Is Your Marketing Too Self-Centered?
Author: Jeremy Harrison
Do you spend time creating marketing content that doesn’t get any engagement?
Are you starting to wonder if it’s even worth your time?
If you’re lacking engagement and gaining frustration, it may be that your marketing is too self-centered.
Understanding Customer Needs
Consider this. Why will you sit down and watch a two-hour Hollywood movie, but stop watching a five minute video after 30 seconds? The answer is surprisingly simple.
Businesses tend to share information that ultimately doesn’t matter to their customers. When your customers come to you, they have a problem and they’re counting on you to have a solution.
However, rather than providing the customer with a solution, businesses create content that is too self-centered. It often sounds something like this:
That content will fail to keep the customer’s attention, because it’s too much about you. To get and keep their attention, you must tell a story. A story not about you, but about them.
7 Parts of an Engaging Story
Hollywood understands that there’s a basic structure behind every great story known as the Hero’s Journey.
There are seven parts to an engaging story which can transform the way you do marketing.
Part #1: The Hero
In every great story there’s a hero. We like this hero because we can relate to them in some way, or we wish we could be like them.
Part #2: The Problem
In every story the hero has a problem that is so big, the hero can’t overcome it on their own.
Part #3: The Guide
Rather than watching the hero continue to struggle with their big problem, that hero meets a guide.
Part #4: The Plan
But, the guide doesn’t just come in and fix the problem. Instead, they provide the hero with a plan.
Part #5: The Call-to-Action
This plan calls the hero to take action. The guide often walks alongside the hero, and helps them, encourages them, urges them to move forward, while the hero is weighing success and failure and deciding if they want to step into change.
Part #6 and #7: Success and Failure
The hero is often hesitant to follow the plan. Change is scary. They have to weigh the options of success and failure and decide if they want to follow the plan.
They must ask themselves: what could happen if they make the change, and what would happen if they stay the same?
What’s the benefit? What’s at stake?
The point of this seven step journey is to realize that your business is not the hero of your story. It’s the customer.
Telling the Right Story
When thinking about your target audience, you have to tell a story customers can relate to.
This starts by understanding who your hero customer is.
You can do this by creating avatars. This just means you need to establish your most common customer(s) and understand their problems and needs, then guide them with a plan for success your business can provide.
For example, if you’re marketing a bank, a newly married couple in need of a home loan isn’t going to care what year your bank was established or how many individuals you serve. They want to see how others like them were able to overcome common challenges with ease and afford their dream home. You, as a marketer, have to cater to their problems and be a solution.
You want to create a sense of empathy and credibility for your client so they know they can trust and rely on your business. Seeing it firsthand through a story is more engaging and trustworthy than simply reading “services you can trust.”
You can establish your avatar’s characteristics by filling in the sheet below.
Don’t let your marketing stay self-centered. Let these ideas guide you to better results.
You can start by filling out the avatar creation worksheet, or if you don’t feel you’re ready to conquer it alone contact me.