Forget the bonus set of steak knives or boxed CD sets; there are three key things you can safely assume about the people out there you're trying to engage with your content;
1. They don't want to be sold
2. They're time poor and distracted
3. They're likely looking at a mobile screen
Stop sellingPeople don't like to be sold to and this is where the tone of your communications, be it on your website or in your emails, needs to be conversational. If you want to engage,then be engaging, helpful and friendly.
Most people make emotional purchases they then justify those with rationalizations.
So excite them first about what you have to offer, then give them reasons to back their decision. Nike never said to anyone "buy our runners and we'll throw in a lifetime supply of laces/ insoles/ signed memorabilia".
Nike are masters of the emotive story; they'll show an iconic athlete, breaking through some personal barrier or setback to a stunning triumph...then like an afterthought -zoom in on those shoes.
I've seen Nike branding ads that literally, and embarrassingly, made me cry, and that's the way to build brand loyalty. Not make people cry so much as just move them on that kind of level. Choosing your brand over another might make them feel clever, proud, safe; there are a lot of emotions to choose from to get sign up.
But first you need to know your audience, what motivates them, find that need and show, rather than tell, how you alone can fill it.
Laws of DistractionThese days pretty much everyone is time poor; reading emails, social media and websites on the go on a mobile screen,constantly distracted by the pings of various other apps. But that's only part of the problem;in this fabulous and funny article Wizowl's Sarah Quinn notes that human attention spans have shrunk to the point where goldfish are better focused. As a marketer you have around eight seconds to engage, excite and generate action.
UX-pertiseThe most repetitive feedback I've heard from UX (user experience)testing, has to be "too many words" and "I just wanna get in and out"
Content needs to be written and structured for mobile screens, with simple navigation and glancable infographics if you're going to hook those goldfish.
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