If I played you a recording of a dump truck backing up, birds chirping, and children laughing, you’d likely not remember those sounds the next day. But if I played you a pop song, you’d probably be humming it for a week.
Why? In both cases, waves travel through the air and rattle your eardrum. Yet our brain categorizes the pop music differently than the random noises.
When I go to most websites, what I see is noise.
That’s because, when we submit noise to certain principles, it becomes music. By following a set of rules and filters, music clarifies noise into something beautiful and meaningful.
When I go to most websites, what I see is noise. I see information that a human being doesn’t really need. It hasn’t been filtered and clarified. They can’t apply it to their lives. It isn’t relevant to helping them survive and thrive. So they tune it out and forget it.
So how can we make our websites “music” instead of noise?
By filtering out the clutter and communicating simply. If I’m being bombarded with information that I don’t need, my brain recognizes it as noise and tunes out. But when you give your message structure and clarity, the brain knows how to engage, follow along, and remember.
Here are three examples of websites who have filtered their communication well. I’ve analyzed the structure and techniques they’re using to create that clarity, so you can easily learn from what they’re doing and apply it to your own marketing.
Three examples of crystal-clear messaging:
LEADERS FOR LEADERS
WHY IT WORKS:
If you’re a plumber, you can say “I’m a plumber,” and people will instantly understand what you do. But for most companies, especially B2B companies like Leaders for Leaders, there’s a bit more nuance involved in explaining our businesses.
Here, Leaders for Leaders have done a great job clearly stating what they do. It’s the first thing prospective customers see when they hit the site. They don’t have to hunt around and waste time and energy trying to figure it out for themselves. Leaders for Leaders also shares what makes them different from their competitors — not in a long “noisy” paragraph, but in short, scannable descriptions highlighted by with simple icons.
Human beings are drawn to clarity and they resist confusion. If your messaging is more clear than your competitor’s, you will probably beat them. That’s because people do not necessarily buy the best products and services. They buy the ones that they can understand the fastest. It may take several brainstorming and wordsmithing sessions, but keep working until you can communicate what you do so that people can understand it in seconds. Then, build on it by simply showing what makes your business different.
WHY IT WORKS:
To get engaged, our brains are looking for information that’s relevant to us. As a software company, it would be easy for Fluro to just talk about their technical specs and features. But they keep the focus on their customer, not themselves. If you’re a church leader checking out the site, you know right away the software will help you “connect with visitors, communicate your message and empower your team.”
Frame up features as benefits to your customer. You can turn website noise into “music” by making sure that you’re always orienting your language toward what’s in it for your customers. What value do they get? How does it make their life better? What problem will it take away? That’s what their brains are tuned into and likely to remember.
WHY IT WORKS:
Our brains are hard-wired for survival. By highlighting the potential danger of identity theft, LibertyID cuts through the noise and gets our brains paying attention. We see a strong image that signals a threat, but the copy reassures us: “We Get Everything Back.”
They’ve also clearly communicated how they help their customers. A lot of companies explain how their services work in a long-winded paragraph. That’s noise. This is music: a punchy, three-step process that shows you exactly why LibertyID customers don’t have to worry if identity theft happens to them.
Tune into your customers’ survival instincts by reminding them of the potential danger they’re in by not doing business with you. (Don’t go overboard; remember that fear in marketing is like salt in bread. You need it, but you only need a little.) Then, show them how doing business with you provides a clear path to safety.
We say it all the time here at StoryBrand, so I’ll say it again: If you confuse, you’ll lose. I hope these examples will inspire you to eliminate the “noise” from your website and communicate in such a way that people can’t help but listen.