Do you struggle to market your business because…well…it’s just not that exciting? Obviously, you know the worth of your offerings, and you believe in them. But some things are naturally showier than others, and that can leave us at a loss when we’re trying to make an impression. Never fear! There are plenty of ways to make your business shine online. Let’s talk about just a few.
A remarkable number of long-standing brands have found their footing in the digital age by demonstrating a sense of humor. Denny’s, that mecca of breakfast food, has an incredibly popular Tumblr and almost half a million followers on Twitter, all because of their funny (and sometimes downright weird) posts. One recent example is a photograph of a pancake on a sidewalk crack with the caption, “just out here savin’ mothers’ backs.” Other brands, like Wendy’s, engage in good-natured bickering with other brands and even run-of-the-mill Twitter users. They’ve become famous for their quick-witted comebacks. When a heckler asked them for the location of the nearest McDonald’s, they replied with a photo of a garbage can. None of this, you’ll notice, is really about the food. No one is offering bargains or showcasing a new product. But the persona each brand develops creates customer loyalty. For Denny’s, it seems to be yielding higher stock prices, as well as a stronger social media following.
One of the many reasons YouTube has become so popular is because it turns the world into a skillshare. In 2015, YouTube users logged over 100 million hours watching “how-to” videos—in the first five months alone! It doesn’t matter what you’re marketing. Show your customers how to use what they bought, or how to select the right contractor to do the work for them. If you don’t fancy making video content of your own, share useful videos others have made to your social media pages. Blue Apron delivers ingredients and recipes to American families, selling about 8 million meals per month. They’re quick to post third-party videos about ingredients they’ve sourced—sometimes to show customers what they are, other times to explain the factors that affect availability. Customers subscribe to Blue Apron because they’re short on time but value a home-cooked meal. Educating them makes them more comfortable using what they receive. It also forms a partnership between cooks and the company that makes customers more likely to stick with the service long-term.
Focus On Outcomes
No matter what you’re selling, there’s a reason why your customers want it. So think it through. Once they’ve purchased your product or service, how will things change for them? If you offer a housecleaning service, for example, what could people do with the time they’ve saved by outsourcing the housekeeping? Focus your marketing efforts on crafting a vision of what life looks like for your satisfied customers. Show leads what’s possible. Presenting outcomes neatly sidesteps the “how will I make my product appealing” conundrum while still solving your problem!
Often, we fall into the trap of modeling our marketing efforts on what’s “normal” within our industry. Once we raise the issue you see the problem, right? How are you going to stand out if your branding looks like everyone else’s? Don’t be afraid to break out of the mold. Companies like Apple have done so with great success. The sheer simplicity of their ads and packaging is part of what makes them so appealing. But this extends to customer interactions, too. JetBlue has become known for responding to customer concerns on Twitter in real time. They’ve decided to lean into it. They’re switching to a new platform that consolidates all their social media accounts into one unified feed. In all likelihood, this phenomenon began with a few enterprising employees, but it’s evolved into a strategy that makes JetBlue stand out from larger airlines.
No matter what you’re selling, there are so many ways to catapult your brand into the public eye in a new way…and they probably sound like a lot more fun than what you’re doing now. Consider which of these options feel like a natural fit for you and your business, then shake up your strategy a bit!