Posts filed under Brand

Educating your consumer must be your key differentiator

Now more than ever, we're surrounded by media, OTT insertions, marketing bots and AI algorithms trying to find the shortest route to your spending triggers. But the truth is that more and more consumers see your messaging as nothing more than a sales pitch. Consumer want more than simply beautiful photos and lush copywriting – they want an education.

"Content is king" – if I read this from one more guru in their "new year's marketing trends that will shock you!" post, I'm going to eat a fucking bullet. Much like responsive design, if you don't know (and are implementing) it already, then you need to be reading someone else. I can't throw you a rope. That said, we need to make content into something that:

  • Creates a thorough understanding not only of your services, but what the consumer should be looking for.

  • “Opens the kimono” to offer education in a transparent way, even advocating they seek out your competitors for comparison. If what you offer is that good – they'll return; and with a built-in sense of loyalty.

  • Creates a sense that you WANT user feedback, and shows your ongoing willingness (within your contextual marketing) that you're seeking to further refine your education.

  • Crafts the perception that problems can be uniquely solved with your service.

  • Shows both the pros and cons of your products.

  • Spotlights the future growth or roadmap of said products/services. Many people (both B2C, B2B, B2E, and others) often hold great confidence in brands that show they intend to evolve their products regardless of the point at which you purchase. This, done well, will also create a sense of urgency that NOW is the time to be part of "X."

  • Holds the consumer's hand — and not in a condescending way. The more you guide them, the more apt they will be to default to you.

A few brands doing it right:

  • IKEA

  • SquareSpace

  • General Electric

Who else are you seeing online that seems to be educating, rather than selling? I look forward to your feedback.

Posted on February 27, 2019 and filed under Blogging, Brand, Process.

Stop Blogging: Best Practices and Witchcraft for Compelling Articles (Part 3)

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Cast your final spell to seek engagement!

EXAMPLE – DIY Article on "X"

  • Compelling Title

  • Open the article with what quick summary of the article is about, how it will benefit the reader and what can be gained. Perhaps even a 'bullet list' — people LOVE lists.

The WIIFM

This pays off the “what's in it for me?” (WIIFM) right away.

If you've lured them to keep reading, then you can begin breaking down the "why they need this" and fold them into the product, process or education you’re trying to share.

The more a reader commits to an article, the more likely they are to complete it. Now, there are some cases where this simply doesn't apply, like white papers or formal presentations.

BLOGGER TIP: Do you have a long-ass post like this? Cut it into logical segments and make it a multi-part post like I did here (this is part three of three). That way, one long post turns into more checkmarks on your content calendar then a single blog post that some might shy away from.

Last, and perhaps most importantly: Unless your content is strictly sales-oriented, do your best not to sell in blogs. The challenge is not to avoid talking about your products and services, but more naturally weave it into the conversation.

Example [BAD]: "The new BRAND camera is the best on the market and we're the best place for you to get it!"

Example [GOOD]: "The latest BRAND camera offers some of the newest features you're sure to love. We've been using this camera since we got the first one in, and we'll show you all the tips and tricks to take breathtaking images."

The first example is a bold call-to-action (CTA). This might work as an advertisement, but even then I doubt I'd use it. The second statemen:

  • Compliments the new product

  • Differentiates the product from its predecessors

  • Shows that, like you, we really LOVE photography

  • Conveys that we want to explore the item educationally, not simply sell it

https://maximizesocialbusiness.com/content-marketing-mantra-create-use-many-15349/

Posted on December 19, 2018 and filed under Blogging, Brand, Process.

The Care & Feeding of Creative Professionals – Part 3

What are some of the common mistakes that you see people who seek a career in any of these fields make as they pursue that career?

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  • IMPORTANT: Young creatives think they understand the client and the agency. They think they could do 'all of this' better and will often not stick around long as they seek to emerge from this boring chrysalis of doom and make the coolest agency ever — and it will have a beer tap in the kitchen (and a foosball table). 

  • If in the rarest of circumstances you find someone that believes in your clients, is great at what they do, is well liked by the clients and can show a consistent effort – place golden-handcuffs on them ASAP and bring them up in the org chart. NOTE: this person is usually a woman.

  • We hate revisions. Client: "Well, what do you think of this design?" Us: <thinking> I think it's fucking brilliant bitch, that's why I'm presenting it. </thinking>


"As I’ve moderated ideation sessions over the past two decades, I’ve noticed one shocking point about creatives. They tend to come up with far fewer ideas than everyone else. 

It’s not because they can’t; it’s because they become too attached to every idea. Rather than jot it down and move to the next, creatives keep working on and rereading their own ideas. 

You know which discipline consistently comes up with the most ideas? Developers."Dave Linabury

This point is well suited for this conversation. Creatives (as outlined above) often get too attached to a concept. Therefore, external (of the creative department) concept sessions are not only valuable, but they're also essential.

