Do you feel like your marketing needs a makeover? Does your bounce rate need a boost, your conversions need a kick, your traffic require a tap? And do you need to cease the incessancy of annoying alliteration in your activities?
In all seriousness, marketing can sometimes feel like dragging over old ground again, and again. In today’s crowded marketplace, it doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you need to be able to stand out from the crowd. Think of the marketing world as a big ball of noise, and you need to be the refreshing silence that makes the biggest impact of all.
Marketing doesn’t have to be loud, or brash, or expensive. It simply needs to be so damn clever that your customers can’t resist sitting up and listening. Here are some of our top tips to help you really get creative with your marketing, and stand out from the crowd like a fluorescent bikini at a funeral.
What’s your angle?
Think back to the last marketing campaign that really caught your attention. What was it that made you click, or listen, or watch that ad? Big brands can do big things, like Windhoek, who recently started delivering free beer to festival-goers in South Africa, by drone, or Hellmann’s who installed shopping carts with NFC tablets in Brazilian supermarkets, which suggested recipes as you shopped.
It’s likely that you’re not Hellmann’s, or that you have the budget for drones or free beer (we wish!), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your angle. Let’s take a more realistic example and work it through.
Imagine you’re marketing a new, eco-friendly mineral water, packaged in a recyclable water bottle. From a little Google research, we’ve come up with a few different angles to kick things off:
- This is the water bottle of the future (futuristic, trend setting, exciting)
- Drinking from plastic bottles will kill you (playing on fear)
- New evidence that this water could stop climate change (topical, popular)
- Boost your sex drive with eco-friendly water (magnet-like, click bait content!)
In just a couple of minutes, we’ve got four very different angles for our marketing, each of which could easily be turned into a hot campaign. Each angle leads us towards a good three or four pieces of content, which can be shared far and wide with relevant audiences. Blog posts could be accompanied by video, by infographic, by interviews with experts… the list goes on.
It takes some creative juice to see the different angles, but without doubt, a solid angle for your marketing story can propel a brand into a whole different league. Get your thinking caps on girls and boys!
What are you trying to say?
Eat fresh. Have it your way. I’m lovin’ it!
If your mouth is beginning to water, you’re already getting the point. Sometimes there’s a better way to say something than, well, just saying it. Across the pond, burger chair Wendy’s had a 1980’s hit with their ‘Where’s the beef?’ campaign. The slogan resonated with so many of the burger munching public, the phrase is still coined today in the event that any red blooded American dare to be served a burger that’s somewhat underweight.
It was a clever bit of marketing by Wendy’s, which proved that you don’t always have to be a complete creative genius; sometimes you just need to make a point that nobody else has thought to make.
Other times, it works better to just tell it like it is. Think of Max Factor, and hopefully you’re already thinking ‘the makeup of makeup artists’. Point made, clearly, professional makeup artists like to use Max Factor. No fluff, no fuss, just a clear, concise and believable point.
Whether it does exactly what is says on the tin or you are looking for ideas for life (see what we did there?), finding a way to say what you want to say in an appealing, memorable way is probably your biggest challenge. And it’s more than just a strapline or slogan too; this thought process is going to lead you towards creating brand voice, identity and messaging, so it’s worth spending a good chunk of time in getting it right.
What am I looking at?
Sensory stimulation is all part of the holistic B2B marketing experience, so make the experience beautiful. You take the time to craft your words with care and loving attention, so why spoil things by slapping a run-of-the-mill stock photo next to your content? Images as so powerful these days, and, let’s face it, we’re somewhat spoilt when it comes to beautiful visuals.
Today, the camera on most people’s smartphone outpaces the SLR’s of ten years ago. We’ve got 4K HD in our lounges, 4G YouTube in our pockets and everything that the Pandora’s box of Instagram can serve up. Our eyes are used to feasting on images worthy of a couple of Michelin stars, so entering the dining room with a Happy Meal is never going to do the trick.
Consumers expect flawless beauty and effortless brilliance when it comes to images, so give them what they want. Think angles, concepts, situations, colours, light, focus… if you can’t afford to hire a pro, do your best with the best camera you can afford, then hire a photoshop whizz to give it the professional touch. Great photos will garner great shares, and lots of them, so don’t scrimp when it comes to visually beautiful marketing.
Why the heck should I care?
Our final ‘tip’, if you like, in our creative marketing masterclass is to engender the care and attention of your target market. This one starts not at the drawing board, in the board room, or even with a mood board, but somewhere you might feel a bit bored; the data.
We feel your collective groan, but if you’re not getting this part right, you might as well put everything else in the bin. You need to get inside the brains of your customers (not in a creepy honey I shrunk the kids way though) so you can understand what makes them tick. What do they want to hear about? How can you solve their problems? How far can you push them?
There’s a fine line between being cutting edge and being ridiculous, and finding that line for your target audience is a crucial step in this process. Narrow down the space between you and that line by:
- Competitor analysis: What are your peers doing that worked or didn’t work. Why?
- Customer analysis: Who are they, where do they hang out, what do they like?
- Need analysis: What problem does your product or service solve for them?
- Testing: What’s working for you, and what isn’t and why?
You can (and should) go on forever refining your knowledge of your customers and their needs. As dear Sir Francis Bacon once said, ipsa scientia potestas est, knowledge is power, and when it comes to marketing, the more you know, the more you grow. Can your customers handle extreme marketing? Could you do something wild and crazy? Only a thorough crunching of numbers will tell you for sure!
Creative marketing isn’t always about being the most outlandish, nor is it about having the most creative mind in the business. Sometimes, it’s just about pushing the right buttons, and creating something that is truly unique and designed for our customers. For more support with creative marketing strategies, talk to our team.