This is one of those scenarios that I dislike during a social gathering.
It was a dinner gathering over a hot pot session several years ago. While we were enjoying the conversations and the food, suddenly the topic was changed by one of our friends.
It became a relationship advice session. Those who were singles were preached by this friend the value of dating, relationship and marriage.
Yes, we knew this was her passion topic. Then again, having to seat through that 'session' felt icky for me. I wasn't expecting for any serious advice on that subject matter. For most of the friends who were there, it kind of spoiled the mood.
Unsolicited advice like these happens.
Likewise, everyday, our online space is crowded with uninvited marketing messages that people ignore. In a report by BuzzSumo 2017, social sharing of content has dropped significantly by about half since 2015. There's just too much for people to consume these days and too much noise for people to filter. Consumers are experiencing what is known as content shock.
And a lot of times, as marketers and business owners, we may not be aware of making these mistakes in our content marketing and campaigns.
Occasionally, I do made these mistakes. Over my years of experimentation, I tend to get better response for my content marketing when I adopt these 3 copywriting strategies that I'm about to share.
When it comes to timing their messages, people often asked, "when is the best time to post?"
Here's an extensive research and data collected for each social media and communication platforms. These timings only serve as a reference.
Personally, I find it works better when I reach out to my contacts who are online, after I've posted something useful.
For example on Linkedin, I drop my active contacts a note to check out an article which I've posted on my profile. And I tend to get better response from people. I will also find out who are more active on Linkedin, what they post and note when they are usually online, especially if they are people I want to reach out to.
The thing is, there are no best universal social timings. Such data is unique or varies accordingly to location, groups and niches.
So what's the best way for you to know the best timings that can work for your business?
Check your Google Analytics and Facebook Page Insights.
Counterintuitively, instead of posting on those best social timings and compete myself against others, I like to try and test on different timings.
After all, what works for others may not work for me.
Besides social timings, I also leverage on right timing by understanding content trends.
One of the tools I used is Google Trends.
It allows me to see and compare trends over a period of time. This gives me some indications of themes and topics to dive into, with regards to an audience I want to engage.
With this tool, I can spot sunrise and sunset trends like the ones shown below.
I can also spot trends that are more of a fad, having a speculative or volatile nature.
This tool also helps me understand trends that are cyclical in nature such as orchid care. In this search term, you can see two spikes every year which happened to be the period of Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
What I'm trying to do here is to look at my niche peripherally. I do this by looking at the related queries.
Let's say I'm a fitness coach. I want to understand what people are most concern with in performing and living healthily.
As a fitness coach, I know that there are many factors affecting one's health and body.
By exploring and comparing common related terms such as weight loss and insomnia, I can then identify possible trends peripherally.
By looking at the related queries, I can explore peripheral topics such as yoga, apple cider vinegar weight loss as well as how to cure insomnia.
From there, I can start looking through the internet from forums, social networks or groups, articles, influencers to topics related to those search queries.
By using Google Trend, it allows me to understand the landscape of what's influencing people about that topic.
By understanding the landscape, I can then insert myself into the conversation of my target audience on what's trending in their minds.
While timing myself according to people's online habits, usage and trends helps, this can be tiring sometimes.
Moreover, there is a tendency of becoming a trend chaser than a trend-setter.
Someone who is jumping on the bandwagon is usually seen as a commodity, rather than a leader or authority.
What if I can predictably leverage on what is occupying people's minds?
There lies the power of tapping into evergreen themes. Doing so conditions me to be more of a perennial marketer than a short-term one.
Fundamentally, no matter how unique and different we are as human beings, we all want the same essentials: to grow, to learn new things, to connect and belong with people, to be healthy and financially well, to be happy, to feel and look great and to create greater experiences at different stages of life.
I can also find evergreen human life themes by looking at stages of life such as birth, education, changes that come with aging, illnesses, dating and marriage, quarter or mid-life transitions and other stressors in life.
When I speak to people via evergreen topics or themes, I can be confident about engaging them no matter how trends change.
Here's a non-exhaustive list of evergreen themes or topics for the respective category that I use as a quick reference. Hope this is useful for you to begin with.
Learning a language
Learning a new skill
Health and wellness
Career and business
Relationship and dating
I can use Google Trends on top of evergreen topics to further understand timing patterns.
For example, if I'm in the business that is related to sustainable food production, it is not difficult to find evergreen niche topics such as "grow your own food."
I can then take this term to research online. By doing so, I discovered that more and more people are recognizing the benefits and importance of growing their own food.
Knowing this, I can branch into highly relevant topics that resonate with my audience such as "how to grow your own food indoors?"
The timing factor in this?
It's the sense of urgency that we are running out of time, given the change in our environment.
Even with evergreen topics, scarcity and urgency exist because conditions change.
It all begins with 500 people back in 2011 in Portland, Oregon.
Today, World Domination Summit, consisting of more than 10,000 people from all 50 states and more than 40 countries, continues to explore this fundamental question:
"How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?"
It is the unstoppable aspiration of transcending a global pain of unfulfilled work and isolation that attracts the right people.
Like successful brands and tribes such as Apple and Harley Davidson, they have something in common.
They call out a hidden pain by identifying a pervasive trend, limiting belief or global phenomenon.
Then they create a unifying space where their people can self identify with.
With so much noise today, it is no longer enough to target the right people.
We have to speak to them like an insider.
Only then, we are welcome.
The more I use my audience's language, the more they are able to self-identify themselves.
