Not that often for me. Maybe only once or twice per month.
Now, if you are a guy, this might seem about right, or you might think I’m a lightweight for thinking about it that rarely. If you’re a woman, you might think, what the heck?!? Why do you think about the Roman Empire so often, or at all, since high school history class?
There is a funny trend around TikTok and Instagram right now where wives and girlfriends are asking their significant others how often they think about the Roman Empire, and the answers are almost universally,“I don’t know, not that often.” Then they ask, how often isn’t that often? “Maybe once or twice a week, or a month is all.” Then there are laughs and expressions of disbelief. “Why do you think about it so often?” Then the guy usually says something like, “It is an important part of history!” or “Men are warriors, we have to think about battle!”
It is an entertaining watch, search it up on your favorite social video network. As my one-track mind often does, this trend made me think about marketing lessons. First of all, trends can be powerful tools for getting attention from a broad audience. Piggybacking on a trend relevant to your brand and story can get some great attention.
My second thought was that I think about marketing every single day. For certain, way more than I think about the Roman Empire . I realize not everyone thinks about it that often, but we all have complex minds that have much to offer and we all have diverse interests and points of importance. My dad, for example, knows so much incredible detail about teams and individual athletes in most sports, with the possible exception of Soccer, but he probably knows about that too. On the other hand, I used to Google what sport was in season and read about some of the news about that sport when I would go to visit my parents, so I wouldn’t sound like a total failure of an only son to my dad. LOL. Luckily, he married my sisters off to lots of sports fanatics.
When you are developing a marketing message, it is important to put yourself in the shoes of your WHO (target audience). If you can tap into their interests and worries, you can provide answers to their needs. For example, if your target audience is Women over the age of 50, you might find they think about age-related issues, or changes to their body and looks. Men aged 25-35 might be thinking about their career and advancement opportunities. Men aged 65 + might be thinking about how much the world has changed while they enjoy reminiscing about the old days when things were simpler. No matter your WHO, they have thoughts that many across that demographic likely share. A great marketer knows how to tap into the mind of their potential client.
One of the most important ways to capture your clients’ attention is to know your WHY. Not the “Why” you’re in business, but WHY they do business with you. I often coach people to ask 5-10 of their clients why they’re doing business with you. This shouldn’t be your “friend clients,” but it should be your happy clients who aren’t so close to you that they will tell you what you want to hear. You need to get to the bottom of it. When you start to hear a consensus, you will be able to further define your messaging to capture the attention of your ideal client.
Once you know your WHY, you can then build a sales funnel around that messaging. See Below.
HERE ARE SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO GET AND KEEP ATTENTION
Know your WHO (target audience). What are their interests? What are their pain points? What kind of content do they consume? What are their other interests? The better you understand your WHO, the better you can create content that will resonate with them. For example, if your WHO also enjoys motocross sports, you should be advertising at motocross events and in information sources for motocross.
Be authentic. Be yourself and let your personality, and the personality you inject into your business, shine through in your marketing. Those who really are your WHO, will pay attention to what you have to say. Don’t try to be something or someone you aren’t. People will bond with you over sincerity and commonality with themselves.
Tell stories. Often when I talk to business people they tell me that they don’t think people know their story. They feel like people don’t realize what they do and why, and especially, how good they are at it. The best way to help people know your story is to use your marketing to tell that story.
People love stories, so find unique ways to tell your most impactful stories throughout your business and marketing. I have attended many volleyball tournaments with my kids. In Salt Lake City, there's a club called Club V. They are the biggest volleyball club in Utah. In their sports center, there are great big signs with the logos of all of the nearby colleges at the top. Underneath, they list each of the previous Club V players who have gone on to play at the college level. It is a very effective way to tell the story of how Club V can help you get to the next level of play.
Create visual content. Visual content is more engaging than text alone, so use images, videos, and infographics, to break up your text and make it more visually appealing. This is especially effective if you can tell stories with your imagery like Club V.
Use humor. Being funny can capture attention very effectively. Understand the sense of humor of your audience and target them specifically. It’s okay if you aren’t that funny, but a well-placed joke can help lighten the mood, and make your content more enjoyable to consume. Just be careful not to overdo it, as you don't want to come across as unprofessional.
Ask questions. Asking questions is a great way to get your audience involved and thinking about your topic. It can also help to start conversations that generate engagement. It can also reveal the pain points your potential client may have.
Make it easy to share your content. Include social sharing buttons on your website and blog posts to encourage your audience to share your content with their friends and followers. If something strikes a chord, people may share it, getting you free publicity.
ONCE YOU HAVE ATTENTION, IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP ATTENTION
Keep Track. Your customer list is more important than your product. If I was buying a company, one of the first questions I would ask is how many people are on your customer list? Knowing who they are and having a way to communicate with them is crucial.
Talk with them consistently. It probably seems cliche, but you should have a newsletter. Print or digital, either way, keep in touch with your people. A local day spa here sends out a print newsletter every month that gets them lots of return business because it continually reminds people to come back, and what their specials are.
Use your communication to tell stories. Tell everyone about your most engaging stories, and request stories from past clients. Just like nurturing past clients for 5-star reviews, you should also nurture people to get their stories. These stories will be the motivation for your future messaging.
Rewards Program. The reason all of your favorite restaurants have rewards programs is because they want to drop a reminder for you just at the right moment, so they can get you back to their restaurant. It is a great example of how to keep attention. It might not work exactly that way for your business, but think of some way to keep your current and past clients engaged.
Your marketing is just as much about getting new clients as it is about keeping your client’s attention on you. I had a friend tell me one time that he purchased a company in a neighboring state. Because he had spent so much money on the acquisition, he felt it was important to cut back on his advertising spend in our local market. He assumed that since they had been in business for 20+ years, they would be just fine skipping some marketing for a while.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work. Within a few months, their call volume had dropped like a rock. Once he put ads back in place, the most common comment he heard from his clients was, “I thought you had gone out of business.” Your fans are watching closely, your customers are watching vaguely, which is why they need constant nurturing.
Interact with your audience. Respond to comments and questions, and participate in conversations on social media. Always respond to bad reviews. Never blame, always take responsibility if you messed up, but just make sure to respond and tell your side of the story.
Finally, it's important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting and keeping attention. What works for one audience may not work for another. Experiment with different strategies to see what works best for your target audience.
Take it from a guy who thinks about the Roman Empire once or twice a month, but thinks about Marketing once or twice an hour, the number one goal of your marketing efforts is to Get and Keep Attention. I would love to hear about your experiences in effectively doing so.
Next week, I am going to write about my $1mm sales day that came about 100% from a Keeping Attention approach. It was all sold to previous clients after a year of nurture. Stay tuned.