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What’s your backstory?
I guess I have a humble beginning like most entrepreneurs. Divorced parents, raised on state aid, didn’t want to see people struggle and decided to make a difference instead of getting beat up by the punches life throws at you. At 12 years old I dabbled in code, building custom MySpace profiles for friends for $25-$50 a pop. I used to always look at how other kids had things I didn’t, and programming really became my vice because I could create anything and it wouldn’t cost anyone anything but my time. So I dove in and dedicated a lot of my free time to building whatever came to mind, websites, game engines, even hand built a forum community.
Eventually that lead me into developing out SaaS tools and marketing automation software like LiveLeap.com and most recently Hopfu.com.
However for those who follow me on Facebook I might be better known for the constant value and marketing case studies I share on my wall that I’ve learned from consulting, auditing, or managing marketing campaigns that have generated or saved several million over the years.
Why is content king?
Content is king because it inspires and directs original thought. Since the beginning of time, people have exchanged knowledge in the form of storytelling because story telling inspires and directs original thought, and while you can teach someone all the technical ways of how to do something, only their original thoughts aka creativity, will set them apart.
If you have 10 companies saying they have the best pizza in New York, as they often do, how do you pick which one is actually the best if they all say the same thing?
It’s how they say it, the content of the words they use that trigger past memories and draw up emotional reactions. If one pizza vendor said “We are New York’s best” and another pizza vendor said “Our pizza is so mouth wateringly good you are going to want to loosen a notch on your belt, call your mama, and ask for seconds it’s so good” which one would you rather go to?
Words have power. They inspire and direct original thought. In the phrase above, a few key words change the entire context. If I changed “pizza” to a general term like “food” it loses all it’s clarity. If I just say “our pizza is good”, well people don’t want just “good” they want “great” but “great” by itself is hard to relate to for some people who maybe haven’t been really wowed in a while, so saying “mouth wateringly good” puts it into perspective because we’ve all at some time smelled or ate something so good that every time we think about it we get inspired to have some, which I then play off in the last bit “loosen a notch on your belt….ask for seconds” but I interjected “call your mama” in there why? Because a lot of people have a really strong connection to home cooking, because why else would you call your mama because of food? Probably because it was so dang good it reminded you of her, and that’s the picture that copy creates. It tells a story, it evokes emotion, it inspires original thought. No two people are going to experience the same feeling or thoughts and that is why copy is king.
How do we break the noise when there’s so many channels to listen to? For example Facebook? How do we protect ourselves from changes?
Woah that’s a loaded couple of questions! Let me see if I can break it down.
When it comes to noise, especially in today’s world, we are bombarded with advertisements each and every day, and if you are lost on how to break through to your customers, step back and observe the viral trends. Then spend an hour writing down the things each viral piece of content have in common. You will discover one incredibly important thing.
They evoke emotion.
Positive or negative, viral content is anything but “luke warm”.
Pause for a minute before you write your next ad and ask yourself, are you really matching your brand objective with the emotion of your copy? If the answer is no, tweak it.
Especially on platforms like Facebook, with all of their recent changes, advertisers who’ve had success due to technical know-how have gotten killed with the loss of behavioral targeting, but how you choose your copy is just as important as how you deliver it.
Facebook and Youtube for instance is great for edutainment, content that is both informative and entertaining. Whereas Google is intent based and the efficiency of information is king, and Instagram is vanity based where glamorized imagery and video that evokes FOMO (fear of missing out) is king.
However in my experience, one of the most powerful ways to cut through the noise is to go where the emotional connection is the strongest, and that isn’t Facebook, Google, or Instagram. It’s SMS, because when you get a text message, who do you think it is from? A friend or something important, right? Not to mention, some case studies even say that people’s emotion is so strongly tied to text messaging, that over 80% texts sent are read within 15 minutes of delivery. Because of that emotional trigger, SMS is the king of the impulse buy (when used correctly that is). Plus it’s a neutral medium where no one company can suddenly change the marketing landscape, destroying your lead flow and putting you out of business.
So the best way to defend yourself against major landscape changes and corporate greed is to utilize multiple channels and to develop email and especially SMS lists to reach your customers.