No matter what industry you're in, you can always learn from techniques used in other businesses. Particularly if those techniques lead you to ideas that help you connect with your audience. In this article, we're going to discuss an easy change that will transform your business's marketing and how people see your business. It's something you can do today regardless of your target market. It will work for everyone because it's all about connection.
To industries that are pros in this technique are residential real estate and colleges/higher education. What do they have in common?, you might ask. Both understand the importance of being part of their target audience’s dreams.
And that's what you need to do if you want to improve revenue in your business.
The Residential Real Estate Way
If you've ever worked with a real estate agent to sell your home, one of the things they may have told you was to remove all personal effects, including family pictures. The logic behind this is two-fold. Number one, people get distracted by pictures and may spend more time looking at your vacation shots than your home. Secondly, when there are pictures of you and your family in the home it is hard for someone to imagine their family in your home. When you remove all your pictures, it is easier for a potential buyer to envision themselves in their new home, not yours.
You want the same in your business’ marketing. You want to encourage your potential customers to envision what it would be like with the services or products you provide. This dream/fantasy process must be a smooth one. Through content, you want to create a way for people to feel like they're home/in the right place. You want your products or services to be apart of their dreaming.
Finding Your Spot in College
Open a college or university view book and you will see an unimaginable world of fun laid out on glossy pages. There are many pictures of people in groups together smiling and enjoying the educational environment. Generally, the images in view books are diverse and show lots of different activities and people of different cultures and ethnicities. That guarantees that anyone looking at the view book will find something(or someone) they can identify with. Just like in real estate, colleges sell a vision.
Apply the Teachings of Real Estate and University Marketing to Your Business
What marketing people in both industries do well is help create a dream. They don't use scare tactics or worst-case scenarios to drive purchases or get people enrolled. Instead, they insert their products or services as part of a desired lifestyle.
You may be thinking your business or industry does not have a dream to sell. Maybe you're a plumber or you run a business that is anything but sexy. There is always a way to connect what you do with an ideal. Brainstorm what many people value—home, safety, love, beauty, for example. Then consider how your business may tie into those ideals. For instance, if you are a plumber, you are critical to the foundation of a functioning home. It doesn't matter how beautiful the home is, if the plumbing isn't working, it doesn't fit anyone's dream. The home is where we shelter our family, entertain our friends, and seek a safe harbor from the outside world. Good plumbing is essential to that dream. Think of a way you can tie that messaging in through evocative images and content. Don’t explain that directly. Show it.
Review your current website content, advertising, and marketing. What dream are you helping people achieve? How are you making their lives better? Most marketers use a problem/solution approach and that's not wrong. But if you want to change how you're currently marketing, consider how your business feeds into the dreams of your audience. When you help them see a better time, a better life, a better position, you can become a very integral part of their future.
Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and is finally starting to figure it all out.