The exclamation point is the black sheep of the grammar world. The author F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Cut out all those exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” The point’s bad rap is due to overuse. However, when utilized correctly, an exclamation point makes for a smart addition to your content marketing strategy.
Content Marketing Tip: Keep It About Your Audience
All of your brand’s content should be about your audience, including your punctuation. The exclamation point connotes emotion. Does your Facebook update or tweet contain something your target audience cares about? If so, throw in an exclamation point, but don’t go wild.
A successful content marketing strategy is often about finding the balance that’s just right. This means one exclamation point is enough; any more than that and you risk alienating your customers (think of the boy who cried wolf). Here are some examples to illustrate this point.
The first example is easy to ignore. One key function of an exclamation point is to get your target audience to look. The third example is desperate and annoying to the eye. The second example gets your point across without being irritating.
Know Your Business; Reflect it in Your Content Marketing
A strong content marketing strategy means knowing your business; this means being mindful of voice. Is your brand more straight-laced and professional or are you trying to convey a friendly, excited tone? For the former, you probably want to steer clear of exclamation points – or use them very sparingly, whereas the punctuation can be useful for the latter business’ voice.
Here’s an example that shows how an exclamation point can change the tone:
The Acme Accounting Firm has more than 30 years of experience helping people with their taxes.
The Acme Accounting Firm has more than 30 years of experience helping people with their taxes!
Exclamation Points in Content Marketing: The Research
Using exclamation points can help your content marketing strategy. According to Buffer, “Punctuation is often times considered an afterthought. However, punctuation can convey the kind of emotional value that helps brands connect at a more human level. For example, we found that using exclamation points in a post correlates with more engagement.”
An exclamation mark isn’t commonly used on Facebook—71.17 percent of posts studied did not use them, but the posts that do see 2.7 times more engagement on average.
The results are also positive on LinkedIn. Using an exclamation point results in 26 percent more clicks for B2B channels and 27 percent more clicks for B2C.
Yes, exclamation points can both help and hurt your content marketing strategy. When used too often or incorrectly, the exclamation point can turn off your target audience and scare away new business. Effective content marketing requires making adjustments to keep your target audience engaged, so go ahead and use the exclamation point – but use it wisely!
If you have any questions or need help with other parts of your marketing strategy, contact us at Three Girls Media for a complimentary consultation. We have a full staff of seasoned marketing professionals who are eager to help you reach your marketing goals.
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