Andrew Davis on how to create addictive content | Webinar

Andrew Davis on how to create addictive content | Webinar

Hi there, welcome everyone, so happy to have
you. We can take a few seconds to get settled and maybe let me know where you’re signing
in from today just so we can see where you guys are from and then we’ll get started.
I see a couple of you in there and I’ll do a nice little welcome.
Where do we have some of you in from today? Southwest England, oh there’s a lot of you.
I’m going to try to keep up. I’m getting as many as I can so we’ve got Philadelphia,
Washington, England, there are so many of you I can hardly keep up but now I feel quite
confident that there are many of you from all over the world so we are so thrilled to
have you guys. Again thank you so much for joining us. I
am thrilled to announce our host today Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping: Unleashing
the Power of Partnerships, and he is going to discuss with you all today some simple
secrets to creating your hook and how to truly solidify a relationship with your audience.
I just want to let you know we are going to have a little Q&A session with Andrew at the
end of this presentation, so if you have some specific questions about his presentation
today or some specific questions for Andrew hold it until the end of the webinar and we
will have a dedicated Q&A time for that. And we’re also recording this webinar so if
you’d like to watch it again, we are recording it and we should be sending it to you in person
or online hopefully by Monday. Have no fear, if you’re joining us late or you just want
to watch it again this is being recorded and we will send it to all attendees hopefully
on Monday. Without further ado I’m going to pass it
onto Andrew and he can get going. Alright, thanks Abby. I am really excited
about the GetResponse webinar team and thank you so much for inviting me and I’m really
excited to hear there are people from all over the world. This is going to be fun; we
are going to talk about how to create a hook. A hook allows you to create addictive content
for your brand, but the reason you need to do this is we need to actually combat what
I call commodity content. Commodity content is the raw material of the
online world, it’s what makes the online world work but it’s not necessarily the
kind of content that will actually build a relationship with the audience you’ve got
or you’re trying to get. The reason you have to think like this is
we actually live in information overload world. Information overload, you know what it is,
basically whenever you open your own inbox, but it’s a paradox. Just because there is
more information available does not mean one can consume more. Does that make sense? Just
because there is more information available does not mean one can consume more. And when
I say more information I mean a lot more, okay. Seventeen new web pages are published
every single second, so here we go this is 17, 34, 51, 68, 85—85 web pages were just
created and published on the web in those last five seconds and somebody is supposed
to consume them, and we’re contributing to this. All of us as content creators, as
marketers, as brands, we are creating some of those web pages that are contributing to
information overload. Information overload actually looks like this,
especially if you go back in time. You’re looking at the amount of information on the
Y-axis there, and on the X-axis you’re looking at time, from 1950 to today, and the gray
line is the information you can actually consume. The black line is the amount of information
you think is available to consume, and in 1950 especially in the U.S. there wasn’t
a big gap between the information you could actually consume and the information you thought
was available. You had your favorite television station, you had your favorite radio station,
you knew there was another TV station or a couple more radio stations you could watch
or listen to but you didn’t consume them. Maybe you got a couple magazines, you knew
there were other magazines out there but you only subscribed to the ones you wanted. That’s
the difference between that gap, is actually very important as you move through time.
When you get to the 1990s in the United States we have the cable television explosion and
that’s kind of the middle of this chart here. You see those lines start to go away
from each other, that’s when we all started talking about the 200 channel cable universe,
and even in the U.S. these cable television stations showed up every day it seemed like.
There was CNN, then there’s CNN International, then there’s CNN Headline News, then there’s
CNN Español, then there was ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNU, then there was CNBC,
and MSNBC, and Fox News, and Fox Business News, and Bloomberg and on and on it went,
and that’s when you realized there’s this gap starting to widen between the amount of
information we think is available but the information we can actually consume. Even
if you consumed information for a whole 24 hours, you just stayed up all night, there’s
a limit to that. It flat lines and today the gap is unbelievably large, it doesn’t matter
what you’re trying to buy, what you’re interested in, there’s always one more piece
of information you could consume before you make that purchase or think about going on
a vacation. Whatever it is in the online world, there’s another link that leads you somewhere
else and as marketers one of the problems I think is you’re chasing the perceived
opportunity, we are chasing the social screen. We are contributing to information overload
by just creating more content that we hope our audience will consume. We’re posting
it on Facebook, we’re emailing it to them, we’re shoving it down their throats in the
hopes they’ll consume this information. The actual opportunity, especially when it
comes to email is creating quality content over quantity. If you start to really think
about being part of the information your audience wants to consume and actually being part of
their habitual content consumption that’s where you start to have really big success
with your content. And in fact, you can create less content but see bigger results.
