What one thing do all of the best stories ever told, having common that you can actually take and implement in your marketing and advertising to get more results?
The world of marketing and advertising is largely focused around this question of how do we capture an audience’s attention and then maintain that attention over time.
What if I told you that there is a common characteristic shared among all of the best stories ever told, whether it’s through books, television shows, and movies that you can actually take and implement in your marketing and advertising to get more results.
All great stories have one thing…
What we’re talking about here is the importance of having conflict in your marketing and advertising. Simply put, conflict is the challenge or obstacle that needs to be overcome or the question in the viewer’s mind that they have to continue watching or continue reading to find out the answer.
It’s important to remember that conflict doesn’t always have to be this big dramatic catastrophe. Again, sometimes it’s as simple as a question that you put in the viewer’s mind.
Why is conflict so important for you to use in your marketing and advertising?
When we use conflict, we can guide our audience to where they should put their attention. This is because as humans, we usually pay attention to things that need answers or needs solving.
Here’s a perfect example. One of the most popular television shows in recent history is Breaking Bad. How boring would Breaking Bad have been if nothing bad ever happened to Walter White?
Nobody would watch the show.
How to implement conflict in your marketing
At the simplest level, start by thinking about what challenges or pain points that your audience faces that your product or service actually solves. Starting with this rather than just coming right out the gate with your features and benefits is going to make your marketing more engaging and more effective.
Even better, this is where Story comes in for your marketing and advertising.
Let’s say you’re producing client testimonials. Nobody wants to sit and watch or read somebody speaking point blank about how great your company is. But if they start with a story about a problem that they faced or something that stood in the way of them getting what they want and then how you actually helped them get there, that’s going to be so much more relatable to the audience.
This is what holds their attention because they want to stick around and find out what happens next.
What we’re doing by implementing conflict is we’re creating what’s called “open loops” in the viewer’s mind. This is what piques their interests and keeps them engaged so they want to find out what the answer. At this point, you will start to see higher engagement rates, longer watch times, and ultimately better results.
So go ahead and give this a try for yourself. When you’re looking at a new marketing campaign or a piece of copy, ask yourself, what’s the conflict here? Is this enough to pique the audience’s interests and does it ultimately lead to our key message to what we’re trying to deliver? As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments. How have you used conflict in the past? Be sure to share this with a friend.
Every year, companies and brands of all sizes pour billions of dollars into advertising and marketing.
And rightfully so. What good is the next life-changing technology or impactful service if nobody knows about it.
But sometimes, it seems like there can be a disconnect between the brand and the consumer. We’re constantly surrounded by ads and marketing materials that seem to be more catered to the Board of Directors or executive team than to the end consumer that is meant to be served.
This can mean wasted advertising dollars and resources. Not only that but if your marketing isn’t relatable or authentic to the audience, you could be causing long-term damage to your brand.
Here are 3 tips that you and your marketing team can implement to ensure that your marketing builds trust and ultimately leads to more results.
1. Show, Don’t Tell
Far too many businesses are making bold claims about how they can “get you to the next level” or “make a happier and healthier you”. Or how many times have you seen a business commercial where they claim to be “innovative” or “disruptive” with nothing to back it up?
Whether is promoting innovation, company culture, or the benefits you bring, I want you to make this your mantra when marketing from now on:
Show, Don’t Tell.
Instead of claiming how “innovative” you are. Give an example of something your company has done to innovate in your space. Instead of simply stating that you have a great company culture, tell a story of how an employee or customer’s life was positively impacted as a result of having a great culture.
At first, it might feel risky to not outright say what you want your audience to take away, but as long as your story is a clear example of what you are trying to promote, it will work.
And even better, it will help build trust because you are showing real impact, not just throwing out corporate buzzwords.
2. Stop Talking About Yourself
Nobody cares about your industry awards, large team of employees, or advanced technology.
At least not yet. Not until you give them a reason to care.
Humans are largely driven by the question of “What’s in it for me?” It doesn’t mean we’re all selfish. From an evolutionary perspective, this was key survival. So before you start bragging about how awesome your company is or how great your products are you must first speak to the needs of your audience.
How can you do this?
Start by putting them at the center of your marketing messaging. Make them the hero of the story. Your job is to help them on their journey.
Once you’ve identified and addressed their challenges, dreams, and desires then you can speak about how your org or your product is best suited to help them on their path. But be sure to always keep it relevant to your audience and think “What’s in it for them?”
3. Focus on Emotional Impact over Statistics
It’s been proven that we usually make our decisions based on emotion, then reason with logic. When you’re creating any marketing materials whether it’s advertisements, videos, brochures, or even pitch decks focus on creating an emotional response in the audience.
While facts and figures can be powerful for building credibility, they are just not that relatable.
Of course, people want to see results. But most importantly, how will those results positively impact your customers lives on an emotional level.
For example, there’s a tendency in the B2B world to believe that business owners only care about ROI or quantifiable growth. Obviously, these things are very important to speak to and are going to be big drivers in the decision-making process.
But if you can just look a layer deeper and think about how those results will make your clients feel your marketing will become much more powerful.
As you are creating marketing materials and campaigns moving forward, think about these three mantras:
Show, Not Tell
What’s In It For Them?
How Do We Want the Audience to Feel?
Maybe even print them out and post them up on your wall or in your marketing department. This will ensure that your marketing if more authentic, relevant, and trustworthy. Which means more results and less guesswork.
Are there any other mantras that you live by for your marketing? Let us know in the comments and share with a fellow marketer/business leader.