“Can you hear me now…”
This morning I was watching the Today show. They were featuring the Olympics in Rio and were attempting to interview Michael Phelps to find out his thoughts on carrying the torch into the opening ceremonies. However, they were having technical issues and were unable to successfully get the interview even though Micheal Phelps was only about 10 miles away from where they were set up on site.
After a few tries, Michael grabbed a phone and was able to hear the questions and finished the interview. When it was over they transitioned back to Savannah in the NY studio. She was holding a phone saying “Can you hear me now?”
Lately I’ve been super interested in marketing and why some content works better than others. This immediately got me thinking about why the “Can you hear me now…” campaign was so successful for Verizon a few years ago.
Let’s take a closer look together and see why so many connected with this content and how we can learn from it to create our own content to connect with our target audience.
If you are unfamiliar with the Verizon campaign, it was basically Verizon’s ‘Test Man’ walking around saying “Can you hear me now….pause…Good!” This campaign began in 2002 and lasted 9 years!!!
Wow!!! Almost a decade for a single campaign idea. That is pretty successful. So why? Why did this connect so well???
One reason I believe it was so successful is that it connected with their customer’s pain and frustration of not having good phone reception or even on a deeper note of not being heard. This got me thinking….what is a common pain or frustration that is experienced by my target audience?
Tip #1: Identify the pain
Depending on your business, take some time today to think through areas where your audience may feel like they are not being heard. Is there a common struggle that is not getting addressed where you can connect with them? Remember, online it is much more about engagement than it is about your product or service. If you can find a way to engage around this issue then you will begin to build loyal customers.
Another reason I believe the Verizon campaign was such a success was because it used the audiences words and not the sellers. I’m sure everyone that has ever used a mobile device has found themselves saying, “Can you hear me now…” We might not even realize that we were saying it.
As soon as the commercials hit the air we became even more aware of our problem and now we had a company that had the solution. Each time we used those words, it became a mental trigger that pointed us to Verizon. That brings us to our next tip!
Tip #2: Great content always starts in the mind of the audience
Think through the words that your audience may be using (even if they don’t realize it). If you can use their words and not your own then your chances of connecting are greatly increased. This may be a tough one and it might take some time.
Even if you can’t come up with the exact phrase like Verizon did, you are still on the right track about changing your mindset when it comes to online marketing. Our online audiences are very tired of seeing ad like content on the sites they visit for entertainment and to connect with friends and family. It’s time we give them the content they are actually looking for.
The last reason I think the Verizon campaign was so successful was because it brought clarity. It was basically saying that all the other features and benefits offered in cellular service did not matter if you couldn’t make a simple phone call. So how can we apply this to our online strategy?
Tip #3: The bottom line brings clarity
I love a bottom line! That is just my personality. Whether it be in conversations, books, messages, I always find myself looking for the bottom line. What is the main idea? If there isn’t one, then I can get a little frustrated.
We live in a world with option after option. Many of us suffer from ‘choice anxiety’. If you can cut back all the clutter of features and benefits and get to the core issue then your audience will appreciate it. We all like things simple.
The bottom line is: When you confuse, you loose your audience!
How can you get back to the basics with your product or service? What is the one thing that matters more than anything else? Your content will be a breath of fresh air if it is clear, clutter-free, and reminds them of the basic core need that they have.
Take some time today to think about what the bottom line is that you are trying to communicate in your online marketing. For example, the bottom line for this entire blog post is:
Your content must connect with your audience!
That was the most important point that I wanted to get across to those who are trying to market their home business or small business online.
I hope this gave you a few ideas and some practical tips to tweek your online content today.
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Have a healthy, happy week!
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