If you are a resident of an urban area, chances are high that you have seen your fair share of homeless people, panhandlers and street signs. When you see it almost every day, you will have the tendency of tuning it out, regardless of how painful it is – you become numb to the pain, in a sort of way.
However, a content marketer will tend to think differently, as there are so many lessons to be learnt even from the most simple-looking individuals – it all comes down to differences in perspective. With the constant messages that we are exposed to today, it is no surprise that we tune out advertisements in the same way – on average, we are exposed to between 5,000 and 20,000 marketing messages daily, and it becomes tiring to hear all of them.
Here are some differences and lessons you can learn from the homeless.
Honesty goes a long way
If you think you are fooling anyone with bending the truth, think again. Many people (unless they are naïve) can see lies and fraudulent scams coming from a mile off, and they will avoid it as soon as they see it.
When you are a marketer and use lies and deceptive techniques to market your products or services, you might get away with it once, but you will not get away with it again.
Challenge the audience
Challenging the audience makes them engage with you more than you think. The secret in this case is appealing to their egos through unveiling the chance for them to do something and show off their skills.
A good instance would be asking your audience on social media to give you recommendations of a good music artist. If the audience is listening, they will definitely jump at the chance to show you what they know and convert you into a fan of that artist.
Appealing to a niche crowd
You cannot please everyone – that is a fact of life. And that applies to marketing as well, no matter how good it is, such as a drug rehab service center like Ohio drug and alcohol treatment resources – you cannot expect to satisfy the needs of everyone who sees your content. If you are trying to please everyone, you will please no one.
The need to get specific with what you do is very important, even if your product will not appeal to everyone. That is the reason why you need to know your target audience; the ones who will talk about you, become the biggest brand evangelists, and spread your message everywhere. That is the paramount secret to real marketing, more than any other strategy.
It is important to think about the group that will be the most impressed by your efforts to pull their socks off and focus on them. Not only should you target them, but they are also the best placed people to comprehend your efforts and product since they need it anyway.
Do the dirty work
When you execute this properly, it will always work like a charm. When you make the jobs of your audience easier, you will automatically be indispensable in their eyes, or at least they will see you as a source of help in the work they have to do.
You can always think about the mundane things that the audience would like advice for and do tutorials on that or writing posts about such things, and then target your social media followers or blog readers.
Over delivery on a constant basis
If you are one of those marketers that constantly under delivers, no one will remember you – and if people do, it will always be for the wrong reason.
Content works in similar ways. As long as you under deliver with what you are doing, even if it is something mundane, you are assured that the visitors you had will not come back any time soon. If they decide to stay, they might see what you are posting but will not respond because they already got bored with your content.
Be open about your weaknesses
This ties in with the rule of becoming an honest person. You might not want to reveal the whole of yourself on social media or your content, but at least showing people that you are a human being who struggles as much as they do goes a long way in fostering that human connection.
In addition, it is not good to pretend you know something when you do not. After all, the internet never forgives, and if it does it never forgets. That will lead to people constantly trying to make sure you are in the wrong even for mistakes you made years ago, and they can even tarnish your reputation using those mistakes.
When you are the first to admit you are in the wrong, you will be surprised at the positive reactions that result from it. After all, everyone will understand that you are willing to change and grow, and that will help them to accept you for who you are, flaws and all.
Be different and stand out from the crowd
Homeless people live a tough life – it is not an easy task to keep on begging for money from strangers, and people start to tune you out. That makes sense when you think about it in the marketing context – you are bombarded with messages every day until it gets annoying and you do not want to hear it anymore.
This is essentially called ‘herd mentality’, which is a secret form of persuasion every human being can succumb to. What it means is simple – as long as you see everyone doing it, you are likely to do it too, even if it is wrong.
The competition for marketers to get the name of their brand is more difficult than ever, since everyone is making noise at the same time, so the only way to stand out is figuring out a way to be different, even if you seem strange or unconventional.
Content marketing is not something that you learn in theory – a lot of it is something you learn as you go along. The homeless people are the last source of inspiration you can think of, but they can end up teaching you more lessons than you initially thought – and give you enough reasons to excel at your job.