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Creative approaches to Inbound Marketing

Many people in the business of marketing love the assignments where they get to be creative and really have fun with a project. As a marketer, you see jobs come in that at first glance seem too dry or straightforward for a fun approach, but you should think of these customers as a challenge. It’s possible to take straightforward material and make it fun through different marketing techniques. This fun approach to marketing is often more inviting for a consumer and more sharable between potential customers. Social shares and other micro-conversions lead prospects down the marketing funnel toward those sought-after macro-conversions that our clients love.

Finding the fun side

What’s fun about filling out paperwork? Where’s the humor in payroll or human resource software? Sometimes, the best way to find the funny side of what a client offers is to produce a short video that amuses people by turning their expectations on-end.

A great example of how an ordinary product or service can be made more entertaining is this short video about payroll software: Confessions: I Love Payroll from Paycor Payroll on Vimeo.

Viewers see a woman explaining that her dream of owning her own bakery comes from a lifelong desire to handle payroll. The video then expands on that premise, with the woman ignoring customers – and even her daughter’s bedtime story duties – due to her excitement about handling payroll tasks at all hours of the day. The marketer plays on the prospect’s need for efficiency, work-life balance and desire to focus on her true career love: baking and seeing other enjoy her bakery treats.

As a marketer, it’s your job to help clients find creative ways to showcase their company and/or the products and services they offer. Video is a great way to showcase whatever you are advertising. People identify with each other, which is why advertisers often use faces in their marketing materials. Videos allow people to see themselves in various settings. Videos can also be less of an investment of time and energy than reading. And consumers want their info easy.  And the video about payroll programs – while humorous – still delivers the message that what’s being offered provides a real-life solution to a problem. Because more than anything, consumers want answers to problems. Anyone spending unwanted time on payroll tasks will relate to this video.

Exaggerate the situation

When you choose videos for your marketing channel, you can use humor to your advantage. Who doesn’t like a hilarious video? Exaggeration is a great tool for injecting humor into your video. If you’ve ever seen the “Don’t Wake up in a Roadside Ditch” commercial for DirecTV, you can appreciate how an outlandish chain of events creates a memorable and funny ad. Most people have travel-gone-wrong stories or other kinds of stories that they tell over and over because the absurdity was fantastic and goes over well at parties. Generating this kind of humor in marketing makes sense because these are also the kinds of pieces that get tweeted and retweeted. And that’s when brand awareness can take root with a prospect.

Call customers to action

In another type of video, the call-to-action is more than just a single link or nudge to a website. The video takes the opportunity to introduce the company, explain how the company is different and then urges the viewer to visit the website. Some marketers are afraid to take too much time on a call-to-action, but if you provide the right information and stay positive throughout, then you’ll have nothing to worry about. Most potential customers will want to know as much as possible upfront, and the views on the website are far more likely to come from people who are actually interested in the product. Without a clear call-to-action, you risk losing the customer who’s ready to take the next step.

For many, the use of video as a marketing tool is still relatively new and like most marketing tools, there’s a right and a wrong way to use it. Keep your audience in mind when shooting and be sure to plan out the video before you begin. Explore your client’s needs and figure out the right ways to accentuate a product’s usefulness with humor and fun – even payroll software!