I don’t know about you but I’m transfixed by hack videos on Facebook. Cleaning hacks, beauty hacks, cooking hacks, they are oddly addictive, even if I never use what I have learnt! But what about marketing hacks? Can you really shortcut marketing and storytelling?
Damn straight you can!
Here are my top 3 marketing hacks
Marketing hack #1
The so-what test
If your customers can quickly understand the value that you offer, they are more likely to buy from you. Yet so many businesses bury that value underneath a load of marketing fluff designed to make them look clever, without ever thinking about the customer.
With this fool proof method, you can put your customer value at the front and centre of everything.
So here’s the trick. With every statement you make, everything you write, keep asking the question “so what does this actually mean for my customer?”
Take my business for example. I could say I write stories for small businesses. So what?
Ok well, I help businesses use storytelling techniques to market themselves better. Yes ok, but so what?
I help businesses use storytelling to attract new customers and create deeper connections. Ok, we’re getting somewhere now but so what does that actually mean?
I help small businesses owners achieve their ambitions of growing a successful, sustainable brand using story-telling led marketing techniques. Boom! There it is.
This is the point where you can’t ask ‘so what’ anymore because you’ve already answered it in your statement.
Your customer’s minds are very hectic and busy. Showing the value to them upfront will, at the very least, catch their attention, giving you an opportunity to tell them more about what you do and what they would get from working with you.
So next time you are writing something or looking at how you talk about your products or services, have in the back of you mind, or in massive bloomin’ letters on a post-it note in front of you – SO WHAT?
Marketing hack #2
Whose brand is it anyway?
This is a great way to make sure you focus on what is truly unique about your business.
Grab some paper and write the name of your brand at the top. Then list down all the reasons why a customer should buy from you.
Now, cover over your brand and imagine the name of your biggest competitor there instead. Go back through your list and highlight all the things they could also say about themselves. It’s not easy but be really honest with yourself.
Whatever you haven’t highlighted – these are your truly unique selling points (USPs). Make sure these features heavily in your marketing. (After doing the old ‘so what’ test of course, so your customers understand what it means for them!)
Don’t worry if you highlight everything. Take what I do, for example. There is a lot of competition with other marketing agencies, freelancers and consultants. My offering is not necessarily unique but I do believe I can do it better than others. So have a look back at your list and ask yourself what is it that you can do better, if not different.
Have a think about your culture, your values, how you work with your customers. Do they come to you because you are more personable and easier to deal with? Maybe you have a specific experience that offers a unique viewpoint or empathy with their needs? Or could it be that your product is more sustainable in line with their own beliefs?
Finally, make sure you have evidence to back up your USPs. This could be a testimonial, online review, some research or even something that a journalist, influencer or specialist in your industry has said about your brand.
And don’t forget, when you have your final list – run the so-what test!
Marketing hack #3
The uncomfortable read
This is maybe the easiest hack but it’s the one I use every single day. It will help you write brilliantly and authentically. And, more importantly, it will stop you wasting hours trying to write how you ‘think’ you should write rather than what your customers really want to read.
Never underestimate the power of plain English – this is something I learned early on in my career. Even if, like me, you work in an industry notorious for jargon and techno babble, keeping it simple is much more effective. This means writing as you would speak.
So here’s my top. Every time you write something, read it aloud.
If you stumble over any of the words, if they jar with you as you speak or if reading them makes you feel all ‘icky, they are not right. Go back and re-draft and keep doing this until you feel totally comfortable reading it aloud. This is when you know you’ve nailed it and your customers will thank you for it.
Just don’t forget the so-what test!!
To find out more about how I can help your business grow through storytelling-led marketing, visit www.22-stories.com or follow me on Instagram @22storiesandme.contentmarketingmarketinghacksmarketingtipssmallbusinessmarketing