Tag Archives: Creative Marketing

Creating Sales vs Creating Connections

There’s a constant dilemma that comes up when you’re working with marketing and sales: how do you do business and sell your product or service without coming across as a smarmy salesman? In this age of online research and savvy consumers, you’ll get called out for inauthenticity in a heartbeat. It seems like there’s always someone goofing up with their online properties – from promoting their own irrelevant book during remembrance holidays to the latest social media meltdown. The internet never forgets, and it rarely forgives.

It comes down to this: in order to run a successful business, sales are part of the package, and you can’t make sales without, you know, trying to make sales. But what do you do when potential customers hate your ads, no matter what you try? How do you make your way into conversation without it being about how horrible your marketing is? What can you do to help people view your business in a positive light?

Connect With Customers
Photo Credit: brad montgomery via Compfight cc

This is often where we see a lot of disconnect in marketing, particularly social media marketing. Many business owners expect to pump out marketing and watch the sales roll in with minimal effort and no additional attention paid to ad creative or strategy. For small and medium-sized businesses that can’t afford their own advertising department, it can be extraordinarily difficult to create campaigns that hit on the right level. It’s simpler and more affordable to throw up copies of the print ads on Facebook and hope someone sees it.

A key factor in breaking out of the mold of yet-another-business-on-Facebook is the ability to give your company a human voice. This is so much easier said than done. You hear the advice over and over again – talk like a person, not a robot. Connect with your users. Incorporate personality. But that advice can be frustratingly vague and unhelpful.

Really, what all of these recommendations are aiming at is to try and get you to find that humanity in your business. Don’t tell people they should buy the thing. Show them why the thing is useful to their life. Connect on the human level. Will this make their life better? Improve their relationships? Connect them to loved ones?

We don’t want to say “find your angle,” because this shouldn’t be about finding an angle. This should be about discovering the heart of your business in a way that people can respond to.

So think about it. It’s okay to try to make sales, but also try to make connections. Consider what makes YOU want to purchase a product and apply it to your own marketing. Remember that many of the best businesses don’t forget their humanity.

Stephanie Wargin is the Social Media Strategist at Zenergy Works, a web design and SEO company located in Santa Rosa, California. Her friends like to brush her hair into her eyes whenever she talks about Facebook.

Sensory Marketing

Many advertisers known that a clever visual pun or well-crafted print advertising can have a big effect on potential customers. But what about branching beyond the visual? There are ways to flesh out advertisements to involve all five senses and give people more well-rounded insight into your brand.

Experiment with Sound

There’s a lot of multimedia out there that allows you to play on the auditory sense. Historically, we’ve used radio to reach people with sound. Today, many users are migrating away from traditional AM/FM radio and going online to streaming music applications like Spotify. The past few years have also shown an increase in YouTube users, blending visual and sound in short video form. Can you use these mediums?

This is an ideal time to get creative. Spotify allows the option of creating, sharing, or collaborating on playlists, which is perfect for a music-themed contest. You can apply this to virtually any business or service by having people create themed playlists for holidays, product releases, and more.

Experiment with Sound

Experiment with Touch

Touch can get complicated, but it’s not impossible to play with in your advertising. Instead of relying on tactile sensation, focus on creating engaging campaigns that inspire action in your followers. Community campaigns like flash mobs or eye-catching stunts that raise awareness are two potential ideas. Maybe stretch even further and hold an adopt-a-pet event at your store or office to bring in lots of foot traffic. Plus, fluffy puppies! Keep in mind that anything you do should somehow tie back into your business so it sticks in people’s memories.

Experiment with Touch

Experiment with Smell

Again, you don’t have to work with literal smells, as that might turn off some customers. Instead, think outside the box. One of our clients recently held a Pinterest contest where users posted pictures of all the things their dogs “love to smell.” This sort of marketing could work especially well for a food or fragrance-based business. Smell is closely tied to memory, so think of ways to link the two. Ask people to think of smells that remind them of a certain time in their life, or a special person. That’s a powerful emotional bond!

 Experiment with Smell

Experiment with Taste

If you can create an advertisement that evokes the sensation of taste, that’s incredible. Taste is a sense of comfort and exploration for many people. Help them imagine their grandmother’s home cooking, or have them offer up a relevant recipe. You can always hand out lollipops! Everybody loves lollipops.

Experiment with Taste

At the end of the day, experiments like these are really about thinking beyond the typical. While many websites are leaning more heavily on visuals and high-quality photography, multimedia is still playing a big part in how users are interacting with brands. Exploring other avenues may be just the thing that sets you apart.

Stephanie Wargin is the Social Media Strategist at Zenergy Works, a web design and SEO company located in Santa Rosa, California. Her friends like to brush her hair into her eyes whenever she talks about Facebook.