Help Find the Focus of Your Content With Word Clouds

Last post, I talked about what word clouds are and how they can be used to find the most common words in a given body of text. Check that post out if you want the long version.

Word clouds don’t just create pretty arrangements of words, although they do that, too. You can use word clouds to define what you have written in your business plan, your mission statement or your web page. Take Coca-Cola’s mission statement, for example. Throw it on Wordle.net and this is what you get:

Coca-Cola’s Mission Statement from http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/ourcompany/mission_vision_values.html

So, what does this say about Coca-Cola? They don’t just sell soda, that’s for sure. Using the terms this gives us: They are operating a global business, and they want their shareholders to know they have a roadmap and they are in it for the long-term; Better actions will continue into the future.

All of the largest words in the cloud are the kind that invoke stability and sound business practices. We’ll assume that this mission statement was crafted with very specific ideas in mind, which means this is how Coca-Cola wants to project itself as a business (the beverage itself has a whole other brand identity to sell).

Now, this is what Wikipedia has to say about the Coca-Cola Company:

Coca Cola Wikipedia entry word cloud from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coca-Cola_Company

(Note: I removed “Coca-Cola,” “Company,” and “company” out of the word cloud because they were too big!)

The Wikipedia entry talks a lot more about what Coca-Cola makes and its global brand identity, using much more specific wording. It’s another area of public perception that Coca-Cola likely keeps track of on a regular basis.

Here are a few ways word clouds can be useful when you plug in the content you are working on:

  • Find a title for a project, book or article
  • Easily see how your business communications compare with your competitor’s
  • Identify key points in a business plan or presentation
  • Ensure web copy is targeted to your keywords and target market

Plus, word clouds are also fun to do with books, and it can pinpoint their main ideas and characters. Check out Alice in Wonderland’s word cloud:

Alice in Wonderland Word Cloud
Alice in Wonderland Word Cloud

Allison Edrington — Eureka, CA: Writer, editor and blogger

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