Are you looking for ways to create more engaging and compelling content?
Engaging buyers is a regular theme in marketing conversations these days. Social Media Marketers are driving participation and encouraging people to become so engaged with a brand that they own the responsibility of creating content and sharing their enthusiasm. Loyalty and Relationship Marketers are encouraging enrollment in their programs to keep people engaged with a brand on an ongoing basis. Advertisers are constantly trying to break through the clutter to get people to take notice of their messages. Salespeople are looking for ways to gain attention from their prospects so they remember how and why their product is worth considering. Sound familiar to you? Then read through this list of Engagement Energy boosters and think about how to add them to create more compelling content and communications.
What is Engagement EnergySM?
For the purposes of this article, I’m talking about Engagement Energy in terms of activating a person’s brain when they are exposed to any form of communication. Imagine having a switch that activates your buyers’ brains and automatically gets them to pay attention to what you have to say. Better yet, what if you could get them to say “yes” to what you’re asking them to do?
These techniques are based on findings from a collection of psychologists and neuroscientists who study ways to stimulate the brain. Here, I’m sharing an overview of some action-oriented tools, with just a little of the psychology for you. But if you’d like to read more on the topic, visit my Pinterest Board http://pinterest.com/drr1/ to see the books that support these ideas and serve as the basis for the tools and talks I use to help brands accelerate the power of their sales and marketing messages.
Are you ready to capture your audience’s attention and generate laser-focus on what you have to say? If so, here’s ten ways you can add Engagement Energy into your Marketing Communications…
Are you asking your audience enough questions? Questions are a powerful brain stimulator. Our natural tendency is to answer a question when it’s asked. This is a technique I use in my marketing classes, and even with today’s multi-tasking students, it works to gain their attention. Ask skillfully crafted questions that heighten a buyer’s need to consider your product.
What would you do if right in the middle of reading this article the fire alarm in your building went off? The decision-making brain solves problems quickly. Chances are you would have no problem deciding what to take with you, grab it, and scoot out the door safely. Activate this reflex for your audience by presenting the problem that your product solves. Hopefully, they’ll see your product as their solution.
People love a good story. Stories are easy to listen to, add emotion to situations, develop characters that readers can relate to, and help people remember even complex details and content. When told well, people listening to stories jump into the situation and imagine themselves in that situation. What well-crafted brand stories can you tell that will make a lasting impression with your buyers?
Why is someone’s life better with your product than without it? How is your product better than your competitors’? Can you create a timeline to show someone how they will see benefit from using your product over time? The decision-making brain is good at making comparisons. Point out the key points of difference and advantages of using your product. It makes it easier for customers to choose you.
Many of these Engagement Energy boosters are designed to create an almost instant reaction or decision from people. This is why it is said that decisions are made irrationally. Provide proof to show someone that the initial arousal he or she is experiencing is right, and that the decision can be supported rationally. An aroused buyer wants to know that his or her decision is a good one.
As the saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Parts of the brain respond very quickly to strong visuals. They are an extremely powerful way of capturing attention and engaging a person’s brain. What pictures can you use to highlight the need for your product, or demonstrate a key advantage of your product, or show your product in use, or highlight the types of people who enjoy your product?
Have you read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie? Books like these stress the importance of establishing rapport with people quickly. When someone meets a person similar to themself, he or she says instantly, “There’s something about this person I like.” Mirror your prospects to show others like them in realistic product situations. This establishes rapport and builds trust.
What if every sales presentation you ever made was full of bright-eyed audience members that were enthralled during the entire presentation. Imagine every letter or email you wrote was read from start to finish. How many more sales do you think you would have made? Create opportunities for people to imagine how their life will be better with your product. Reflection has powerful persuasion effects.
I learned the power of this tactic early in my career selling Maytag appliances to retailers and training their salespeople to justify a higher price. One of my favorite props was a quarter. I challenged sales people to chip the top of a Maytag washer or dryer by attacking it with my quarter. They loved using this concrete demonstration with customers and remembered details about the top’s high-quality finish.
The decision-making brain is very self-centered. It is constantly scanning the environment asking, “What’s In It For Me?” So a powerful way to add Engagement Energy into your pitches, letters, emails, website content etc. is to convert every “We”or “I” to “You.” This switches the sense of the message from being all about you to being all about your reader or listener. People really care about themselves.
Give it try
When I coach brands on applying these psychological principles so they can skillfully craft stronger sales and marketing messages that capture attention and get remembered, many times we start with an audit of a current communication piece. Then we look for ways to infuse more Engagement Energy into the piece so they can get a before and after look. We do this interactively in a group setting. But, you may want to try the same thing for yourself. Take a presentation, an email, or a page from your website. See if you can make the piece more effective by applying one or more of these techniques. I’d love to hear how it goes. Will you please share your experience?
Reprinted with permission