Bigger results less content, that’s the goal of creating higher quality content and
being part of the information your audience actually wants to consume.
I want you to start thinking immediately about fitting into the information one actually
wants to consume. Do not contribute to information overload with commodity content. I want you
to ask yourself this, what if we just tried to own some quality time in our customer’s
inbox. What if we wanted to own two minutes of our audience’s time once a week. What
if we ignored click-through rates and our goal was just a zero opt-out rate and an ever-growing
subscription base. I want you to start asking yourself what time in your audience’s life
can you own. That’s the question we’re going to help answer today as we think about
combating commodity content and information overload so that we’re part of the information
our audience actually wants to consume. If you want to do this the secret to doing
this that I learned in television is to create a hook.
A hook is a simple twist on a familiar theme designed to ensnare or entrap your audience.
I will say it once again, a hook is a simple twist on a familiar theme designed to ensnare
or entrap your audience. And I want you to start thinking about what that means to your
content. Let me show you what a great hook looks like.
Someone that has done this really well, probably a lot of you have heard the story of Gary
Vaynerchuk, he’s the guy that started Wine Library TV. But what’s interesting about
Gary’s story is the evolution he went through, and I’m going to use a lot of video examples
just because I think they’re easier to see especially on a webinar. We don’t need a
lot more boring slides and so I’m going to play a little bit of these videos so that
you get a taste for it, but this could be email content, it doesn’t need to just be
video. Don’t worry about that, think about the hook that ends up building his brand.
If you don’t know Gary Vaynerchuk, he basically took over his dad’s liquor store in New
Jersey in 2006, and it was a $4-million a year business which is an average business
for a liquor store in New Jersey in 2006, that’s the average revenue. He decided he
wanted to do something cool, instead of just having a boring old liquor store he wanted
to bring some new technology into the mix and he decided to start creating a video every
single day, five days a week he said he was going to review some wines for his audience,
and he started doing this every day. I’m going to play you Episode-2. This is
just the very second episode and I want you to look at the content. This is how he started
Wine Library TV. I’m going to turn it up and shut up for a second, are you ready?
Video: Hello everyone and welcome to Episode-2 of Wine Library TV. I’m your host Gary Vaynerchuk,
director of operations. Today we are going to visit the wonderful and interesting world
of Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio is… Okay that is unbelievably boring right; I
don’t need to play you the whole video of Episode-2. Gary Vaynerchuk is doing what every
wine snob has ever done on any video program, which is sound like they know more than we
do and talk about the wines in a snotty way. Gary Vaynerchuk was doing this for 76 days,
76 days he did the same type of show and if you have seen Gary Vaynerchuk you know this
is not the Gary Vaynerchuk we know and love today.
Gary Vaynerchuk basically was creating the kind of show he thought everybody wanted.
This show is commodity content and he started getting basically emails from people that
started telling Gary, look you’re really bad at this. I’m a wine guy myself and you
don’t know anything about wine, can you even drink wine. A lot of people thought he
looked too young, they told him he was an idiot, and Gary was getting really upset that
people weren’t really embracing these videos. Gary told me that on Episode-76 he got an
email from a really obnoxious wine snob that said “Gary, you’re a moron. You’re just
a sports guy who likes wine.” You’re just a sports guy who likes wine, and Gary took
a step back and said wait a second, he’s right. Why am I doing something that I’m
not? I am a sports guy who happens to like wine why can’t I embrace that and start
creating that content. So that’s what he did and this is what happened five years later.
By 2011 he had a $60-million a year mail-order business, he was still doing the videos every
single day and this is an episode. I can’t remember, almost near the end, so let me play
you what the show looked like when he embraced the idea that he was going to do a sports
show about wine. Here goes. Video: Hello everybody, welcome to Wine Library
TV, I am your host Gary Vaynerchuk and this my friends is the Thunder Show, AKA the internet’s
most passionate wine program. There you go, now that sounds like any radio
sports show, right? And that’s what Gary did, he created a hook. He created a different
kind of wine show, it wasn’t for wine snobs. It wasn’t by wine snobs; it was a sports
show for the wine world. If I had to classify the hook of this show
it was ESPN Sports Center meets Wine Tasting, that is a simple twist on a familiar theme
designed to ensnare or entrap your audience, and Gary didn’t even know he was creating
a hook. But that’s what created a show that 90,000 people a week on average watch, that
is the power of a hook. All of a sudden people stopped thinking of him as a wannabe wine
snob and had a unique angle on creating great content.
Wine Library TV is not commodity content; it is not the raw material of the online world.
Commodity content is not worth subscribing to; a hook makes your content unique. There
is a way to actually stand out and that’s what Wine Library TV and Gary Vaynerchuk did.
