Marketers, by our very nature, all must be a little crazy to take on the challenges we do. Competition is insanely fierce these days, and to stand out and reach our audience, we have to step outside our comfort zone with creativity and aplomb, or it’s all for naught.
The power of language is central to everything a marketer takes on. Some of us are writing gurus, with the enviable ability to spin pure gold with every perfectly crafted sentence. Most of us, however, struggle, in one way or another, to find that ideal phrase, that irresistible hook that lures in our customers.
If you’re looking for a little out-of-the-box inspiration, here are a few assembled ideas to infuse greatness into every campaign, banner, newsletter, or marketing material you craft. With or without the ability to woo and awe the masses with every word you concoct, we all can become hugely successful marketers, if we’re just willing to try something new.
Tip #1: MIx Things Up. Seriously.
Chances are, if you’ve been writing copy for longer than a year, you’ve hit a rut. We tend to use the same words to describe the same products, and that kind of monotony can easily reflect in your results. Content on the Web revolves around freshness, current trends, and the ability to say the same thing in entirely different ways.
If you’ve run out of ideas and your Thesaurus is ragged, here’s a radical approach — do something you’ve never done before. Write a campaign in haiku form. Describe your service with iambic pentameter. Craft a piece entirely from the perspective of your cat. Write an investigative piece, or do a Q&A with a top executive or client to garner new inspiration. You don’t actually have to use the haiku itself, but there’s a good chance you’ll hit an brand new angle or idea, and that will flow perfectly into exactly what you aspired to create.
Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting different results. In order to manifest new customers and new revenues, be daring, tenacious, and truly creative.
Tip #2: Say It With Video
Perhaps you’re a stellar speaker who can’t necessarily translate the same articulate nature in writing. Video is therefore your best friend! More and more marketers are finding inventive ways to use video as an immensely powerful conversion tool.
Take stock trader and entrepreneur Timothy Sykes — instead of writing a bulky hard-sell description of his services, he crafted an attention-grabbing video instead. He had hardly any budget, no fancy film crew, no elaborate backdrop. What he did have is a clear vision regarding what he wanted to express. The results increased his conversions by 72.9%. This could be your next big move too.
Tip #3: Emphasize Your Quirks
So many of today’s marketing messages are full of insincere pitches that simply don’t feel true. How do you engender credibility in the eyes of your audience? By being completely, unequivocally honest. And nothing screams integrity like the willingness to admit imperfections.
Here’s a prime example: In the 1960’s, a little vehicle called the VW Bug hit the scene. To American automakers, it was ugly, small, and purposeless. Bill Bernback, one of the most genius advertisers of all time, decided to make those traits the standout features. Instead of hiding from the obvious, he glorified the Bug’s quirks. He made the world realize the bug-like shape had a grand purpose — it brought much better gas mileage than the giant American counterparts. In his words: “Advertising is the truth standing on its head to get attention.”
Consumers are savvy. They know what you have to offer has strengths and weaknesses. If you can honestly assess a perceived weakness and show your potential customers how this is instead an asset, you’ve just pulled a marketing coup. Embrace everything your company has to offer, warts and all.
Tip #4: Get Inspired By Your Customers
One of the first places to turn to when writer’s block comes knocking is to your database of testimonials. Your customers often have the ability to tout the awesomeness of your products or services better than anyone else — and their pitch will no doubt echo passion and sincerity.
Check out this marketing image from Uncommon Goods:
This kind of approach can be wildly effective. There’s no hard-sell marketing copy, no need for a pitch. Just strong, honest feedback on two featured products. It took creativity and foresight to plan this piece, but not a single word needed to be written.
Beware of a danger with testimonials, however — they absolutely need to sound, feel, and be real. It’s often more effective to use a customer’s full name and even Twitter handle (with their approval, of course), to legitimize the feedback.
Tip #5: Above All Else, Encite Genuine Action
This may seem obvious, but marketing efforts that don’t articulate a clear call to action result in just that — immovable results. It’s staggering to witness the volumes of marketing campaigns that work hard to create tone, intrigue, and even clear product descriptions, but unless you follow through with a clear and powerful call to action, folks won’t feel the psychological incentive to act on what you’ve shared.
How many times have you seen a commercial that left an impression, but you can’t for the life of you recall the actual advertised brand? Those are abysmal failures in the advertising world, and the Web is inundated with more examples every day. Whatever you are touting, always remind your audience how they can cash in on what you’ve worked so hard to educate them on.
What are some of the crafty marketing tactics you’ve used that showed the most impressive results? It’s always inspiring to hear success stories from our peers!
Image by BillsoPHOTO.