2022 is all about entertaining customers—not selling to them
It used to be much easier for brands to share overly salesy content because there wasn't as much competition, and not all businesses could easily get their products in front of the right people.
Oh, how the times have changed.
Brands can create content and distribute it anywhere on free and paid channels. It's everyone's ballpark now, and the only way to stand out is not to be that business that tries to sell to customers every chance.
In 2022, it's all about giving value and entertaining shoppers. We spoke with Barry Hott, a Growth Consultant and the former Head of Growth, Paid Social at Lone River Ranch Water, to get his top tips to entertain customers.
🚨 Attention is the new oil
Shoppers consume content from various channels… All. Day. Long.
Creators are incredibly talented, and shoppers aren't forced to watch bad content anymore. Compared to the hundreds of other ads, blogs, and organic posts customers see, how are you trying to stand out? 🤔
According to Barry, attention is your most valuable asset as a brand—and to capture it, you have to know exactly how to entertain your target audience.
"Nobody wants to see ads. We're all now programmed to subconsciously sniff out ads and ignore them on TV, Instagram, TikTok, everywhere. To get people's attention, we have to make content that people will want to pay attention to. We have to keep people engaged or entertained."
His advice? Make the very first moment count. And once you capture attention and find a system in which you can do so consistently, discover ways to keep it throughout your ad, blog post, video.
For ads specifically, you can use metrics to determine where users drop off from your content. This tells you how you can approach your creative differently to get the user to watch all the way through.
👏 Focus on relatable content—and the consumer
Many businesses go wrong when creating content: they focus on themselves too much, not on the actual customer they're trying to capture.
"Make things less formal and more relatable, focus more on the consumer, and focus less on the brand and the product. Rather, give customers an experience," said Barry.
He suggests starting with answering the question, "So what?" This will help you figure out what content will resonate with shoppers.
"Nobody cares about your brand or your product; they only care about themselves, so make the ad about them."
To make it more relatable, Barry suggests using UGC. More authentic-looking photos and videos can sneak by the subconscious desire to avoid ads and make people feel less like they're being sold to.
Also, make sure you're addressing common problems customers have. Your product should naturally be the solution—without you needing to explicitly say it.
😎 Just act natural
The rise of TikTok changed the content game forever. The high-quality, production-focused, styled content isn’t relatable to the everyday consumer.
People don’t want to see Instagram influencers with unachievable lifestyles—they want the average joe on TikTok that’s keeping it real.
Part of being relatable as a brand is creating that type of relatable content. Here’s an ad example from Barry for Flock Chicken Chips. In this 3-minute uncut video (made from Barry’s phone), he eats a bag of the brand’s chips and reacts to it on the spot.
The key to its success is that it's real, authentic, and feels like a video you would send to a friend.
"It grabs attention from the beginning and then keeps it by continuing to move on to more points about why I like the product. It's kinda like ASMR and weird/gross. It also works because people aren't used to seeing something keep going like this and are curious to see where it's going," said Barry.
🎨 Use comments to fuel your creativity
Everyone talks about the importance of customer research, but it's not always easy to hop on a Zoom call with a bunch of customers to interview them.
There are other ways to learn about their interests and needs—and you don't even have to go searching very far.
"Read the comments on your ads, especially from the haters. Figure out how to address, preempt, and overcome their objections," said Barry.
Approach every stage of the customer's journey this way, and you'll be golden 🌟
This year, if you focus on giving value to shoppers and entertaining them, your content will do a better job of standing out. But if you can take this one step further and serve up good content at every stage of the shopping journey, you'll be ahead of the game.
Barry's last words of wisdom?
"Any touchpoint you have with potential customers should be entertaining. For both paid and organic, go with Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Snapchat. Don't expect your organic to get the reach of your paid, and remember that your organic audience is warmer to your brand than prospecting ads. More branded content is appropriate for organic channels."