Plucking at Heartsprings and Purse Springs

Perhaps the most touching ad on television right now comes from marketing giants, Guinness. For decades, they’ve made us happy with the black stuff and made us giggle with their “brilliant” commercials. This time, however, they went for the advertising gold—our hearts.

Picture this: Five men playing hardcore basketball in wheelchairs. They play tough—tipping chairs, checking each other, and trash talking. When it’s over, they cheer. And everyone stands, except for one. Guys, I don’t know about you, but this is about when my waterworks started. My first thought was: I want Guinness. I really didn’t, but whoa, did that commercial convince me for just a second that I did. My second thought: How could I make that same emotional connection with consumers through content marketing? After a bit of thought, here’s what I came up with.

Reach Them Where They Are

When those basketball players sat in wheelchairs to play, they essentially got down on their friend’s level. They set aside their own abilities and egos to meet him where he was. As a content marketing, it’s our job to do the same. Of course, we want to appear as experts to anyone who may read our work, and it’s important that anyone who visits our website will perceive us as such. If, however, you spend too much time talking over customers’ heads instead of talking to them, you’ll miss the mark every time.

Knock Down Barriers

Something else these players did was to eliminate barriers. Sure, they joined their friend on his level, but by doing so, they destroyed the barrier that kept him from playing. You want to do this through your content marketing, too. Get down on their level, and then include everyone. If your marketing tactics leave a specific demographic out in the cold, people will notice. For instance, Dr. Pepper’s “Tastetosterone” ads eliminate the female demographic completely. Can you afford to miss out on half the population by excluding a particular audience?

Remain Friends

After meeting your audience where they are and including everyone, you must remain friends. We’ll call this the part of the commercial where the basketball players go enjoy a beer together. Once the connection has been made, you must work to keep it in place. If you start changing the rules of the game, you’ll lose your customers. Consider companies that have been around for decades, with Guinness as a prime example. Disney, Levi’s, Folgers… These brands remain in the public eye because they’ve worked hard to maintain the relationships formed with consumers throughout the years.

Start working on reaching your customers where they are. Not only will you see immediate results in your marketing and sales, but you’ll do something even more important: You’ll begin a lasting relationship built on trust and mutual respect. And that’s how to loosen those purse strings by plucking at the heartstrings.