Growing up I learned a lot from the gang on Sesame Street. Those crazy puppets knew a secret or two that every marketer today should know. If you really boil it down, Sesame Street did the three things that all marketers should be trying to achieve with their digital marketing strategy:
1.) Educate: If you want to captivate your audience, you have to help them learn.
2.) Engage: When your audience learns, they want to interact and keep learning.
3.) Entertain: Your main goal as an entertainer (or marketer) should be focused on holding attention.
The customer journey has many stops, and our job as marketers becomes ensuring our audience experiences these key components along the way. An educated market is one that understands the value that you provide, and helps advocate for you. If you can educate while still providing entertainment, your organization will be as lovable and memorable as all your favorite members of Sesame Street.
Your buyer will do this with or without you. If you want mindshare during the first 70% of their buying process, you are going to want to get in front of them with educational content. This is the easiest way to bond with a prospect. Provide education on your industry and the problems that you know exist. The most critical thing to remember is not to taint this content with promotional or sales driven copy. That mistake can lead to buyers seeing you as someone who cares more about your money than their happiness… “G” is for greedy!
Most people hate to read. To really capture their attention, you need to have an element which captivates them. Video organically achieves this with motion and sound, and other tactics like infographics use visual elements to stimulate the brain. Surveys are interactive and help provide a ton of great information to your company, but the biggest challenge is making them relevant to your customer. You should take a lighter approach and offer shorter surveys with very non-sales specific questions like “what’s your favorite color?” This approach helps the buyer feel like you want to learn about who they are, not just how much money they have to spend on your next product… “C” is for caring!
Entertainment should be a component of every piece of content that is directed to customers and prospects. Beyond adding intrigue to your message, content can entertain while driving engagement and helping to build your company culture. It seems fundamental when you think about it; if you are not entertaining your audience, they are going to change the channel… “F” is for Fun!
To summarize, it’s all about using education and entertainment to keep your prospects tuned in and engaged. You can also take notes from the station that Sesame Street was shown on, PBS. Their channel was dependent on “charitable donations made by viewers like you.” They understood that highlighting these areas in their programming would lead to the maximum amount of financial support. Follow their business model and come play where marketing is easy as 1, 2, 3 and E, E, E!