Considerations for Selecting Text Keywords

Eli Merrell Picture

by Eli Merrell | Last Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Selecting a text keyword for your digital experience may seem like a simple task. It can be easy to overlook, but putting any random word in this spot could hinder the success of the digital experience.

Digital experiences are accessed via a URL. Customers need to use an activation to get to the experience, this can be clicking a link, scanning a QR code or texting a keyword to a 10-digital phone number or short code. The text keyword you select is appended to the activation URL, thus visible to the user.

Before jumping into selecting a text keyword, first consider your activation strategy. Will your marketing rely on signage and materials promoting the text keyword? If so, keep your user experience in mind. Where will your users be when they see this signage? Does your text keyword fit seamlessly into the user experience?

If you’re a CPG brand looking to engage consumers in aisle with the promise of a coupon, you may consider a text keyword such as COUPON or BOGO.

Short and Sweet

In the Lumavate Studio, text keywords need to be at least three characters and alpha-numeric. This means it can be a combination of letters and numbers, but no special characters (i.e. $, #, or @). 

To select the best text keyword think of short words that are easy to spell and recognized by your audience. Also, avoid homophones if promoting text activations via radio ads for example. Asking listeners to text “new” may result in some texing “knew.” 

When your target audience sees your brand’s marketing you want them to be able to easily act. Keep the text keyword short and sweet, allowing your target audience to spend their brain power remembering the shortcode or phone number.  

If your experience is promoting different kinds of cereal, think of using words like YUM, BREAKFAST, or the name of the cereal. These words are simple and easy to remember for your consumers. They do not have to worry about spelling or remembering a long phrase.

Keep Your Brand at the Forefront

It is important to create a consistent brand experience for your users, especially when making the leap into digital. Selecting a text keyword is not exempt from this practice. 

When choosing a text keyword keep your brand in mind and make a selection that connects well. The text keyword should make sense to your users and fit in well with the content of your experience. When your users are moving from one experience with your brand, like viewing an ad in a magazine or physically holding your product in-store to a digital experience, the transition should be smooth and seamless. Users should not stop in the middle of the transition to think “What was that word again?” or “Why would I text that word in?”

If your experience is promoting moisturizer in-store, think about using simple words that connect to the product like SKIN, SKINCARE, or the name of the product. This will connect the user’s digital experience with their in-aisle experience.

Uniqueness Wins

In the Lumavate platform a text keyword can only be used once per Studio. This means your text keywords will need to be unique within your Studio. For example, if you are launching a marketing campaign that extends over multiple experiences each experience cannot have the text keyword JOIN. You will need to develop different keywords for each experience. 

You can however create one experience using a text keyword like JOIN and update the digital experience content. If you are creating many short campaigns in which you want to use the text keyword JOIN for all of them you can create one experience and edit the content when each campaign is over. This way your team can invest in signage with the text keyword JOIN and reuse it once the experience has been edited with the new content. 

In the long run, having unique text keywords will aid you in attribution data. By creating different text keywords for each experience you can track how many users activated each experience. This information is crucial in determining which marketing campaigns were most successful. Once you know how and where your users prefer to engage with your digital experiences you can put more resources into those channels. Knowledge is power and the data uncovered with text keywords can help you make better business decisions. 

But My Activation Strategy Doesn’t Use Keywords

If your activation strategy does not center around promoting text keywords you have a lot more freedom to use what works for your internal team. 

If your experiences are digitizing product manuals and your activation strategy centers around QR codes, you can make your text keyword the product name or model number. Because your end user is not actually texting the keyword into a 10-digit phone number or short code, you don’t need to worry about making it easy to remember. You can enter a text keyword that is specific to the experience but uses your internal language.

The user will see the text keyword at the end of the experience URL but they won’t bat an eye if it is the product name. It will most likely reassure them they are looking at the correct digital experience. 

On the surface choosing a text keyword for your experiences may seem like a simple task but it is a decision that should be made with care. Keep in mind your users, the brand you are building, and your activation strategy when making this selection. 

A simple, easy-to-remember, branded word will lead you to the best customer experience possible. 

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