Content with a hook, builds relationships, relationships build trust and trust is what
drives revenue and that’s exactly what happened with Gary Vaynerchuk. He had a hook all of
a sudden, he built a relationship with a new audience that audience all of a sudden started
trusting him and his wine recommendations and they started ordering wine from him, and
that’s what took a $4-million a year business into a $60-million a year business. That’s
the power of a hook. Look, we live in an opt-in world. All of those
logos you see right there, I don’t even know what some of those are, but they all
have a version of a subscription, fan, follow, friend. These are all synonyms for subscribe,
and the most basic subscription today is an email subscription and still unbelievably
powerful, but I want you to start thinking about harnessing the power of a subscription.
Why? Because a subscription allows you to build a relationship with the audience before
they need or so they need you, and Gary did that unbelievably well. He created such a
great show that inspired people to buy the wines he reviewed and he did it in such a
unique way that you fell in love with the show, with Gary and then the wines he was
talking about. What if your content brand had a compelling
hook? Wine Library TV is a content brand, it’s thinking of it like a TV show. I want
you to ask yourself what simple twist on a familiar theme will entrap or ensnare my audience?
That is a great example of a hook. Sorry, I need a drink of water; I hope you
guys are doing okay. I’m having fun, I know it’s early for
you guys on the Pacific Time Zone, I hope you had your coffee.
Okay, how do you create a hook? You have to think like a television executive. I came
out of the television world, I actually used to produce for the Today Show, for ABC Family
and I eventually got my dream job at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Company, I worked
for the Muppets. It was a really great experience and it was in television that I learned about
a hook. A hook is something very, very common. It’s
been around for decades in the television business. Let me show what a hook looks like
in TV. Let me show you the power of a hook. I want you to just quickly look at the beginning
of the video. This video is from Albany, New York from a television station there called
WRGB and this is April of 1997 and it’s a news program. It’s a segment in their
local news, so let’s just play a little and I’ll pause it so you can really soak
it in. Video: Angela Mcinerney, wife and mother has
working women’s skills. Believe me my family wishes I cooked—So what’s stopping you?
Exhaustion. During the week she and her working husband do not eat with their kids. We’re
going to do a meal in less than 30 minutes. Let me see you try. Okay, you can’t do it
in 30 minutes. Yes you can. Who is that? Do you know who that is? Can
you tell even in a blurry shot? I’ll let it play.
Video: Kitchen manager at Cowan & Lobel, Rachel Ray. We’re going to make some grilled swordfish
and we’re going to make some grilled vegetable and potato.
That’s right that is Rachel Ray. Okay Rachel Ray worked at a grocery store called Cowan
& Lobel’s in upstate New York and she had this simple idea that people could create
a meal in 30 minutes or less. That is a hook; it’s a simple twist on the cooking show.
There are tons and tons of cooking shows before Rachel Ray came along. She came up with a
new idea, a simple twist on a familiar theme. She took the normal cooking show and said
I’m not going to use any camera magic and editing magic, I can create a meal in 30 minutes
or less in real time on a television show and that’s what built Rachel Ray into the
Rachel Ray of today. Rachel Ray started with a simple twist on
a familiar theme called 30-Minute Meals and now she has a pretty crappy talk show, no
offense Rachel I just don’t think it’s that great, and she has a huge line of products
that have fallen out of what she started as 30-Minute Meals. All this orange stuff that
you can buy at your local stores around the world is Rachel Ray cookware and cookbooks
and cook stuff that all comes out of that simple twist on a familiar theme.
And what’s it worth? Well Rachel Ray alone, not all her businesses and her shows and her
stuff, Rachel Ray alone is worth $60-million and the key to her success was a simple hook
and that’s what I learned in television. The power of a hook is what makes the show
work. That’s what makes it stick, that’s what keeps people coming back.
You’ve got to think like a television executive to create a hook. I know this looks great
but let me help you embrace some simple ways to find your hook and build your audience
and we’re going to start with the simplest kinds of hooks and go to the most complicated.
This doesn’t have to be hard, it can be fun but I want to challenge you to think about
a hook in a new way. The easiest one is what I call the “gimmick”.
