The New Way to Sell: The 3 V’s of Content
Yes, it’s harder than ever to get a customer’s attention, attract her interest and close the sale. That’s true in any industry.
We live in a changed world.
The proverbial marketplace of ideas is a crowded, chaotic place, where your prospective customer is more adept than EVER at steering clear of drab commercials. She has an email filter, Pandora, TiVO, Facebook Messenger and several Instagram accounts, all of which allow her to select the content she prefers, and screen OUT the stuff she doesn’t want to see. She won’t hear, watch or read anything you force in her direction. Even worse, she’ll develop a sour impression of you and your brand if you keep delivering dull, self-serving ads.
And yet… she STILL wants to be up-to-date, educated and entertained.
(Suddenly, an opportunity!).
So, the question becomes: How do you develop and deliver a message that meets her needs first (so she’ll actually see it), AND promote your brand in a subtle, but effective way?
Answer: The 3 V’s of Content Marketing: Voice, Vector and Velocity.
Why invest the time & effort in powerful content?
Well, if she sees it, reads it and believes it, you’re on your way to creating a customer, and possibly even a brand ambassador. (More on that later)
First V: Find your BRAND VOICE.
Definition: the purposeful, consistent expression of a brand through words and prose styles that engage and motivate
Sure you’ve heard it before… ‘develop a Brand Voice,’ but have you done it? Have you determined the attitude and perspective of your brand? Tone, terminology and temperament count. They really do. Particularly when you’re trying to connect with a customer who doesn’t know your brand, or care.
So, who (hypothetically) speaks for your brand, and what’s the personality? Is it the stodgy CEO with a stiff, boardroom attitude and vocabulary? Or is it the mailroom clerk, who will be less formal and a LOT more honest? Or is it some combination of the two? The scientist or the surfer? The cowboy or the accountant? Which is it?
For instance, would your brand say “effective product launch”? Or “It’s a hit”! “Dependents” or “family”? “Maximize net profit” or “make money”?
Consider these Brand Voice examples:
- Knowledgeable and nerdy? (GeekSquad at Best Buy)
- Cool, casual and concerned with more than profit (Warby-Parker)
- Tough, proud, patriotic (Harley-Davidson)
So, do some deep thinking and decide on your voice / attitude / character. Got it? OK. This is the VOICE by which you will create content that connects with your prospective client.
Second V: Determine your VECTOR.
Definition: a quantity possessing both magnitude and direction
When it comes to your brand, we’re using the mathematical “vector” term to reference the subjects you address, and the point of view your brand adopts.
What are you talking about? And what’s the point?
Remember, it all MUST interest the client, the prospect, the potential customer you’re trying to attract. What are HER concerns? What are HER problems? What keeps HER awake at night? The better you ‘vector’ her perspective, the more likely you are to attract her as a reader, then a fan, and then a buyer.
So if you’re a hospital with a new orthopedic surgery wing, don’t create content about the fantastic pedigrees of your new surgeons and the fancy new robotic surgical suite. Instead, profile one of your recent patients who has benefited from the surgery. Interview her, and present the story from her perspective – of course INCLUDING a mention of how her marvelous surgeon used the incredible new robotic scalpel to perform her operation. And VOILA! She’s cured!
Or, if you’re a family law firm representing single moms in child custody cases, don’t brag about the strength of your firm or the partners’ credentials. Instead, describe the challenges that their clients face, and how the right legal advice makes a HUGE difference.
Examples of Powerful Vectors that Connect:
- Advocate for a noble cause (Vineyard Vines supports WhalesforaCause)
- Powerful athletics (UnderArmour wants to ‘make all athletes better’.)
- Benefactor for Breast Cancer Research (NFL uses #NFLPink during October – to grow female audience)
Third V: Amp up your VELOCITY
Definition: the speed of something in a given direction
How do you get your message to travel?
When it comes to ‘Brand Message Delivery,’ we mean how quickly and effectively your message travels to the eyes, ears and brains of your ideal prospective client.
True, we have more ‘dissemination’ options now than ever. TV Commercial or YouTube channel? Magazine ad or Paid Facebook post? Talk radio or Spotify? Community newspaper editorial or a blog? It’s a powerful new era, but also maddening, with ample opportunities for option overload.
- The better the message, the further it goes. That is, the more original, frank and even entertaining your message can be (with pertinent, valuable advice… or a super-cute kitten) – the more quickly and effectively your message will travel. It’s guaranteed to get liked, re-posted and re-tweeted. So by all means, let the world of social media do the heavy lifting for you. It’s free and extremely effective. In addition, a powerful message is even an easier pitch to our friends in newsrooms nation-wide. If the topic is timely, transparent and succinct, with a well-stated opinion from a perspective that matters, the story will very likely get picked up in local, or even national, newsrooms. Again, let the journalists do the work for you.
- The timelier the message, the further it goes. Don’t waste your time trying to get other people interested in YOUR fascinating topic. Instead, become a student of trending topics and find a smart way to connect your subject to the conversation that’s already in play. In October, how can you connect your topic to breast cancer awareness, the World Series, or Halloween? Get creative.
Bottom line: a good story is a good story. You will gain tremendous velocity with a fun, sticky story that everyone wants to retell.
So there you have it. Consider your Voice, Vector and Velocity, and you’ll be amazed at how far your message travels. And if you keep up a steady stream of clever, creative content, you will soon thereafter create BRAND AMBASSADORS, along the lines of Apple, Taylor Swift and the US Marine Corps. All are powerful American brands, with an army of brand ambassadors lobbying for the value of your brand.
If you don’t have time, then find a partner who can rely on the 3 V’s to give your brand the 4th V: Visibility! Contact Promote on Purpose today to get started.