Categories

5 Ways to Make your Customers Care, Share and Buy

Once upon a time .....

This line either brings your shoulders down from your ears as you prepare for the story, or makes your hackles rise, as you mentally urge the teller to skip to the end.  Either way, you want to know what comes next.

Storytelling is as old as mankind itself and yet a seemingly dying art, in our rush to adopt all things digital.

Smart marketers know that customers who are emotionally connected to brands, provide valuable feedback to the business, tell their friends and spend more money, than those who are not.  It therefore makes sense, to craft your marketing outreach, so that you take customers on a journey - building knowledge of your brand, not through facts, but through inspirational, educational or entertaining stories.

Done well, your brand marketing can take an audience from apathy to empathy.  Don't believe me? Watch this clever Chrysler video, aired during the Super Bowl (for maximum audience and impact).




Let's look at how this works, so that you can apply these elements to your own brand building content.

1. Context - orientate your customer


The opening 30 seconds set the scene, so that even those who've never visited Detroit can have their assumptions about the place confirmed. There's a full 20 seconds of reinforcing the stereotype before a fleeting glimpse of a cars rear view mirror, (the first hint of what this commercial is really about). What could you do to build trust, before you start selling your product?

The rugged, care worn voiceover man, reinforces the imagery and immediately asks for engagement “What does this city know about luxury?”  You're already waiting to hear more, even though you're not sure what this ad is about yet.  Anticipation is increasing.  Remember that marketing will have most impact when your customers are waiting to receive it.

2. Show and tell


By 40 seconds we've seen the product (Chrysler badge on the front of the car), but it's fleeting, almost subliminal, and surrounded by pictures which evoke the spirit of hard work and determination.  Could these be Chrysler's brand values?  Showcasing what your brand stands for, in pictures rather than words, has never been easier.

There's an American flag to make sure everyone feels included, the soundtrack builds with a baseline guitar.  Detroit, (the hero), is shown to be strong and full of resolve, having survived the recent economic blows (the villain).  The audience is drawn in, relating to the cities hardships from their own experiences. Voiceover man reinforces this “That's who we are. That's our story ....”  Be Authentic.  Reinforcing your customers problems, thoughts and assumptions, is a great way to draw them in and lets you pitch your product as the solution they need.

3. Make sure you've got a hero - ideally the underdog


A minute in and we're told “when it comes to luxury, it's as much about where it's from as who it's for”, challenging all the bad news stories about Detroit and helping you to root for the underdog. You want to know more. Your interest is peaked and you're enjoying the journey with the driver of the car, beginning to see yourself as that character, bringing your own knowledge to this crafted vision. How could you help your customer to imagine themselves using your product?

The imagery is of determination, ordinary people, challenging themselves.  The voiceover acknowledges that while all the attention is given to the best know American cities, it's our hero that represents the vast majority of the population and we should share that pride. Chrysler the brand is firmly pitched as the hero's assistant - Robin to Batman.  Be customer rather than company centric so your marketing supports what your customers value in their terms.

4. Include the element of surprise


One minute 20 seconds in and we recognize the driver - home grown talent, Eminem, reminding the viewer of Detroits glory days as Motown. The soundtrack builds to a climax, not just of instruments, but of human voices, via a choir, reinforcing the personal nature of this product.  We now know this is a car ad, but that's almost forgotten because we're so entrenched in what will happen next.  What could you do to make your product part of a bigger picture or wider community?

5. Give them a happy ending


Final 30 seconds - cue Fox theatre, far removed from the industrial landscape we've all come to associate with this Michigan state. Eminem turns to camera and addresses us, telling us that it's about the city and not the product.

In our minds Chrysler now stands for guts, courage and resolve and we want to be associated with that.  By now, American hearts are swelled with pride at their resilience as a nation and customers are already giving consideration to Chrysler as their next purchase.

In 2 minutes, Chrysler have told us a story which leaves us feeling like they're the good guys. They've given their brand human traits and we feel warm to them because they connect with how we see the world. Do your customers share an emotional connection with your brand?



As with every youtube video, the comments section is the most telling. This stream is overwhelmingly positive, showing just how well the story has been told.  One viewer summarised this ad in just one sentence - makes me wish I was from Detroit.

What's the story behind your brand?  How will you tell it?  It doesn't take a high budget video to communicate, but you will need to use your imagination.




Comments



5 Easy Steps to Content Worth Sharing





What is content worth sharing?

We all know it when we see it, but being asked to produce it seems an impossible task.

Isn't it all subjective anyway?

What makes me laugh might not strike the same chord with you, but with over 3.5 million views and almost 7,000 thumbs up, it's clear that Cheerios have done something right, with their ad above.

While there may not be a mathematical formula for creating content worth sharing, memorable pieces seem to contain at least one of these five elements.


1.  Where possible, include original data



This works best for written content, like white papers, emails and blog posts.

We all love to quote statistics and if you've been able to create some from your own customer data, then that's something worth shouting about. If not, find the most credible source to illustrate your point and refer to it, always remembering to give credit to that author and a link back to the original piece.


2.  Link it to already newsworthy topics



Recognize that at certain times of year, our world gets filled with love hearts, sporting fixtures, music festivals, witches, snowmen, etc and build on what your customer is already thinking about.

You can be more subtle by using locally or internationally trending topics, to help you join conversations already happening and so gain even more exposure.


3.  Provide a fresh perspective, new idea or in-depth analysis



In the advert above, Cheerios could have easily told us the nutritional facts to convince us of the difference it's new cereal could make to our lives, but you have to agree that making their advert a celebration of fatherhood first and then mentioning they have a product to sell, has much more impact.

Whenever you produce a piece of content, ask “so what?” While we all crave new, none of us really wants information.  Inspire, challenge, entertain or even enrage your customers and they'll reward you with attention and engagement.


4.  Appeal to the eyes with charts, illustrations, video etc.



Back to our Dad above to clarify this point.  His monologue coupled with the familiar family scenes helps us see ourselves and make an emotional connection with the character - hey, he's just like me, I should forward this to my wife ...

There are are host of video applications to help even the most creatively challenged, (I count myself here), produce something appealing. Donna Moritz has produced a great round up here.


5.  Leave an impression



Even if you don't have the Cheerios advertising budget, the content you produce can attract people to your brand as long as it leaves them with a positive feeling.

As a marketer you need to build a connection with your audience which helps them know you understand their problem and have the solution.  Content that paints a picture of how fantastic the world will be after they've made their purchase, helps endear customers to your brand and ideally leaves them wanting more.

Couple this lasting impression with a clear outline of the next steps they should take e.g. download this, register for that etc. and you'll be well on your way to making something of value to your audience.  Additionally, make it as easy as possible for them to share their new find with friends and family - even if they're not on social media (is there anyone left who isn't?!).


All companies are now content publishers who happen to produce something else as well, so think like the Editor of your favourite magazine and you're half way there.

What's the best piece of content you've seen?



Comments



See Older Posts...