This is secret number one, the gimmick, and I am going to show you two examples quickly
of gimmick types of hooks but they will help you to find an easy way to implement a hook
for your content. This is the inside joke and let me show you what Trish Witkowski,
she’s the Chief Holding Officer at a company called Foldrite, and the company Foldrite
is a B2B business that sells templates and custom folding resources to print designers
who create direct mail pieces. This is not an easy sale, you’ve got to find those people,
you’ve got to get them involved, you have to get them to subscribe to your content and
you have really got to get them excited. Trish is the CEO of this company that sells software
essentially to these kinds of designers, and Trish realized that she needed to get these
designers to subscribe to something and change what they were creating every day as designers
so that they needed her product more and more. What she did was she went to YouTube and created
the 60-second Super Cool Fold of the Week that is her content brand that is the title
of her show that is what people start to know her for. Let me play you a little bit of this
episode of the 60-second Super Cool Fold of the Week so you can get a flavor for what
the content looks like and I wanted to see if you can pick up what the gimmick is, what
the hook is here in this episode. Video: Hey everybody, I’m Trish Witkowski
with direct comments to your 60-seconds Super Cool Fold of the Week. Invitations and greeting
cards are great opportunities for creativity with folding. I have been getting a lot of
them recently, keep them coming, so fun. This one comes from Connection Printing Consultants
in Bend, Oregon, real fun they did a Swiss chalet themed holiday card. There is a logo
down the side so good visibility there, and then you open it up and it creates like a
snowflake. Ooh, a snowflake, okay. It’s not actually
60-seconds, this one is 1:53, but you get the point right. I don’t know if you picked
up on what the gimmick might be, the recurring theme that entraps or ensnares your audience.
I will show you what it is but if you noticed she was wearing a t-shirt that said Bows R
Us. What’s happened is people started subscribing to Trish’s 60-second Super Cool Fold of
the Week which comes out every single Thursday afternoon and she’s now got over 200 videos?
She’s been doing this for four years and she gets anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 views,
the biggest one have 10,000 or 12,000 views on every single one of the videos she’s
created. People subscribe though because they love
her hook. Let me show you what she invites people to subscribe to on her newsletter.
It doesn’t say signup for my crappy newsletter; it says sign up for Fold of the Week. Its
fast and it’s free, join the fold factory community today to start receiving Trish’s
popular fun and inspiring video series in your inbox. Fold of the Week is foldtastic.
Every single week people come and watch, not just for the inspiration, that’s kind of
a side bonus, they come and watch because her hook is so powerful in all the funny t-shirts
she wears. You can see in that picture in the very beginning she is known for the t-shirts,
and in fact they got so excited about the t-shirts, the audience that they started asking
if they could order a t-shirt, so she set up a Dazzle store and people buy these t-shirts.
You can see, Thanks for Folding, Honk if you Love Folding, What Happens in the Binary Stays
in the Binary. This is the kind of shirt she wears, every single week there’s a different
funny quote, and if you ask people in the industry, do you know Trish Witkowski’s
60-second Super Cool Fold of the Week they will say is that the woman that wears the
funny t-shirts. Bingo—that’s her hook.
Her hook is what ensnares or entraps the audience so they keep coming back to see what’s on
next week. Yes her inspirational videos have worked, they’ve driven business but what’s
really important about the hook for her content is that t-shirt, that’s the gimmick.
This is from Wistia, this is called Pass the Hat, and Wistia actually is a professional
video hosting platform so they host your videos for anything, for training, corporate videos,
whatever you want to put up there, it’s a really great company with a really great
product and they put in tons of constant content. They started doing these things they called
Top Hat Tuesday Tips, I think is what it was actually called. They would distribute these
great little videos. Let me show what it is. It’s a very simple gimmick and I’m going
to play you the intro so you can actually see how they included it. But what they did
is they would pass the hat every week to another one of the Wistia team where they would share
a video tip. Video: It’s Wistia’s Top Tuesday Tips.
Wearing the top hat today is Jeff Vincent. Greetings, today’s tip is use live action
bumpers for your screencasts. There you go, you get it, right? It’s a
great to introduce the team from Wistia and get them involved in creating the content,
you can see Jeff here is very happy and excited about it, but it’s also a great gimmick
that from week to week is the consistent element that brands the video and I loved Tuesday’s
Top Hat Tips, so pass the hat is the second gimmick.
I want you to think about embracing the gimmick, what silly element can help create consistency
and a through-thread for the content you’re creating. That will help to create the most
basic type of hook, especially for any type of online content is the gimmick.
Number two, the Micro Daypart. This is the concept of making an appointment with your
audience. You can actually leverage the appointment with your audience like Top Hat Tuesday or
the Thursday appointment with Fold back videos, those are all appointments with the audience.
I call this Micro Daypart, and if you’re familiar with television or radio, sales,
everybody knows primetime TV, those four hours at night. Primetime TV is a Daypart, in the
online world you can actually deeper and deeper than just that one four hour period. You can
Micro Daypart. Remember when I said I want you to think about owning two minutes of your
audience’s time. What time can you own, and this is based on a concept called occasion
based marketing. Corona has done this really well. If I took away the logo on this image
you’d still know it was Corona. People embrace the idea of drinking Corona
when they get to the beach because over decades Corona has imprinted this picture in your
mind so when you show up at a beach one of the first things you might order at the bar
is a Corona because they have defined that moment in your life.
