages you want to get across to your audience.

  1. The first question you want to answer is: who do you serve, or who is this message for? Who is the avatar? What is the special thing that you want to get across to that particular person? You can use the word ‘you,’ but if you use a very specific term like operations manager, or salesman, or something along that line, it’s going to resonate more with the people who specifically are in those positions.
  2. The next question you want to ask is: what problem do they have? What’s the thing keeping them up at night? What’s on their mind? Can they resonate with the idea that you’re trying to get across?
  3. The next thing you have to ask is: why is that a problem for them? Can you define the specifics behind why it’s a problem in their world? And do they even recognize that problem? Do you have to let them know it is a problem? They have to understand and feel emotionally connected to what it is that you’re saying.
  4. The next thing you want to get across is how can you or they solve that problem? Is there a way to actually correct for it? Or is there a tool or technique that will help them understand why they have that problem, and what they can do about it?
  5. And then finally you want to define what the end result or the outcome will be if that problem is solved.

Once you start to define all of these together, you now have a concept of what messages you want to get across. From that, you can put that into a paragraph, you can word cloud it and have it show you the keywords that you need to be looking for.

Word Cloud Ideas

a word cloud focusing on marketingWhat else can you do with these word clouds? Well, for example, you could try putting in a URL from your website. What is it saying? What words are sticking out to you? Chances are they’re sticking out to all your readers. You could try one of your blog posts. Maybe it’s a new blog post that you’ve written, or think about taking an old blog post and putting it in there, and then see if you can maybe improve and update that with the keywords or the things that you found from those five questions I mentioned earlier.

How about putting in a competitor’s webpage? What does their webpage say? What does your webpage say? Are keywords popping on either that resonate better towards your audience and the message you’re trying to get across? What about an article that maybe you’ve read? You can add the URL to the word cloud and see what words pop out to you. Are there certain emotional trigger words that are standing out that are resonating with you?

Would those resonate with your audience?

Final Thoughts

Give those tools a try and see what results you get. It’s not only interesting, it’s also fun. And there’s a lots of different ways that you can use word clouds to help you see the keywords that are sticking out. Get your head out of the clouds, and get them onto the web, and start looking at the different ways that words can be used to help you improvise and improve your marketing messages.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about using word clouds to understand your messaging. Are these tips making your business better? What worked and what did not live up to your expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?

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