Creating a Lasting Connection With Your Audience
Why do we get out of bed in the mornings?
Groggy, sleep-deprived and tired, why do we make the arduous journey to and from work every day?
What makes us create incredible pieces of art, photographs, blog posts...?
There’s something fundamental in all of us that wants to be seen. Wants to be heard. Wants to be acknowledged and recognized.
We all want the world to know. Look, I’m here.
Acknowledging this concept that drives so many of our actions is crucial, especially if you want to sell a product or a service. If you want someone to part with their hard-earned money, you have to recognize and honor who they are as people. You need to understand what their motivations are.
You need to build deep, lasting connections.
The Art Of Connection
In his seminal book ‘Breakthrough Advertising’, Eugene Schwartz broke down the components of connecting with someone into three distinct parts.
You might have noticed how little kids’ lives revolve majorly around what they want. They want to see, eat or do something. And if they don’t get to do it, they react unfavorably, usually by crying.
And here’s the thing – that drive to do things you want doesn’t magically go away when you grow older. Desires are still powerful driving forces in people’s lives. Eating good food, having great relationships, spending time in the company of people they love and cherish are all fundamental desires we all have.
If you want to understand your audience, you have to start with their desires. Before you’re creating a product or service, ask yourself the following questions.
What does my audience want? How can I give it to them?
According to Schwartz, ‘identification’ is one of the absolute fundamentals of advertising. In some cases, it can even be more powerful than desire.
The need for identification is fundamental to human beings. We all strive to be a part of something, to belong. When we don’t find this sense of belonging, we become disheartened and seek it out wherever we can. We’re constantly driven by the need to find our place in the grand scheme of things, in a group, in a community. We’re very concerned about what other people think about us, and what that says about us as individuals.
Consider the ‘clean eating’ trend for example. Sure, there are a lot of health and performance benefits to eating clean, organic food. However, what a lot of people in the ‘clean eating’ movement are driven by is the community. By eating certain foods, we automatically identify ourselves as being part of this healthy group and can relate to others in that group. We’re driven as much by the need to belong as the physical drive to consume food.
One of the reasons why children are so fascinating to us is that they constantly shift between different things to identify with, keeping the ones they like and discarding others.
You have to use this principle in your marketing to make sure your audience can identify and completely relate with your brand, and not just a particular message.
By purchasing your product or service, what are you allowing your audience to identify with?
Beliefs are incredibly powerful because by their very nature, they are impervious to logic or contrary evidence. Beliefs are important factors in the forming of and continued existence of communities.
Beliefs are extremely important to consider when you’re forming your marketing messages. Your prospects have certain beliefs, and if you violate or challenge them in any way, you will lose them even if you have an incredibly compelling message. On the flip side, if you’re able to identify their beliefs and create a message or advertisement that supports or reinforces that belief, you will be able to outsell your competition handily. In fact, even if your message is slightly clunky, you will sell more than your competitors whose advertisements aren’t congruent with the audience’s beliefs.
What strong beliefs do my audience have? How does my product or service adhere to these beliefs?
Bringing it all together
When you’re crafting your message or advertisement, you need to keep all of the three fundamentals – desire, identification and belief in mind. You need to show people that you understand what they want, their need to belong and that your product demonstrably shares their beliefs. If you have all three of these things, your communications will be irresistible.
Becca & Jake