“She knew what I was without me having to explain it.”—my youngest daughter, delighted that someone understood her Halloween costume.
It was simple: a burlap skirt, a loose linen shirt, a straw headdress, and a bit of dirt smudged on her face.
But she was getting a whole lot of “Why do you have straw on your head?”
So when someone got it without asking, there was an immediate bond.
This was one of her people.
So much to unpack here, right?
First, you need to know she was Nori Brandyfoot.
And if that’s confusing to you, you need to know she was a Harfoot.
And if that’s confusing to you, you need to know that Harfoots are the ancestors of Hobbits (I’m using capital Hs here out of respect for fictional races of lovable halflings).
And that Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were like Nori, abnormally drawn to adventure.
It could also help if you’ve watched the Amazon series The Rings of Power, which is a prequel to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
All caught up?
Or not so Tol-keen?
Sorry. I had to.
Now we can talk about how, when we choose to do a thing few people really understand and we practice our craft out in the wild (aka dressing up as Nori Brandyfoot for Halloween), we have to be willing to live with the fact that a large portion of the people we encounter will be confused.
It’s frustrating, yes.
But here’s the thing:
When someone does recognize that thing you’re doing as incredibly valuable to them (aka is a fan of The Rings of Power and totally gets it), the connection is crazy strong.
They will feel drawn to you.
They’re your people.
I’ve been working on a go-to-market strategy with a service business that hired Audience Ops to help out, and, as we’ve been diving into who their Ideal Client Persona (ICP) truly is, there’s been some concern about my recommendation to niche down.
They do a handful of things incredibly well for a wide range of clients.
But what they want is a steady stream of qualified interest in one service in particular (the most lucrative and exciting one they offer).
To scale that type of growing interest, they need to figure out what will resonate strongly with clients who value that particular service.
Clients who will encounter them and think, “Yes. This is for ME. This is exactly what we need.”
They need to attract clients with a specific worldview by building a world they can inhabit.
A place where no one has to ask, “Why do you have straw on your head?”
Because they’ve got straw on their heads, too.
The Phases Of Podcasting
Building a podcast (or any content series, really) with the goal of generating/directly impacting revenue can be tough, and the reality is it’s easy to get “stuck.”
Refine Labs Stacking Growth Podcast recently featured Lindsay Tjepkema, found of Casted, to talk about what she calls the Amplified Marketing Maturity Curve.
Lindsay identifies 5 stages of growth and explains how to get “unstuck” at each stage.
- Stage 1: The Idea
- Stage 2: Structure
- Stage 3: Building the Audience
- Stage 4: Building the Brand
- Stage 5: Revenue
How Strategic Narrative Is Different Than Challenger Sale
In a recent LinkedIn post, Andy Raskin explains why Strategic Narrative isn’t exactly the same as Challenger Sale.
In short, strategic narrative shifts from a problem/solution frame to a story that invites your audience to “come join this new world.”
- Name the new game (and the old one)
- Show there are life-and-death stakes (winning and losing)
- Define the object of the new game (buyer mission)
- Present obstacles to winning the new game
- Show how you help overcome them
Video Customer Testimonials As A Tool For B2B Growth
Have you tried creating video testimonials? In this episode of Marketing Smarts, Alexander Ferguson makes a case for video customer stories.
“Even the average ones perform better than most other types of videos because it has the customer in it and it’s using the words that your other customers want to hear. It’s the journey. It’s the pain points. It’s the problem. And it just resonates better than most other videos and being able to convert and actually move the needle in your marketing efforts.”
Alexander explains what makes for a good one—they need a full story arc—and why they don’t need to be exceptionally high quality to be effective.
Psst! Audience Ops has been creating video testimonials (plus captioned ads for social) for our clients and we’re sharing what we’ve learned in the Audience Ops Insights section (below).
Beyond Case Studies & Testimonials: How To Involve Your Audience In Content Creation
Customer involvement in your content has the potential to be powerful, authentic, and credible. However, Sara Stella Lattanzio explains that this means you need to go beyond simply creating case studies.
