I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of being sold to. Like I’m a free client or lead to every brand that exists.
I can feel it coming at me from all angles. I’m like Forrest Gump in the rain – I’ve been through every kind of sales strategy there is. Little itty bitty magazine ads, big ol’ fat billboard ads, ads that flew in while I was reading an article online, and sometimes ads that came straight up from underneath the show I was watching. Shoot, there are even ads in the middle of the night.
I can’t listen to the radio, watch TV, drive down the street, flip through a magazine, play a game on my phone, or scroll through my social media feed without someone trying to sell me something.
None of this inspires brand loyalty
I’m truly inundated with salespeople trying to convince me that their product is the best one I’ll ever try and despite all their efforts to be convincing it instead feels contrived. It all feels fake. The actors, the emotion, the “before” and “afters.” (I don’t know about you but I’ve fallen for those mascara ads before, and your eyelashes never look like that.), the inspirational quotes – all of it. I can’t tell who is telling me the truth, who is giving an unbiased testament, and who “isn’t a doctor, but plays one on TV.” For that fact, I mostly ignore the advertisements and the testimonies of companies and businesses unless I notice one thing – authenticity.
Keeping your brand authentic
Now, that’s a marketing commandment – “be authentic” – and one that’s probably been drilled into you at every team meeting and industry conference. But I’m not talking about pretend, fabricated authenticity, but instead real-life, practical, relatable authenticity. One of the best examples of advertising authenticity I’ve encountered comes from SpinWeb, an inbound marketing company that clearly knows what it’s doing.
Emails are signed from their CEO, their social media posts are engaging, funny, and real, and the content they share is useful to me as a client.
An example is like a funny meme from a movie, a list of favorite Mac keyboard shortcuts, and an article about repurposing old content.
It’s not about tricking people into buying
Not one traditional advertisement as I scroll their Twitter feed. Unlike many emails I receive, I actually open and read what they share with me because it’s not simply an advertisement for their services; it’s content that applies to me.
This is why what they’re doing works. It’s not the same tired game. I know they are selling something, but it feels like they care more about helping me than they do about my wallet.
I may not be in the market to purchase inbound marketing services at this moment, but when I am, I can tell you the first company I’m going to – the one I’ve been following and engaging with for the past year.
You never know what you’re gonna get
Good marketing doesn’t feel like a sales pitch to a client. It’s identifying your audience and engaging with them in ways that they will remember. More of the 5-3-2 rule, less self-promotion, and more authenticity is your “box of chocolates.”