If you go and use Google Trends, if you haven’t used Google Trends it’s one of the most
underutilized marketing tools on the planet, but it actually shows you demand for Corona
beer over time and that’s from 2006, where is the spike in the U.S.? It’s always in
the middle of the summer—why? Because everybody thinks of that moment in time when they should
drink a Corona. You can do the same kind of thing for your
audience, you can make an appointment with them and there’s actually a tool you can
use. There is some data that the Bureau of Labor Statistics creates every two years,
it’s called the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) and the New York Times in 2008 turned
it into this amazing infograph. They asked 150,000 Americans to journal how they spend
their day moment to moment over the course of a whole day and then they compiled the
data so that you can see it. You can even break it down into who it is, what race they
are, how old are they, do they have a bachelor’s—if you go and get raw data you can go even deeper,
but you can see how people spend their time and you can Micro Daypart.
This is the big one you can see people are drinking and eating at 6:40 p.m., 14% of men
are eating or drinking. You can look at travelling. If you were going to create a podcast, an
email reminder to people as to when they should download the podcast, you want to be at the
peak of that travel time. You want to get them right before those spikes in their travelling
time, and you know how long it should be because there’s an hour and 14 minutes that men
spend travelling every single day. It’s about the same for women and men, the average
obviously is an hour 12 minutes in the U.S. You know that they’re spending about half
their time in the morning, half their time at night travelling and you can see the peaks
and the Micro Dayparts you could own. Here is computer use, this is for men, keep
in mind this is 2008 so they are always spending nine minutes, and they were on at 9:00 p.m.
I don’t care what the standard email best practices are, think about your audience.
If you want to reach them when can you be part of their day? When can you own two minutes
of their time. Don’t send it at 6:00 a.m. because none of them are online. Look at that
9:00 p.m. hump there, that’s where you want to be.
How about personal care, you could even own the moments when people are shaving or showering
or in the bathroom, you can see that men and women spend about the same amount of time,
it’s not as big of a gap as you might expect there, 39 minutes versus 54 minutes. If you
see that giant spike in the morning about 6:15, you want to own that moment. So what
time in your audience’s life can you own? You can take that Micro Daypart and turn it
into part of your hook. Whiteboard Friday is a really great series that’s created
by Moz. Moz is a software platform, Software As A Service, provider that actually helps
you really understand how to leverage the content you’re creating. They have a pro
subscription, a local subscription, they are trying to sell software that helps you with
auto and marketing. But what they have done masterfully well is Rand Fishkin who is the
CEO or was the CEO of the company has created an appointment with his audience every single
Friday called Whiteboard Friday. You can go back to 2008 he has been doing
this, since 2008 they have been making an appointment with their audience, and these
again are videos. They email you and remind you that Whiteboard Friday is up. You can
see how well it’s ran. Rand is a hilarious wonderful presenter and is a great guy and
his personality shines through and this is what’s built the Moz brand, but also built
Rand’s brand. The hook is Whiteboard Friday. I’ll play you just a little bit so you get
a feel for it. Video: Howdy Moz fans and welcome to a new
edition of Whiteboard Friday, the very first one of 2014. Hope you all had a wonderful…
Okay, I won’t play the whole thing, you get it, right? He’s going to answer a question
in front of the whiteboard and this is not two minutes of video, this is ten minutes
of video. It’s unbelievably compelling content delivered really well and it’s a simple
hook around a Micro Daypart of Whiteboard Fridays. You can see on their YouTube channel
they have ten thousand subscribers almost, hundreds of thousands of views and it’s
the influencers in the market that consume Rand’s content and that’s great for Rand
because those influencers are the people that then consult or get people to sign up for
the Moz software, they recommend it to their clients.
This is something that actually our agency tipping point labs did called the Micro Daypart
for executive elevation. What we were trying to do was get CMOs who were always flying
and on the go to read our content and this was in the old days when you couldn’t have
an electronic device on the airplane, it had to be in off mode, right. Between the time
you left the gate and you go to 35,000 feet. There was this moment we could own and here
was the concept, we were going to give them a report that suggested they could read it
in one flight. We called it Executive Elevation. Each month we write Executive Elevation to
help C-Level staff understand the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Our reports are
specifically crafted to enhance your in-flight experience. With your phone off, your email
unavailable and your tray table down you can focus on becoming an expert in key aspects
of digital marketing, etc, etc. We invited them to actually print this out so you don’t
have to have your device on and have it with you ready to read.