Check out 9 other ways you can involve customers in your content strategy.
Stop Obsessing Over Single Touch Points
“Was this from Google Ads?”
“Was this word of mouth?”
“Was this from our e-book?”
My guess is you don’t need to be told that the buyer journey is much larger than a single touch point… but just in case...
Jonathan Bland explains why and shares a real-life experience.
Looking Forward And Looking Back
It’s that point in the year when people predict the next year’s marketing trends and challenges.
If you could narrow down marketing trends that have the potential to make the greatest impact on marketing in 2023, what would they be? Shann Biglione, writing for The Drum, says they’re:
- The sobering up of tech
- Partnerships leaning on the big guns
- Social media turns into social mayday
Similarly, Caroline Forsey lists 7 challenges you can expect in the coming year (as well as how to prepare) in this HubSpot article.
The Marketoonist has officially been in publication for 20 years now. Tom Fishburne shares a little of what he’s learned as well as some of his iconic cartoons here.
“Marketing is constantly in a state of flux, with an endless stream of shiny new things to distract us. But the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
A Simple Storytelling Framework
Manasvi Soni offers a straightforward framework designed to help you become a better storyteller.
Discovered via Marketer Crew.
Bypassing The Paywall
Honesty time: have you ever attempted to bypass a paywall? If so, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, 53% of us try to get around paywalls without paying.
Jack Marshall breaks down these statistics and explains what it means for publishers here.
Discovered via The Media Roundup.
Audience Ops Insights
Video Testimonials Are More Compelling Than Written Ones
Customer testimonial videos are incredibly powerful because there's way less skepticism about whether the brand made up what the customer is saying.
It’s not a text quote.
Or a written story your brand polished to perfection.
It’s a real person who spent their valuable time being recorded explaining why they love your brand.
It’s compelling proof a real person like your prospect has had success using your product or service.
- We’ve been working on video case studies for Audience Ops customers for the past 6 months, starting with this growing library for ARPU.
- We recently drank our own champagne and created this one to add to the podcast service page of our brand new website (launching late 2022, y’all).
- And, because we are obsessed with distribution (see Opt In Challenge below), we’ve also created some ad bundles (which include a shorter, captioned version and a carousel adaptation) for customers like Delegated. (We’re building a collection of both video and written customer stories for them.)
What we’ve found
Part of what we love about the work as a content creation partner is that interviewing a brand’s customers for these videos really helps us understand their ICP and strategize additional meaningful content. It’s a wonderful first project for us to take on for new clients for that reason.
When we plan additional content after working on these testimonials, we have specific people in mind, and we can create especially FOR THEM because we have a much better understanding of what challenges and motivates them.
Not only do videos resonate really strongly with buyers in a consideration phase, they can also work to increase brand awareness and help buyers understand what you sell.
Repurposing shorter versions of these videos as paid ads means they’re no longer just capturing demand, they’re creating it by delivering a micro story with the best details to educate right in the social feed (no click required to learn).
Interested in video customer testimonials and case studies your audience will love? Reach out to Audience Ops and mention Case Studies.
Opt In Challenge
Content Distribution Event Nov. 17
This week’s challenge is to register for an upcoming event:
How to Run Laps Around Your Competition with Content Distribution
Speakers include Nick Bennett (Director of Evangelism & Customer Marketing, Alyce), Leah Friedman (Director of Content Marketing, Guru), Hiba Amin (Senior Marketing Manager, Demand Generation, Testbox), and John Bonini (Director of Marketing, Databox and Founder, Some Good Content).
They’ll cover how modern day marketers distribute content to crush the competition.
From the event listing:
“It’s all about getting your content in front of the right audience at the right time. It starts with a mindset shift. Gone are the days where the content factory approach is going to help you get to the next level. We have entered an era in content marketing where we have to be on offense and it starts with content distribution.”