ANY PERSON can make an idea great. It could be the front desk guy, the janitor or CFO. Create a think tank session, even if it's just one time, where anyone can participate. 

EXAMPLE: I was working a project for the US Navy, we were to create an immersive experiential training simulation for them. We emailed everyone and asked if anyone in the office had any insight into training, past or current. Turns out that friend of the agency had a family member that had a lifetime career of creating these types of scenarios. We brought them in and the project rapidly took off from there. Had that room been simply creatives folks with no real-world experience, I believe our results would have been a failure.


You might ask yourself at this point "how is this helping me avoiding mistakes?" It usually takes years for people to come to the understanding that most mistakes 'take a village' to create. The better you understand yourself, and those around you, the better you can apply your skills to actual work.


Lastly, I think it's important to add that this is not a list of deficiencies, or short-comings – it's who we are as a people. Creatives are a very special breed of people, we create emotion, education, allow others to journey through our visions to unexplored destinations.

SURVIVAL MARKETING IMPROVISE, ADAPT, AND OVERCOME – 2018

1. SURVIVAL MARKETING IMPROVISE, ADAPT, AND OVERCOME 20 WAYS TO STAY ALIVE & THRIVE

2. BENCHMARK THEN NOW

3. TACTIC#1: GET THE GEAR Social Management Project Management Automate

4. TACTIC#2: LISTEN Google Alerts Google Trends Sentiment/Device/Audience

5. TACTIC#3: RESEARCH Spy Fu Email Conversion Campaign Analytics

6. TACTIC#4: EMAIL Build Compliant? Deploy Test

7. TACTIC#5: A/BTEST Subject Lines Post Timing Brand Image/Voice

8. TACTIC#6: DRILLTEAM SHTF/WWYD? Unite SOP Deploy

9. TACTIC#7: VILLIANIZE Topical Create/Answer Revisit

10. TACTIC#8: ACTION IS GO Audience Questions First Make Useful Content ASK-ASK-ASK

11. TACTIC#9: TRANSLATE Define Audience Campaign Segmentation Refine to Location

12. TACTIC#10: HIJACK Topics Content Alignment Inspirational Quotes

13. TACTIC#11: MICROCONTENT Horoscopes Inspirational Quotes

14. TACTIC#12: OWNTHATSHIT Watermark Repost Link #Tag

15. TACTIC#13: GEOGRAPHY PAID: Media Earned

16. TACTIC#14: ALTERNATES Medium Multi-Author Submissions

17. TACTIC#15: STREAM Live / Recorded / ICYMI Distribute

18. TACTIC#16: INFILTRATE SEO Rich Content Cross-Pollenate Seek Backlinks Snippet Tags

19. TACTIC#17: REINFORCEMENTS Repurpose Version Control Content Redeploy Distribution v2

20. TACTIC#18: GRIFT Affiliate Programming Native Advertising Reviews SME

21. TACTIC#19: STRIKEFIRST Live events Programming Thought Leadership Revisit

22. TACTIC#20: SOP Rate Sheets Support Materials PrePrepped Content Logo/Brand Packs

23. TACTIC#21: CLONES CoScheduler Multi-Author Blogs Content Calendars Basecamp

24. TACTIC#22: TRANSMIT Vlogging? Meh. Casting! Podcasting Serialized Content

25. TACTIC#23: TRAIN Content Calendars Webinars Live Q&A Chat Forums

26. TACTIC#24: WALKIE-TALKIES Become A Guest Blogger Podcasts for Guest Hosting Rating & Review Sites

27. TACTIC#25: GOIN GROUGE Limited Programming Landing Pages Squeeze Pages

30. TACTIC#26: SPECIAL SKILLS UI/UX Mobile Only Layouts Apps?

31. TACTIC#27: REPLICATE Podcasting Players Social Channels Chat / Streams

32. TACTIC#28: FINDSHELTER Reddit Imgur Giphy Mastodon Alt. Properties

33. TACTIC#29: THINK TANK Thought Starters Assignment Desks

34. TACTIC#30: C.O.U.M. CREATE ONCE USE MANY PUBLISH: ARTICLE CONTENT

35. PUBLISH: ARTICLE CONTENT PUBLISH: A/V TRUNCATED ARTICLE

35. TACTIC#30: C.O.U.M.

37. TACTIC#31: THE“PDP” PRE, DURING & POST AKA: Before, During & After

38. TACTIC#32: IWILLCUTYOU 2: 00 1: 00 00: 30 00: 15

39. TACTIC#33: HUMAN REACTION Sex Love Greed Health Flattery Weight-loss Uncertainty Improvement Exclusivity Longevity Anger Doubt Fame Fear

40. JUSTICEMITCHELL.COM – but you’re already here :)