“Hello, I’m a Mac.”
“And I’m a PC.”
You remember Apple’s “Get a Mac” series of commercials that ran from May 2006 to October 2009?
The commercials were short vignettes featuring John Hodgman as the sweet-yet-bumbling PC and Justin Long as the creative, hip Mac.
Those 66 short spots were named the best advertising campaign of the previous decade by Adweek.
The success of the long-running campaign leads one to believe that Apple certainly knows who its ideal customer is. Of course they do … because they chose their ideal customer, right from the birth of the Macintosh itself.
That doesn’t mean that everyone responded favorably to the ads. While researching for this article, I ran across a commenter who maintained that the campaign had “backfired” because the PC character had actually been more appealing to him.
No, the campaign didn’t backfire (no one runs a series of ads for three years if they’re not working). Instead, Apple chose who not to attract as much as they chose who they hoped to convert.
Apple knew they were never going to get hardcore PC people to switch to a Mac. Instead, Apple used these 66 humorous little stories to target those who were more likely to “swing” toward Apple, after being educated about the benefits by the contrast between the two characters.
Sounds like really great content marketing to me. In fact, given the nature and duration of the Get a Mac campaign, it resembled serial online video marketing more than traditional
Engineers and other technical experts take to the web to educate themselves on their options now more than ever before.
When sifting through online content, engineers and other experts in their fields want facts, not a hard sell. They’re conducting serious research.
In fact, according to a study by CEB in partnership with Google, 57 percent of the B2B purchasing process has been completed by the time someone contacts a salesperson.
So, as content marketers, we need to give them the information they need to make smart purchasing decisions. But engineers have already studied for years to accrue their subject matter expertise. Can marketers actually talk intelligently to them online?
A marketer’s challenge lies in extracting the best information and translating it into relatable content, while not sacrificing accuracy in the process.
Journalists like Ed Yong and Carl Zimmer bring cutting-edge science to the masses on a regular basis, and content marketers can follow their leads.
Here are three content marketing tips that non-experts can use when writing about technical subjects.
1. Gather facts from experts
When you interview experts within your clients’ companies and mine their heads for their hard-earned knowledge, you’ll find that many of them love to be asked about their fields.
It’s not every day a layperson asks a metallurgist about induction furnaces or an architect about designing aircraft hangars.
Fair warning: At first these interviews might be overwhelming or intimidating. Marketers often feel afraid to ask “dumb” questions.
However, a state of “non-knowledge” is a
You could have a great product, a revolutionary idea, or a compelling piece of content, but unless you position it with the right approach that instantly captures the imagination of your ideal prospect, forget it.
Listen. People will rush to do business with you if you can help them achieve their dreams, calm their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them cast stones at their enemies.
Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately, it’s not.
In the marketplace of products, services, and content, life is like a crowded New York City street where your prospect is one of seven-million people who is already stiff-arming thousands of similar messages that are competing for her attention.
She has her own agenda … and that agenda doesn’t necessarily include you or your product.
So if you want her attention, then you need to get drastic. And what’s the best way to accomplish drastic? You need to catch her with a hook. The big idea. The dominant desire.
Here’s the five-step research method to help you do that.
In this 10-minute episode of Rough Draft with Demian Farnworth, you’ll discover:
Three things you must know about your ideal customer
Three questions to ask about your product to make it give up its secrets
How the government plays a role in finding your hook
How to explore the international angle to uncover a hook
Sometimes your hook is buried in this corner of popular culture
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About the authorRainmaker.FMRainmaker.FM is the premier
You may be creating content in a niche with 1,000 other sites, but only you have your audience. And surveying your audience can be fertile ground for the kind of information and insight that builds your next transformative content series.
Just ask Demian Farnworth. He did it twice for Copyblogger in 2014 — and the results of his second survey will be posted here tomorrow.
We talked about his mentality in conducting these two surveys, his process, and the lessons he learned in the latest episode of The Lede.
In this episode, Demian Farnworth and I discuss:
Creating a survey to gain insights for a unique content series
Choosing the right survey methodology
How to survey your audience, even if your audience is small and you have limited resources
The golden rule of good content
What we’ll do differently when conducting our next survey
Listen to The Lede …
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