‘Tickle’ Content: No Feathers Needed

Marketers understand triggers, no problem. But what about tickles? Let me show you a photo of one of my homemade cupcakes. Are you hungry now? Craving something sweet?

Cupcakes by Melissa
Mocha cupcakes dipped in chocolate ganache, topped with vanilla bean buttercream and finished with a salted caramel drizzle … drooooooooool.

Hungry now? Craving something sweet?

Or maybe cute animals are more your thing …

Apollo the CatI want a kitty!

Apollo the CatI WANT A KITTY!

Apollo the CatGIMME THAT KITTY RIGHT NOW!

So, what was all of that, aside from cupcake and cat photos? (Both of which are mine, no stock photos here … meet my hobby and my furball sidekick, Apollo.)

Those were “tickles.”

As Grant Simmons explained during his C3 session, “It Ain’t Over Till the Cat Lady Sings: Content Beyond Kittens & Other Search Strategies,” marketers understand triggers: Trigger content answers questions, and connects with existing searches.

Your car broke down? You need to find a mechanic to fix it. Pretty simple. Triggers happen without the marketer doing anything. Instead, the marketer is on the other end of the search, providing the solution to a consumer who has been forced into a “need” mindset by the issue/trigger.

Tickles are a different story. Grant explains:

“Tickles are the stimuli of needs and desires. Marketers can ‘tickle’ a consumer into wanting or needing.”

At the beginning of this post, I showed you a photo of a delicious cupcake. And because I showed it to you, I tickled the idea into your head that you wanted one.

Where's my cupcake?It’s crucial for marketers to understand the stimuli that will influence and inspire users into buying desire. To craft tickles, a marketer needs to be prepared to be visible, gain consumer awareness and essentially inspire a search.

Yes, that’s right … you need to think about what your customer needs and optimize your content for that, not what is going to get you a higher ranking on a search engine results page. Upsetting, I’m sure.

I highly recommend checking out the short post Grant wrote for the Conductor blog in the lead up to C3 about triggers and tickles, and I’ll leave you with what Grant called a “Grantism”:

“Good content connects with behavior, great content inspires behavior.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop Kanye’ing Your Audience

Since the early 2000s, we have known people don’t like pop-ups … yet they’re still being used. “I know you’re trying to leave my site, but HEY! Look at this!” “Don’t go! Here’s more stuff you don’t want!” Or the pop-ups appear before you even see the content you thought you wanted to see.

Since the early 2000s, we have known people don’t like pop-ups … yet they’re still being used.

“I know you’re trying to leave my site, but HEY! Look at this!”

“Don’t go! Here’s more stuff you don’t want!”

Or the pop-ups appear before you even see the content you thought you wanted to see.

Stop Kanye'ing Your Audience
Slide image courtesy of Wil Reynolds and C3 (it’s so perfect).

Say what?

The request to “stop Kanye’ing your audience” was one of the many things Wil Reynolds of SEER Interactive asked of his audience during the keynote, “The Ranking Farce — and What You Should Do About It” on Day 1 of C3, hosted by Conductor on Oct. 28-29.

What does he mean? Well, remember what happened during the 2009 MTV Music Awards? Taylor Swift won for the Best Female Video, and during her acceptance speech, Kanye came up on the stage and said:

“Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time … one of the best videos of all time!”

He took the mic out of her hand, made his statement, then MTV cut to commercial. Ms. Swift did not get to finish (though when Beyonce won for Video of the Year, she did invite Taylor up to finish her acceptance).

Marketers are doing this, and not just with pop-ups. Many are more concerned with telling the customers what they need and how they should buy it, instead of listening and just letting them finish.

Wil explained that customers are interested in experiences that “Make me a better me.” “People don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves …”

Making Customers Better SelvesBut marketers Kanye their customers there, too. The focus stops short on the product, or the No. 1 ranking on a search engine results page (SERP). But as the slide above shows, your business isn’t selling your product, it’s selling the experience your product gives the customer to be better.

A great example Wil gave was how Serious Eats’ guide to grilling steaks improved his steak grilling game, made him smarter about steak cuts, techniques, etc., and helped him impress friends and family. So, when the site showed products from affiliates — like a grill or charcoal chimney — he wasn’t put off by it because Serious Eats had already earned his trust.

“Content levels me up,” he explained

So ask yourself: Is your content leveling people up? Or are you Kanye’ing them with pop-ups they don’t want, sales pushes they don’t need and no content that helps them be the best version of themselves.

Because if you are, another marketer is going to be the Beyonce to your Taylor Swift customer.

Do yourself a favor: The awesome folks at Conductor have made the C3 keynote videos available, so check out Wil’s right here:

And I dare you to not get a little marketing crush on him and his mad presentation skills.