Story telling has invaded the marketing world! As human beings, we love story and we connect to it on a primal level. For thousands of years we shared history and life lessons through story. It is ingrained into our nature, whether we realize it or not.
As marketers, how do we create memorable stories that provokes potential customers to take action? Start with these 6 elements and the rest will be easy!
1. A Character
Who are you trying to sell to? Make sure you understand your customer, their needs, pain points, and general demographic information before you start. You could have the most amazing story ever, but if you're talking to the wrong buyer persona, it will all be for not.
2. The Problem
What problem is your target customer facing? Think about more than just the obvious one here. How does this problem make them feel and what is inherently wrong with that picture? Use these questions to help you outline a clearly defined problem:
3. They Meet a Guide
That's you! The important thing here is to make sure you convey to your customer that you understand their problems and fears. Don't make yourself the hero of their story, be the coach that helps them defeat their adversary. Consider what empathy and authority you have when it comes to the problem. Did you experience the problem yourself? Do you have several years of experience helping other people solve the same problem? Pull from your expertise to gain clout with potential customers.
4. Give Them A Plan
I mentioned being the guide of your customers story, not the hero, this is your chance to help a customer see a clear path to victory! Everybody wants to be the hero of their own story, they just need a little help getting there. Keeping your plan short (3-5 steps), reduces the fear of taking that initial leap of faith and creates a clear set of actions for a potential customer. What does that look like? Heres an example:
5. Call Them To Action
Calling your potential customer to take action is essential! You will want to craft these CTA's to match the content of the page/media they are located on. Some customers may be ready to sign-up the second they hit your webpage, while others need to do some investigating. Create a direct CTA and a transitional CTA, giving customers the option to complete their purchase or learn more about your company/product/service.
6. Character Transformation
Stop feeling like a terrible parent and start feeling like supermom! Ok, thats a little extreme, but you see my point. Draw from the problems your customer is facing and make it very clear how they will feel when they solve their problem. Focus on the positive transformation; from frustrated to successful, scared to certain, overwhelmed to productive. This helps the customer see what success will be like when they chose your company. Bonus: highlighting the potential negative outcome of not using your company can be influential, but use this with caution. Too much negativity can turn potential customers off!
Story allows potential customers to connect to brands. It allows customers to remember a feeling, memory or a need that impacts them. When you think about the elements of a good story and outline them before crafting your message, it makes the task much easier!
Not sure how to get started? Check out Building a Storybrand to help you clarify your message and talk about your business effectively!
Genetics finally caught up to me.
A few years ago my mother was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I think her words to the doctor were, "You better not give me the disease of the month!" Ok, maybe thats a nicer version, but you get the point! Celiac is genetic, or at least has "genetic predisposition," meaning I most-likely had the condition too. I wasn't showing symptoms so I pushed the thought aside, "thats a problem for future me."
Hello future me.
After a few spouts of unexplained rashes, sinus infections and the realization that every-time I ate pizza and breadsticks my entire body hurt the next day, I realized it was time to make a change. I called my mom for a final confirmation and she confirmed, it was time to go gluten free.
I've made a few mistakes, how was I supposed to know shredded cheese is processed in flour?! It's only been a few weeks but already I've noticed a few things.
1. People Really Don't Know What Gluten Is.
More often than not, people automatically assume you can no longer eat anything. "Can you eat cheese? Can you eat meat? What about vegetables? And fruit?" Whoa. Back that train up. Gluten is a protein found in wheat that helps foods maintain their shape. It's cheap so manufacturers use it in ALOT of processed foods as thickeners or fillers. Or in the case of shredded cheese, its used to keep the product from sticking to itself.
2. You'll Hear, "That Sucks," Alot!
Get used to the phrases, "That sucks," and "I'm sorry," you will hear them alot. It will be frustrating at times but I try to remember that people are just showing compassion.
3. People Will Look At You Funny.
Judgy McJudgersons. The world is full of them! Some of them are probably wondering if i'm stretching the truth or just a high maintenance woman looking for attention. It doesn't feel good to ask for a gluten free bun or if their margaritas are made from a pre-made mix, but you will get used to it. You will even learn how to ask questions about the menu that provoke action instead of a bewildered stare.
4. People Will Assume You're Stretching The Truth. Especially when you eat an M&M.
I refer back to number one. The other day I grabbed a handful of M&M's at work, I got a few funny looks then finally a co-worker said, "But you can't have those." Actually, I can. While M&M's are processed in a plant that has wheat, the product itself doesn't contain any. Lucky for me, I'm not highly sensitive to gluten so I can still have products like that.
