It happens to the best of the best. You’re creating content like a machine, but your audiences are slowly becoming bored. Most marketers see this happen over and over. That’s why you need to think on your feet.
You need to keep your marketing fresh. These tips will help you get it right:
1. Sell Benefits, Not Features
Companies get stuck trying to sell all the time. Unfortunately, this gets really dull really quickly. Your audience most likely already knows what you offer, so they don’t need your constant hard selling.
Instead, try focusing on the benefits that you provide to your customers. Why not take a look at your customer’s concerns and questions, and then create content around those topics? You’ll quickly see that this will drastically change the way you talk to your audience.
Take a look at Underwater Audio, a company that sells waterproof iPods and headphones. The company has released a blog for an audience of swimmers to help them solve their problems. The idea is that sales will trickle down the funnel.
In marketing terms, we like to call this solution-based marketing. Rather than spending time focusing on price, product, promotion and place, you’re looking at the direct values and benefits that the customer will receive.
See? There’s already a difference in what you’re talking about.
By recognizing what your customers need and when they want it, you’re going to get a very clear view of what’s important to your audience.
2. Tell a Story
People are hardwired to listen to stories, and the better you are at telling them, the more attention you’ll get from your audience. Stories that are engaging require very little effort for your audience to stay focused. And at the end of the story, hopefully you’ve given your listeners a few key takeaways.
Storytelling is quite easy when you think about it. Take one of your customers and share their success story on your blog. Not only is your audience going to be interested in who you work with, but they are also going to see the benefits you brought your other customers.
This is obviously an effortless selling point. Here is an example from Clarity, a company that helps entrepreneurs find the advice they need to grow.
Instead of mass-promoting an impersonal marketing message, Clarity tells its company’s story through the entrepreneurial experiences of its own customers. Read a story about how these leaders are using Clarity to grow their companies.
Even if you’re not thinking of using Clarity, you probably still want to read these stories because they’re so human-interest focused. Why read about Clarity when you can read about the customers instead?
3. Give Customers the Content They Want
Do you segment your customers? If you’re not, you’re missing out.
It’s pretty simple. By giving people the option to opt in or out of content they might or might not want, you are increasing your chances of your messages being received better.
For example, let’s say you use email marketing quite a bit to talk about company news, product updates, and more. By allowing users to check a box to join a particular group, or interest, you should see that your content is better received.
Hello, increased CTRs! That’s pretty much gold to any marketer’s ears.
And if you’re not already doing this, well, you’re doing yourself a big disservice. Segmentation allows you to pinpoint certain subscribers, rather than sending an email blast to everyone on your list. Sending relevant content will keep your readers engaged, and email blasts are so 2001.
Sure, it might be a few extra steps in what you do on a day-to-day basis, but the payoff is definitely worth it.
4. Use Interactive Media
Since we are on the topic of telling stories, why not tell stories interactively? C’mon people. We’re in the 21st century here! Not only do we have so many useful tools and ways for people to consumer our content, but your competitors are probably already using these tricks to get their audiences excited.
You should no longer be thinking of your marketing in black and white terms. Instead, you should organize your content calendar around how many videos you’ll produce this month, and what types of infographics would really be of interest to your readers.
Let’s look at infographics for example. Infographics are a simple way to tell a story. If you’ve got data or interesting trends you’ve seen, why not share the content in an engaging way?
Visual.ly is an awesome tool that can help you create your own infographics and data visualizations. Pictured above is a study that was done on how music impacts athletic performance. Now of course, you could look at this information in a boring blog post, but how much cooler is the information when it’s displayed as graphics, charts and other meaningful ways to understand the information?
It piques your interest, right? The good news is that it will pique your readers’ interests too.
While we’re on the topic of infographics, let’s move to videos. Now, it’s not like videos are anything new. Videos are a great way to showcase products, tell people about what you’re company is doing, and most importantly, to give your brand a voice.
Remember: the goal is to make it as easy for your audience as possible. Similarly to storytelling, videos are engaging, require little user effort, and they can really brighten up your marketing.