For instance, "pawrent" is how dogs or cats owner see themselves as, instead of a technically correct term "pet owners."
A common mistake entrepreneurs made is trying to change their audience’s thinking too much too soon.
As I learned over the years, even as a trained coach, no matter how persuasive I am, I can’t change people’s worldviews.
Instead of jumping straight into converting them to my model of thinking, I lead my audience progressively on a path of insight and realization.
These are the layers I call out in order to create a context for influence.
Illustrate how the approach that used to work well might have lost its relevance given the current context.
For example, in the context of hiring and recruiting top people, withholding insights about the company, thinking that they will gain the upper hand is getting outdated.
Top candidates won't waste their time seeking companies that they know nothing much about.
Using the same context as above, great resumes don't equate to great hires. In fact, more and more companies have successfully hired the best people without the resume.
On top of that, it doesn't require a long process to find the right person, unlike most best practices out there.
Using the same context as above, I discovered some ways that forward-moving companies have successfully deployed in their hiring process.
They don't rely on resume as a shortcut to find the right person for the role.
On the contrary, resume can be a smokescreen that hides truly great candidates.
Instead, they implement a strategic system of survey to screen people without taking too much time.
The secret to hiring great people?
It is not how smart one's recruitment process is. It is how awesome a company culture is. That is a signal and message for great candidates to come forward without needing to aggressively promote the company. The best part is, some of them come from their client base.
Using the previous example, if I'm a HR consultant helping companies in hiring the best people and build strong team culture in this competitive landscape, I would feature the companies I've helped as case studies.
I'll selectively highlight those companies I want to feature. These cases studies should reflect companies who are in some ways similar in profile or capacity to the potential companies I want to attract.
Guess what? When my prospects can see themselves in the clients I have successfully groomed, given their similar constraints, fears and concerns, 90% of the selling has been done.
Who doesn't want their best clients to do the marketing for them for free?
"What got me to attend your class was the event banner photo of you doing planche."
Of the high turnout, almost 90% of the participants said that was what got their attention.
This was from one of my past clients who conducted a calisthenics yoga class.
To his students, that move seem almost impossible. They were impressed and inspired by it as well. What's common among them is that they like to challenge themselves.
In Pre-suasion, by Robert Cialdini, an experiment on an e-commerce furniture shop saw that participant's search behaviour and buying preference were being influenced by the landing page wallpaper.
Visitors who saw the wallpaper of clouds were inclined towards looking for comfortable furniture. Whereas visitors who saw the wallpaper of pennies were inclined towards inexpensive furniture.
What you present first is going to set the context on how your prospects are going to experience your message later on.
These are the two main elements I use.
Before I present a specific feature of my service, I create importance.
I'll share with my audience on why that feature is crucial. What impact does it contribute?
I particularly use this to create attention on the most favourable feature of my offer or service.
Through case studies, I share how people are utilising my methodology, before I share their success.
This helps to assign causality - implying that success comes from that methodology or the most favourable aspect of my offer.
Also, I'll try to highlight the presence of my service's positive aspect or quality that is absent elsewhere. If my competitors has xyz, I don't make those same comparison or claims. Instead, I focus on something else that other companies don't have.
Whatever I give attention to, it creates an elevated value.
Apart from strategic use of attention, I also love using metaphors to help convey complex ideas that people can easily grasp.
In my line of work, sometimes, I advise my clients to use alliterations in the naming of their products, workshops, sessions or services. This will help their audience remember them without sounding contrived.
I also advise my clients to review and change the words, images, colour, personas, approach and other elements they use in order to create associations favourable to their selling points.
For instance, a vibrant and healthy looking entrepreneur who is successful is more attractive in his marketing message than a similarly successful entrepreneur who looked tired or haggard even though he presents with high energy and is persuasive.
Subtle differences can sent across a different message and value to the audience.
Hence, I am mindful of what I associate my message with.
Likewise, in your prospect's minds, there is already some sort of a preconceived notion about your industry or the way it has been practiced.
That's one of the reasons why roadshows have such low ROI compared to other digital channels. Whenever public sees professional looking people trying to get cold traffic on the streets to be interested in their offers, people tend to avoid eye contact and engagements.
In similar selling situations on the streets, a festival or carnival bazaar produces a different buying behaviour. People are more receptive to such because the preconceived notion here is fun, casual, life and buzz.
Same space, but different context is happening inside the minds of the audience.
Let's say I'm in property investment and I want to target high profile investors.
I probably won't be looking for business on the streets even though it has high traffic.
I will think of the context where such profile gather and are receptive to conversations on the theme of investment.
Wine gallery, high-end private events by invitation, art auctions, golf clubs, fine dining social events, luxury resorts?
In this case, I'll ask them wise questions and get advice from them on investment. I adopt a beginner's mind and let my target audience be the expert.
At some point, when rapport and trust is established, they might be interested in what I do. That's where I enter the conversation.
When it comes to designing your marketing efforts, think of the context and what that means to your prospects. This way, you can position yourself to be in favour of your value rather than go against the grain.
Actually, there are more ways to put yourself in front of the right people, right timing and create a right context, than what you have discovered here.
The key here is to be subtle and not overdoing any of it.
If there are other ways that've helped you, you can also share with the rest of the people here by leaving your comments.
A copywriting, business and marketing strategist who helps service businesses build a predictable client growth process that empowers them to work ON their business. An advocate for sustainable living. Writer at Medium and Thrive Global.
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