5. It's Really Not That Bad. Until there is cheesecake. Then it's really sad.
Luckily, there are so many gluten free options now! Ice cream, potato chips, graham crackers, candy, pizza crust, pasta and bread that doesn't taste like cardboard! You name it and there is a gluten free alternative! I will say, the first time you have to turn down a piece of pizza is a little depressing and walking by the bakery section at the grocery store is the worst! But there isn't a brownie or bunt cake that tastes as good as how much better I feel after going gluten free!
It's not easy making a lifestyle change. It can be overwhelming, a little scary at times and completely confusing! Luckily there are some amazing resources and groups available to help you get started.
Not sure where to start? Check out these resources from the Gluten Intolerance Group.
Every marketing campaign should have a strategic goal. It seems pretty straightforward, but far too often we do not define objectives before beginning a campaign. Not setting clear goals hinders our ability to distribute resources, capitalize on opportunities, adjust strategies and define success. Here are five questions you should ask before planning your next marketing campaign.
1. What is our goal?
What is the primary business objective of this campaign? Do you need to improve your sales? Bring in more qualified leads? Or maybe you’d like attract qualified employees. Whatever your goal is, write it down and make it SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time Bound). Keep this objective in mind as you create all of the materials associated with the campaign.
2. How will we measure success?
If you don't identify a KPIs, how will you determine if the campaign is successful? Be specific and define these metrics explicitly. Consider things like cost of acquisition, conversion rate or email subscriptions while you are determining these metrics. Remember, if you have a longer purchasing decision process, the long-term benefit might mean more than the short-term win.
3. Do I have the right audience?
Buyer personas! You’ve heard the word but do you have the demographics written down? If you do, it's never a bad idea to revisit these from time to time. If you don't, it could really help you create a focused message! Think about your ideal customer holistically. What problems are they facing, what types of media do they enjoy, what kind of language resonates with them and where are they hanging out?
4. Do we have the right messaging and where should we promote it?
See why buyer personas are so important? Every single piece of content you produce and where you promote it should be influenced by these semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers. Why spend the money on a LinkedIn ad if your demographic is hanging out on Instagram? You can create the most amazing campaign, but if you aren't speaking to the right crowd, it could flop!
5. Is my call to action clear?
Is it 110% clear what action you want your potential customer to take? Start Your Free Trial, Follow Us On Twitter, Buy Now; these are examples of CTA's with clear and concise actions. Don't forget about the relevance of a CTA to your campaign. If your goal is to sell 10 new products, asking someone to "Leave Us A Review," may not help you reach your goal effectively.
Creating marketing campaigns is a challenge! Creating campaigns that work is even more challenging! When we spend a little time setting goals and a solid foundation to work from, we create a road map to success.
Not sure how to get started? Drop me a line, i'd love to help! Or check out HubSpot's Free Marketing Plan Generator to help you get started.
Amazing teams require all kinds! But having all kinds creates opportunities for members to be misunderstood.
So how do you get different personalities to stay on the same page working toward a common goal? In The Synergist: How to Lead Your Team to Predictable Success, Les McKeown argues that the key to teamwork is having a Synergist. This person is capable of seeing the bigger picture and helping blend different view points.
Let's take a look at some of the tools a Synergist uses to help their team succeed!
Natural Leadership Styles
First, let's take a step back and talk about leadership styles. There are three “natural” categories of leaders: Visionaries, Processors, and Operators.
If we boil it down to its simplest form, the Visionary has the idea, the Operator turns that into actionable tasks and the Processor monitors the system to make sure it is efficient.
When we look at it this way, it’s no wonder people get frustrated with one another! The Visionary loses focus when the Processor asks for details. The Processor is unnerved by the Operator's need to get things done quickly and the Visionary’s need for creative breaks frustrate the Operator.
What's a Synergist?
So how do organizations get past the triangle of diverse view points? Enter the Synergist, an individual capable of putting their own ego aside and interpreting many different working styles to promote what is best for the organization. A natural Synergist is rare but they do exist! Many of the skills they possess are learned from observation, mentors and self-awareness.
So what does the Synergist do?
The Recipe For A Great Team
Great teams require a diverse set of personalities and skill sets to get the job done. What makes some of us tick, frustrates others. The role of the Synergist is to see the entire picture and help the entire team communicate effectively.
The biggest thing to remember is that every single one of us is capable of acting as a Synergist.
We are all unique and posses strengths that can help organizations succeed. When we learn how to harness or strengths and master the skills that help facilitate teamwork, amazing things can happen!
What is your leadership style?