Content Marketing

What Jerry Maguire Can Teach You About Marketing Your Services Or Product

Did you know there is a secret formula to writing a screenplay?

Just about every successful movie (and I’m talking about those that smash it at the box office) is crafted using the same 3 step process. Apply the formula and you win. Ignore the formula and you lose. It’s that simple.

Here is the magic formula:

  • A CHARACTER, who wants something, encounters a problem before they can get it
  • At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives, gives them a PLAN and CALLS THEM TO ACTION
  • That action helps them avoid FAILURE and it ends in SUCCESS

Let’s use the 1996 melodrama “Jerry Maguire” as an example to better illustrate the points above:

  • Jerry Maguire (played by Tom Cruise) wants to start his own sports management firm, but he needs to hang onto some of the star athletes he currently represents
  • Dorothy Boyd (played by Renee Zellweger) steps into his life to support him and together they hatch a plan to bring on board their prime target Rod Tidwell (played by Cuba Gooding Jr)
  • Jerry and Dorothy fall in love, Rod Tidwell lands a final second touch-down that secures him his retirement contract, and everyone lives happily ever after (including that cute kid with the glasses)

It’s a classic plot, but it’s a strategic plot that is repeated every day in everything we watch on TV.

What can we learn from this?

  • Your business should stop focusing on your product and service as the hero of your marketing story
  • Your customer is the only hero of the story that is playing out in their heads 24/7
  • Your product or service is the GUIDE
  • To help the main CHARACTER avoid failure and succeed

Here is a great example of storytelling – When last did you see this TV advert?

Craft a story, focus on your customer as the main CHARACTER, become the GUIDE to help them SUCCEED. We like to do this type of story telling via email.

Until next time.


Content Marketing

Should Your Email + Content Marketing Be Outsourced?

If you have a braai at your home, would you outsource the actual braaing to a friend or family member?

It would depend on your braai skills, wouldn’t it?

If you like to braai, and there isn’t much risk of you offering up a “burnt sacrifice” to your guests, why hand the tongs over to someone else?

Some guys like to braai and others don’t. It all about confidence and your abilities.

It’s the same in business.

Any function that is outsourced is done because the business feels the outsourced partner is:

1. Better
2. Cheaper
3. Faster

If you have a sense that content marketing (and let’s throw email marketing into this as well) is something your business should be looking at, you have two choices.

1. Build out the business function in-house.
2. Outsource the marketing function.

If I was in your business I would start with this:

1. I would identify the best story teller in the marketing department.

2. I would ask that person to come up with a great piece of content which you could include in your current marketing initiatives.

Maybe that person exists in your business. You should find out.

If they don’t, contact us and we’ll send you some more information about how we can become that person in your business.

Until next week.


Email marketing

Why Storytelling Is Like Crack Cocaine For Your Email List

What are you going to do with your customers email addresses? You have all these people you want to stay in touch with, via email, but which content strategy do you implement?

How do you stay relevant, stay in touch, and SELL via email?

Your gut tells you that being too “salesy” might backfire! Your gut is right in that respect.

Constantly pushing product or services down the throat of your email list will lead to dissatisfaction and they will ultimately opt-out (unless of course you are a deal-a-day site, in which case that is the plan from the start)

Over the next few blog posts I will be running through some of the content strategies you can use to build trust with your email base. Then over time you can start monetizing them with your marketing efforts.

A proven content strategy which is actually really simple to implement into your  email marketing is storytelling.

In actual fact, sharing stories is what makes us human. Ever since the days we harnessed fire (about 600,000 years ago) we’ve been sitting around enjoying each others company and sharing stories. The only thing that has changed is how we share those stories.

Just have a look at your social media feeds if you don’t believe me. Your last Intagram post is a visual story, isn’t it? A special moment, captured by a photo that you want to share with your family and friends.

So why should you weave great storytelling into your email marketing? It helps you connect at a human level. It’s as simple as that.

Have you ever met a stranger at a braai and by the time you left that evening you had such a good time sharing stories, over a good meal and a few drinks, that you decided to exchange numbers?

All that’s happened is that you’ve had a strong human connection. You can have the same connection with a stranger via email if you tell a great story.

Here are a 6 tips to remember when weaving your story into your email marketing:

1. Be relatable

Make sure your story is relatable. Finding a common thread is the whole idea. Understanding your audience is key to finding a common thread. Filing an income tax return this month is something everyone can relate to. Spending Christmas in a 5 star Aspen ski resort isn’t something everyone can relate to.

You get the idea, right?

2. Write in plain English

Write the way you speak. Avoid “big words” that you think make you look smart. Chances are you will come off as trying to be a “smarty pants”. Nobody likes a smarty pants!

3. Be honest

Honesty sells, especially in a  story. Don’t try and embellish your story, just keep it real.

4. Don’t overshare

There is a fine line between sharing and oversharing. Getting into details about your messy divorce isn’t a great way to build rapport with your base.

5. Keep it short and sweet

People have a limited attention span. Get everything you need to get across in your story, but don’t go on and on forever. Lead with a cracking subject line, have a good lead in and close well.

6. If you are going to sell, be subtle

Yes you can build a sales hook into your story, but be subtle. It wouldn’t make sense to try and tell a great story then kill off your chances of building rapport by using an overly aggressive pitch.

People relate to stories. It’s why read books, binge watch TV series and follow each other on social media.

Why don’t you connect with your email list by telling a great story or two.

Need help with your email marketing?

Drop us a line.