That is owning even a specific moment in someone’s life that you’ve helped define instead of
they define for you. What if we made an appointment with our audience?
What two minutes of your audience’s life could you own? That’s what I want us to
start thinking about that’s a Micro Daypart, making an appointment with your audience.
Number three, we’re getting a little more complicated here. Those are fairly easy, now
we’re getting into the Mashup and I hope everybody knows what a Mashup is. Putting
a bunch of things together to make something new. I’m going to show you something that
ShopLocket did. This is ShopLocket, these people help hardware maker’s transition
essentially from Kickstarter to an online eCommerce platform. You can think of it as
anyone who is on Kickstarter, like this InBody Band. Once they’ve raised their goal money
then they have this opportunity to sell also directly to the public and they need a way
to do it. In fact I have used ShopLocket to help sell my books. I signed up, it’s very,
very easy and I loved it from a platform standpoint, it just helps me get everything done. It’s
like a Wizzy Wig editor. You can imagine that if you just started a
hardware startup this is a great way to start selling your product really fast, and what
they used to do at ShopLocket was cold call all these people that they found on Kickstart,
and what they realized was this was really inefficient so they started creating content
called the Blueprint Weekly. This is the email that you get every Wednesday afternoon and
it links to their online magazine called the Blueprint.
Wednesdays is their appointment and the Blueprint is the content brand designed specifically
for this audience. If you look at the content, first of all its beautifully displayed and
created and the guy who created this is Dan Claymore, he’s a genius marketer and the
content is unbelievably nicely laid out. They have a magazine format to it and it really
feels like a magazine. You can read about the issues, you can see the different features,
it’s really beautifully executed. It’s got a real attitude but it’s only for these
hardware makers that they’re trying to attract. When I asked Dan what’s this magazine like,
describe it to me, he said that The Blueprint is a Mashup. Let me show you what he means,
he said it’s fast company, it’s just like Fast Company magazine, plus VICE magazine,
if you don’t know VICE go check it out. It’s got a real attitude and it’s a little
edgy for some, it certainly maybe is over the edge but it’s Fast Company plus VICE
Magazine, plus Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio, which is these in-depth interviews
that are a little off center and a little different than most interviews, but they’re
really long and kind of in-depth on the Bravo television network.
It’s Fast Company plus VICE plus Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio plus hardware
designers is the Blueprint, that’s the Mashup he created. He took three things the audience
already loved, Fast Company, VICE, and Inside the Actor’s Studio and made it just for
hardware designers. All of a sudden hardware designers around the country were signing
up to read interviews of successful people who had done this already and the next thing
you know they’re asking who creates this—oh ShopLocket, and they’re signing up for ShopLocket.
What if we took three things our audience loves and just made them our own? What can
you do, what can we do to understand what our audience already consumes? If we know
what else they consume can we mash those things up and create something new. Remember a hook
is a simple twist on a familiar theme designed to entrap or ensnare our audience. The familiar
theme is the content they already know and like, and if you can kind of mirror that by
mashing up a few other pieces of content they love you can be really successful in creating
a great hook. Okay, I hope you’re doing okay I need another
sip of water. If you have questions get your questions ready
we’re going to do those soon, we’re halfway through the secrets here and the Mashup is
the middle of the road, we’re going to get even harder.
Number four, this is the visual hook. The visual hook is a really smart hook, it’s
a way of seeing that your content is different instead of just telling me your content is
different. It’s an easy way, an easy marker for me to immediately know that this is very
unique content and this is why it’s a little harder. You really have to think about a visual
hook in a new way, but it’s a very, very powerful kind of concept. I want you to start
thinking about the visuals you use even in the content that you create that could actually
direct the content. This is actually from a brand called Save
Media. Save Media is a company that owns a bunch of magazines and online properties,
you might know some of these, maybe you know XO Jane, or XO Vain or Fashionista, or Gear
Patrol. These are four very specific types of audience, they’re very good at honing
in on an audience and owning them, but it’s also an audience that traditional CMOs weren’t
aware of. They didn’t know these brands and they weren’t actively pursuing them.
Save Media wanted to create some content that would get these big consumer brands to consume
this content so they could build a relationship with them. I got an email actually one day
from a CMO who said have you checked out Save Media event Friday? I said I don’t know
what that is but I clicked the link and I get to SayDaily.
