Who really loves your brand? You do. T.J. Foltz, president of Humankind Water, in an interview, made the point that you find your product, your company, and your goals more entrancing than even your most passionate brand advocate does. That means you have to get to the point quickly.
It’s like the photos of your puppy or your kids that you show people. They are of course interested, and they want to know about the exploits of little Kaylie or Flash. They just don’t care as much as you do. They want to see the photo and hear the story, but not to see the slideshow or attend the recital or agility trials.
Just so, when you’re describing your product, you have to get right to the benefit for the consumer — “the difference it makes in the world,” as Foltz put it, “if they buy your X instead of someone else’s X.”
Humankind Water is a bottled water company that donates all its profits to projects designed to bring safe drinking water to the world. The difference it makes if you buy their product is pretty striking. But your product may also make a big difference to your customer’s life. We spoke yesterday with a client whose year-over-year traffic is up by nearly 2,000%. That makes a difference. You may not save lives or transform businesses, but you might make a woman feel more confident because of the cute shoes you make, or you might give gluten-sensitive people an exciting new snack option.
Whatever the Big Idea behind your product may be, let that be the focus of your company’s content.
On average, people watching an online video will watch 20 seconds of it. People will spend less time than that at your website before they decide to stay (or, of course, deciding whether to watch a video). Foltz said he discovered that the key was “telling enough of the story in a compelling way in the first seven seconds to earn the right to be heard for another thirty.”
How can you get to the point quickly in your online marketing content?
- Know the important thing — to your customer — about your product. Hint: it’s not the awards you’ve won or your mission statement. If you offer freedom from lower back pain or a fresher lunchbox sandwich, say so right up front. That’s what your customers care about.
- Make your point immediately. There is a place for an elegant introduction and it’s not in marketing materials. In your blog posts, sure. Articles for a magazine, absolutely. Product descriptions, though, need to make their point quickly. Ads have to, and so do promotional videos.
- Get graphic. One of the changes we made in our new website design was to incorporate more graphic elements, and we expect to continue doing so in the future. We’ve worked with clients who have no photos of their products at all on their websites. If you have only a few seconds to earn some attention from your visitors, a photo or infographic that communicates well can get your point across faster.
Make your point fast, and then settle down and support that point.