Why do millions of people enjoy watching super bowl ads? It’s because they’re funny, creative and on the edge. They capture people’s attention and let them escape for a moment. When you brand and market your business, you should try to achieve those things and have the goal of being a place users want to turn to, a place where they can linger, and gain value.
Truthfully, though, your most basic objective is to catch their attention– to be a diversion. Here are six ways to get people to notice you, and pause a moment.
1. Interesting and Weird Facts
An easy enough method is finding, curating and posting interesting or weird facts. You can also tie this back to your business by posting those kinds of facts about the industry you are in, or to relate a funny anecdote..
For example, if you owned a bicycle shop you could post interesting stories about bicycles 50 years ago on your website, or facts about it on your social media. The point is you are not posting overtly promotional information, you are presenting information your target market likely enjoys.
You should post information about your business, but a good rule of thumb is, if it’s interesting to you it will be interesting to others; it will catch their attention and influence how they feel about your business.
2. Photographs, Images and Infographics
If you’re in a market that is aesthetically pleasing you can reach out to your customers through photographs.A floral shop that posts beautiful pictures of their floral arrangements is a lot more likely to get customers than one that just advertises about them. This approach can work for many businesses. You can also mix it up by offering pictures of your product as well as other pictures that are just really worth seeing.
That’s the entire point of Pinterest, and why it’s such a huge success. Did you know that Pinterest is responsible for more social media referrals to business websites than any other platform? It’s not advertising– it’s eye candy.
Would you want to read about promotional deals and cheesy advertisements a company posts online? Or would you want to read a funny or interesting fact or see a cool picture? You’re audience has the same kind attitude. Who you post to is more than your customers; they are also your audience.
Social media is really the place to offer one liners or witty snippets of information. Obviously this approach depends on what the business is and the image it aims to present. For instance if you owned a mortuary, you probably shouldn’t post jokes on your website or social media profiles. However, if the product or service you offer has a more playful image this may be the ideal way to reach out to your customers. Humor also tends to have a “viral” nature, helping your links travel further among friends.
Of course, you don’t have to try to be funny in posts to convey a light-hearted attitude. All of your content, from static web copy, to error pages, to emails can be fun. Make your audience smile, no matter how small the gesture.
4. Promotional Items
There is a reason that squeezy stress balls, light-up pens, office games, massagers and other fun “time-wasters” make for such great promotional material. The world isn’t 100% digital, and it never will be. Your diversion tactics can extend offline as well. Promotional items help you get your brand in the room when people are brainstorming, having a meeting, or completely zoning out. Remember, you don’t need to teach something factual or pitch a product with every marketing impression– diversions are valuable.
5. Useful, Timely Blog Posts and Guest Posts
You can give your clients and prospects a reason to engage in some “appointment” web-surfing, if you come out with a worthwhile blog post on a regular schedule. It certainly doesn’t have to be every day, but weekly or twice a week is a good frequency. Make sure you don’t post just for the sake of it, however. For readers to subscribe to your feed or come back on a regular basis, you’ve got to deliver the goods.
Don’t have enough readers to make blogging efforts worth it? Blog on a more popular site where your prospects are likely to be! It’s just as easy, and more people are going to see your work. No brainer.
6. Free Seminars, Webinars, eBooks and How-to Guides
Not everyone has the bandwidth needed to produce useful instructional materials, much less events. However, sharing your expertise in a well-organized and compelling “course” of some sort is a brilliant corporate escape.
Sure, it showcases your knowledge, positions you as an authority and can even close a sale. But depending upon when and where your content shows up in front of a viewer, your objective is to own their eyeballs for a spell. You do that by delivering content they really want to see. And that’s true for all of these “diversions.” Get them to look and to think about you, then get them to hang around a while. Ads can’t do that– not by a long shot.
Image credit: www.morguefile.com/archive/display/42308
Richard Larson is Brand Manager at GoPromotional.com, the UK’s premiere online supplier of promotional mugs and printed mugs.