Your audience needs to feel an emotional connection with your brand in order to be invested in them, in order to cheer for them like they do a favorite team at the Superbowl.
One way brands can do that is by ensuring their editorial calendar is mindful of dates in the year when everyone is more emotionally invested in the things and people they love. Events like Christmas, Valentines and the Superbowl all come around once a year – so marketers can prepare well in advance. Many do, but not all succeed in pulling off a touchdown.
Sometimes, when brands prepare marketing for these dates they can do it beautifully (even if the spin is unexpected).
Normally unfortunate brands, like the Seahawks on Martin Luther King Day, don’t know they’ve blundered until a story goes viral on Mashable, and they have to fire the unfortunate intern who sent the offending Tweet. A certain amount of common sense and sensitivity is needed, especially when an idea sounds good in a coffee-fueled afternoon meeting, but falls flat, or worse, offends, when your audience engages with the content.
That’s because there’s a big difference between what a small group of people think sounds like a good idea and what your audience wants. The problem is you can’t ask them all the time what they want. Well, not exactly – but with engagement marketing tools like Attentively you can come as close as possible to having a real-time audience focus group.
This doesn’t mean you’ll knock every idea out the park, but it will improve your batting average.
Engagement marketing, based on social data, will help you move away from the one-size-fits-all approach and concentrate on what will resonate more strongly with your audience.
1. Take their pulse. Use social data to backup your great idea or get instant feedback if you’re not sure. In the Seahawks example, they could have used an engagement marketing tool like Attentive.ly and run a search on terms like “MKL” to see exactly how their fans were talking about it. It’s likely such social mentions would have had a tone of deep respect.
2. Mirror popular terms. The words people use, and how they use them, is a window into their personalities. Deploying similar language in your copy, providing it resonates with your brand values, is the best way to create synergy with your audience.
3. Look at what they find funny. Language is one window into someone’s personality. Humour is another. Just look at the success of BuzzFeed as a content producer: bringing together niche topics with humour, with listicles and images or GIFs. This doesn’t mean every brand should imitate BuzzFeed or Unworthy, but borrowing a few of their ideas is an effective way of giving your audience more of what they want: laughs.
Extra Credit! Write and Rewrite CTA’s and Headlines. One tactic that works well for Upworthy is writing headlines at least 25 times before they run with the right one. Test your calls to action to see what language works well with your audience based on clicks, what has worked previous times, and if possible, how that ties to a seasonal content event, like Valentines Day.
Attentive.ly drives engagement with your digital campaigns by turning your existing audience into advocates.