SayDaily is their blog, it’s their content platform that’s all about marketing. It’s
a B2B platform for marketers from the same media team. I see right on the front homepage
of the idea section it says Madison Avenue and Silicon Valley and I click on this and
you see the kind of content they create. There’s always an image with a weird diagram in it
and a headline like “If Content is King Who is Their Heir”. There’s a great article
and some insight below, and every week as I go back in the content and look at it they
have another one of these great visual hooks. You can see this one is great story distribution
and the magic is in the middle. You can see it’s even branded very well,
Then I look at another one, this is a great one, voters go off the grid. The campaign
ads follow, I don’t even know what it’s all about, it inspires me to read the rest
of the content but it’s not a normal type of Venn diagram. Here’s one about story
making, story creation, this is a new take obviously on people creating their own Godzilla
movies, and there is great insight here for a new kind of audience. Here’s what makes
mobile ad campaigns work and they’re using Ironman.
They will take stuff out of popular culture add a Venn Diagram and give it something,
a new meaning. This is what they invented and I sign up, I go to their page and say
these look so good I can’t wait to read more of these, when am I going to get the
next one>On their homepage it says Friday is Venn Day, get it every week. That is a
great Micro Daypart by the way. It’s a great call to action, too. I didn’t know there
was a Friday Venn Day, did you guys know? Okay, well sign up. I put in my email address
and I subscribed and every single Friday about 7:50 a.m. I get my this weekend Venn email
and I loved it. The visual hook is immediately arresting and it makes me wonder what the
rest of the article is about and it engages me in a new way.
This hook is what sets the stage for the rest of the content they create. So what if we
created a visual hook that differentiated our content? How can we show people our content
is different instead of telling me. Stop telling me your content is different start showing
me your content is different. That is what a visual hook can help do.
Secret number five is the challenge, now this one is very, very hard. This is my warning,
there’s one more that’s even harder but I want you to consider even trying these.
The Challenge is a great way to challenge yourself or some experts in the industry or
your team to come up with a unique brand of content, something that stands out in the
marketplace. A great example of this was created by a guy named Myles Bristowe, who was the
CMO at a company called CommCreative, it’s a marketing agency that’s based in Boston
and Myles was the CMO there and very early on was trying to come up with a new blog and
content strategy with his team and they were going late into the night. They ordered some
Chinese food and Myles Bristowe and his team were eating the Chinese food chatting about
their future content and one of the interns opened a fortune cookie and read the fortune
cookie out loud and it said something like this “it’s a great piece of skill to know
how to guide your luck even while you’re waiting for it” and the intern said Myles,
wouldn’t it be funny if every day you just opened another fortune cookie and you created
a piece of marketing advice out of this. If you added “in marketing” to the end of
this it would all of a sudden be a new kind of fortune, it would be a marketing cookie.
Myles was like this is genius, yes, let’s do that. Every single day by the way he took
on the marketing cookie challenge, that’s what Myles called it and this is the fortune
that I actually sent in. It got so popular that people started creating their own fortune
cookie pictures and challenging Myles to create his own marketing advice from their own fortune
cookie. Look at this subscription invitation – Subscribe
to today’s marketing cookie challenge. Every day Myles Bristowe, the CMO of CommCreative
writes a post that connects a fortune cookie with marketing, no matter what it says. Most
of the fortunes come from cookies from around the world. The next time you have Chinese
food snap a photo of your fortune and send it to Myles to have a blog post dedicated
to you. Interested in getting a weekly recap in today’s marketing…Yes, I’m going
to subscribe to the Weekly Recap. That’s a beautiful call to action using a challenge
to create a hook for the content that he’s creating.
I know exactly what I’m getting, he’s going to open a fortune cookie and spin that
into great marketing advice, and people started doing this. In fact George Takei was one of
the people that submitted a cookie, but you can see every week he was getting these fortune
cookie photos from people around the world, and it even turned into a bigger and bigger
strategy that build Myles Bristowe’s brand as not just a CMO but the guy behind Today’s
marketing cookie. It even had a Pinterest strategy behind it, because every time somebody
sent them a picture of a fortune cookie he would put it up on his Pinterest board and
people would pin it and re-pin it and see these and then lead back to the content he
was creating and then they’d subscribe. That’s how genius this simple hook like
a challenge like that with a cookie was delivered for him.
The next one is called the Expert Challenge, and this is really well done by Rooster. Rooster
is a Software As A Service provider that helps you convert your abandoning visitors. If you
have a shopping cart that people keep leaving, they can actually try to understand the exit
intent and figure out how to get those people to sign up for your software or buy your stuff.
That’s the key to their success, and what they did is they actually did a great idea.
They created something called the 4-Hour Website Challenge, website optimization challenge
and they asked a bunch of experts in the industry if you had four hours how would you optimize
your site? What would you do? One of those guys is a friend of mine named
Brian Massey so he says try a headline test, but this is a challenge to people, experts
in the industry that they delivered and then gave to their audience as really great content.