One of our recent videos that we fell in love with is PooPourri. They’re a start-up out of Texas, and they have created an epic video that introduces them to the world.
Take a look here:
The reasons we love it are simple – it’s hilarious. Is this company providing anything that is really exciting? Not really. We’re talking about bathroom odor products. But, this video gives their company an image and makes their incredibly awkward product easier to talk about.
In short, use videos like these folks did. They were creative and fun, and oh, I forgot to mention, they got over 20 million views.
Yeah, you could say that might help spice up your marketing!
5. Manage Your Content Calendar
Speaking of content, let’s jump into content calendars. A content calendar should already be in your routine if you’re a marketer, but as you know, publishing content regularly is a commitment.
And, if you show your fans any lack of commitment, you’ll lose attention fast. Not only will your fans forget about you, but your lack of obligation to your marketing will shoot your credibility right in the foot. So, what does yours look like?
What you need to do for a successful content plan is to plan, write, rewrite, design, film, photograph, edit and send your messages regularly. Each of these steps takes time, patience and whole lotta’ love.
Yes, we also know that it takes a lot of time to become really good at this. However, content marketing changes quickly, and if you are not taking the steps to keep yourself in the forefront of your customers’ minds, you better believe that your competitors will.
6. Think Mobile
If you’re working on a campaign that isn’t optimized for mobile devices, then I can bet that it’s not going to perform very well. Everything you create and send these days should be mobile-friendly. Focus on usability and conversion goals (like Clarity does).
Did you know that 88% of smartphone users use their mobile device to check their email? Also, according to one study, 63% of Americans and 41% of Europeans would either close or delete an email that’s not optimized for mobile.
EEK! So what do these crazy numbers mean for you? It is time to start using a responsive template – and fast!
If you’re looking for an easy way to create responsive websites, check out SquareHook. We think their product is really cool and useful for small business owners. The drag and drop editor makes the process really simple, and mobile friendly.
7. Send Real-Time Triggered Messages
If you’re in marketing and you haven’t heard of real-time triggered messages, you’re in for a tailspin. Or, maybe you’ve heard of it, but automation is a scary thing.
You’ve probably seen this in action. Have you ever put something in your shopping cart, then clicked out of the website because you felt like maybe you didn’t really need that extra pair of shoes? Often times, you’ll receive a follow-up email saying “Looks like you forgot something in your cart.” When you open the email, boom – there’s your item.
So, you go back and take a second thought… Do I really need these? There’s a good chance that you’ll actually purchase the item after receiving this email. In fact, Triggered email messages yield 71% higher open rate and 102% higher click rates than non-triggered email messages. (Source: Epsilon)
In my opinion, the best thing about triggered messages is that you can create your program and let automation take over when certain customer behaviors are tied to specific messages. Because the automation is already built into what you’re doing, there is efficiency, and if you’re anything like me, you LOVE efficiency.
Plus, if you optimize your campaign correctly, you should be able to increase your general effectiveness with click and conversion rates. Some easy examples of triggered campaigns would be welcome messages, cart abandonment programs (for you eCommerce businesses out there), and inventory in-stock reminders.
The bottom line? Improve your efficiency and wait for the results. Marketing automation is super hot right now, so go ahead and make your life easier. You’ll thank me – I promise.
8. Make Them Laugh
Last, but certainly not least, make your audience laugh! If you’re bored out of your mind about the topics you are writing about, then you better believe your audience is bored, too!
Here at Fit Marketing, we like to laugh, and more importantly, we know that you like to laugh too. That’s why we’re ok with being a little off the wall, we like using memes, and we even joke sometimes!
Plus, we can check our open rates, and we know that you’re enjoying what we write
So in case you missed it, don’t forget to make your audience laugh! They are reading your content because it’s interesting and relevant to them. Being a little lighthearted and funny from time to time will go a long way.
Marketing doesn’t need to be boring. In fact, it should never be boring! If you include a few of these tips and tricks into your overall plan, you should see your content sprucing up quite quickly. But it takes dedication and some smart thoughts to really make your content compelling.
Keep your audiences entertained, the same way that you hope to be entertained.
And this, my friends, is how to keep your marketing spicy.