When you turn on the TV or when you check my email, do you expect 90% of the messages to feel salesy.
While those messages “work” do you feel more turned off than turned-on by the product offer?
Maybe it’s because you can spot bullshit a mile away.
Maybe it’s because you’ve been burned by those enticing sales messages that grabbed you…and you fell for them hook, line and sinker. (Feeling more sunk than anything.)
In the traditional marketing space, persuasive copy is what get’s the sale.
I recently came across an article in The New Yorker that disturbed me.
How Essential Oils Became the Cure for Our Age of AnxietyAromatic oils have become big business. But are they medicine or marketing? (newyorker.com)
As well as a marketer, I’m also a certified aromatherapist and built the brand Ba6 Botanicals around the concept that natural products are good for you, when used the right way.
When I read articles like, while I am so glad it calls companies out, it’s very concerning what companies will say in their marketing messages in order to drive revenue.
Salesy marketing may be good for sales, but is it good for business?
What if all that changed?
When you got your smartphone, did you feel it was made just for you?
Apple’s marketing messages are persuasive, yes, but it’s because they started with WHY.
Don’t think of Apple as having a single “marketing department” that controls all its advertising and design, rather, the whole company, and its customers, are the marketing department. (Kissmetrrics.com)
How about you washing machine?
How can everyday products make you feel like they actually changed your world?
What do these messages have in common?
They have their customer in mind.
They are asking the tough questions…and then they are listening.
WHY do they need a product like ours?
What are the messy things in life they want help with?
“It’s a sea of cold metal. Everyone is really saying the same thing,” said Mike Frease, senior VP-group creative director at DigitasLBi, who has worked on the Whirlpool account for almost four years. “All appliance makers are about making your life easier, which isn’t something you can grasp a whole lot as a human being—it’s about connecting with someone and saying, ‘We understand what it’s like to care for someone every day.'” (Adage.com)
The HERO makes the message
What do I mean by HERO?
Not the super hero type, the chiseled ultra-human that defeats all odds to save the day.
Or the Maytag man (though he is pretty awesome.)
This is what most people think about HEROs.
The mighty ones that comes in and saves the day! Ta Ta TA Taaaaa
What if the HERO was not who you thought!
What if the hero was meek?
What if the hero was an average person?
What if the HERO wasn’t you and your business, trying to save the day?
What if the HERO is your customer?
In literature, there is a framework of tale telling called the Hero’s Journey.
There is a person whose life feels unsettled, boring, not quite right. This person, being called to change, doesn’t know where to start so they set out on a journey to “find answers.” This person comes across a teacher, a mentor, who shows them the proverbial WAY! Feeling the change, the person goes back to normal life transformed!
You’re ideal customer is the reluctant HERO…you are the mentor/the teacher. I talk more about this in Episode 13 The Yoda of Your Marketing You Are – How to use the Hero’s Journey to write better marketing content.
Now go back and look at the examples, the pictures, the messages.
Do they feel salesy to you?
Or, do they feel like they are speaking directly to you, like they have an insight into your life?
Like the Whirlpool messages…”don’t poop, don’t poop” or the dog with muddy paws pulling all the covers off the bed, or “she just threw up all over me.”
We have all been there!
It’s our life right there in front of us!
It’s the everyday person looking for a way to make life a little easier along the way.
Write with the customer in mind
So, when you write your copy, when you create content start with the customer in mind.
- Start by knowing the problem or situation
What is going on it her life? What is she fed up with or frustrated about?
- Talk about the implications
What will it mean to her if nothing changes? How will she feel? What will life look like if she stays stuck in the moment?
This shows that you not only understand the issues she’s facing, but you get what it means if nothing changes.
- Help her understand what she needs and offer solutions
As the mentor and the teacher, you are here to help. Let her know you understand what she needs and offer some solutions. Help you visualize her life in a new way.
- Remember the Call to Action
All the solutions in the world won’t help if your customer doesn’t take the next steps forward. Walk her through what she needs to do next.
The best HERO Worship messages will have happy endings
Unlike marketing messages that hook you, persuade you to buy, then have you second guessing your decision after the money is spent, writing marketing content using this framework is all about customer satisfaction first.
Helping your ideal reader through the process and leaving them feeling GOOD about their decisions will build loyalty with your customers and help you build a strong brand.