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How to Win the Hearts and Minds of Your Audience: A Blog About Marketing, Media and Advertising.
In today’s world, marketing is about much more than just selling a product or a service. It also about building an emotional connection with your audience that lasts long after they have left your site. This blog will help you do just that by providing you with tips on how to build that emotional connection and find success in your marketing efforts.
The web is a public place, and that means you should care more about what people think of you than in real life. The only way to win the hearts and minds of your audience is by writing well. This is true whether what you’re writing is fiction or nonfiction.
I’ve written many times about how important it is to write well, so I won’t belabor the point here. But there’s one thing related to writing well that people are often confused about: the difference between factual accuracy and truthiness.
The most important rule when publishing anything on the web is to never publish anything that isn’t true. You should always strive for factual accuracy. But if your goal is not just to inform but also to persuade, then you have to go further.
If you want your readers to believe what you say, then it’s not enough for what you say to be correct. It also has to seem correct. There are some things that shouldn’t matter—your readers’ trust shouldn’t depend on your personal appearance, for example—but if there’s any room for doubt on any issue related to your subject matter, then you need to show it can be resolved in your favor before anyone even thinks about the question.
You have to give your audience a reason to care about what you are doing. You can easily tell a boring story and make it more interesting by adding the human element. How did the person feel? What values were at stake?
A great way to do this is to use storytelling, because that’s how humans are wired. We crave a good story, one with a beginning, middle and end, with heroes and villains and heroes who turn into villains and vice versa.
The best marketing stories are about people—not products or services. They show how people overcame adversity and became better for it, stronger or wiser or happier. I’ve learned from my own experience that stories about people make the biggest difference in winning over hearts and minds of your audience.
The simplest way to do this, it turns out, is to tell stories.
In their book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die,” Chip and Dan Heath use a simple framework for analyzing what makes some ideas resonate and others fade away. Their primary conclusion is that the most effective ideas are those that are “sticky,” or memorable. They posit that the most sticky ideas have six characteristics:
They are simple.
They have unexpected elements.
They create an emotional response.
They are concrete.
They have a clear takeaway – and they are credible.
The second characteristic, the unexpected element, is one that’s particularly important for today’s marketer. In an increasingly cluttered world, you need your message to stand out from the crowd if you want it to stick in people’s minds – and this means making it surprising or weird or unusual in some way (more on this below). But perhaps even more importantly, the sixth characteristic of a sticky idea is that it’s credible. This is where stories come in. Anecdotes give us proof points for our ideas, which can help us make them seem more plausible to our audiences (and thus more likely to stick).
Here is a list of the various kinds of talk you might have to do, and some advice about each.
1. Talk to your boss’s boss. If you don’t know your boss’s boss, go up one more level and start there. You are probably not as good at talking to your boss’s boss as you should be. You can coax yourself into doing this by imagining that your boss’s boss is a VC or customer, and think of your talk as an investor pitch or product demo.
2. Talk at a conference/event. This is the most common kind of public speaking people do, and it is also the easiest. The audience is there because they want to listen to speakers, and if yours is any good they’ll enjoy it even if it has nothing to do with their business. Especially if it has nothing to do with their business: they go to get ideas from outside their field. So don’t be afraid to give a talk that isn’t directly relevant, like how you built something cool or how you solved some hard problem in an interesting way.
3. Give a product demo or investor pitch. The reason these are so hard is not just that they’re stressful; it’s because there are two audiences: the outsiders who need persu
Knowing how to get your audience to like you is an important business skill. But it’s not only important for salespeople, marketing executives and others in customer-facing roles. Your ability to get people to like you has a direct impact on your career success and advancement.
The good news is, it’s not some mysterious talent that only a few lucky people are born with. You can learn how to be more likable, and improve your overall chances of success.
So why do some people have a knack for making friends and influencing people while others never seem to get the hang of it? It all boils down to one simple fact: People like people who make them feel positive emotions. If you want to learn how to be more likable, that’s where you need to start.