The Rooster’s expert challenge is a really good model for a smart hook for you to help
create some new and interesting content. This is the hardest one, this is a great concept
that I have shared with my friend Michael Smart, but this is challenge yourself with
complementary coverage. Complementary Coverage is a very difficult concept maybe but think
about a color wheel and all the beats of a news reporters. Maybe if you’re a science
news reporter you have been into that green or you’re a sports news reporter, or health,
or crime and justice, think about the sections in your newspaper being the different colors.
Think about the content we create, all of us are very good at creating monochromatic
content, it means if we have software we want our content to be in the technology section
of the paper. Hopefully you’ve got that, this is very simple. The most basic kind of
content we create is monochromatic, it’s in the same color, business and finance or
energy if you’ve got some solar product, you want to be in that section of the paper.
It’s hard to get people to subscribe to commodity content, remember. You want to challenge
yourself, so think about even this kind of coverage. This would be a complementary color,
what’s opposite the wheel so if you were in finance and you were in sports and you
were going to create content that got both of those audiences excited, what would it
look like? Let me tell you what it looks like, it’s
call Moneyball, a bestselling book my Michael Lewis and if you haven’t seen the movie
or read the book it’s a great movie but it’s all about finance meeting sports content.
It’s challenging you to do that, it’s a really smart take on it.
Imagine doing complementary coverage, if your energy what would the travel version of your
energy content look like? Here’s another good example this would be
what’s called analogous color content. This is three content pieces that are next to each
other, so it might food and technology. IBM Watson which we are also going to talk about
in a minute is a great example of this. IBM can all of a sudden insert itself into the
talk of the food world by creating a food truck where the computer Watson from IBM creates
its own recipes and the food truck creates them, that’s how smart this content is.
It’s really not easy to do but it’s next to each other on the complementary coverage.
Here’s the hardest one this is called Warm content. This is where you actually try to
take split complementary coverage, this is three very different pieces of coverage, like
biz and finance and food and health and put them all together into one piece of content.
I have to be honest I can’t even find a good example of that, so that’s the most
challenging kind of content to create. The key here is to force yourself to get creative
and that’s what the complementary coverage chart does. If you started creating content
on the opposite side of the wheel what would it look like? Use this as a brainstorming
mechanism to come up with a challenging type of hook. What if I created content on the
opposite side of the wheel, what if we force ourselves to get creative?
Alright, so number five is the Challenge, and the final one is number six.
Number six is a really ambitious goal, it’s all about the quest. I want you to go on an
ambitious journey, I want you to challenge yourself to go after something really big
and I want you to share that journey, that quest with your audience in an organized way.
Let me show you two great examples of this. I just talked about IBM Watson, but this is
one of the best examples. In 2011 IBM was trying to transition from a manufacturer of
laptop and desktop and server computers to a service provider to a consulting firm and
they needed a big way to do this because if you go back to 2011 who had all the headlines,
who was everyone talking about – well it was Google and Apple, the cool companies,
no one was excited about what IBM was doing. One guy, Dave Ferrucci came up with this genius
idea that over the course of a year they would challenge themselves to create a computer
that could play Jeopardy and they named the computer Watson.
If you haven’t seen this I know a lot of our international friends and family, you
should go and watch the Jeopardy challenge on YouTube. Jeopardy is a game show if you’re
in the U.S. where you have to understand the language implicitly to be able to actually
answer the questions. In fact the show is structured around an answer that you have
to create the question for, as the contestant. It’s very hard and it takes very smart natural
language processing, so let me show you what the show looked like. I will just show a brief
clip for our international fans. Video: From the TJ Watson Research Center
in Yorktown Heights, New York this is Jeopardy, the IBM Challenge.
You can actually see here, I’ll turn this down—you can see these two people and the
computer in the middle Watson is playing against are the most successful Jeopardy contestants
ever in the history of the show and Watson went up against them and actually beat them
on this audacious quest. It launched through IBM not just a big PR story but the last six
years of IBM’s marketing have focused explicitly on helping leverage Watson to make an impact
in the marketplace. Has it worked? Yes, Mark Loughridge their
CFO that year when they actually played Jeopardy said we didn’t invest just to play Jeopardy
we invested to prove leadership applications for our clients, and it grew their analytics
business 20% that quarter. That’s amazing, when your CFO loves your marketing you have
hit a homerun and that transformation and the journey that they went on to get that
transformation to work and the content that’s resulted from it has been unbelievably successful.
You have to challenge yourself to transform your organization and share that journey in
an exciting way. Not everybody is IBM and I understand that,
let me show a smaller version of the journey. This is a company called F-Secure and they’re
actually based in Helsinki, Finland. They provide consumers with a consumer version
of virus protection software but they also have a B2B version of their software, so let
me show you what they’ve done to help embrace the CIO of medium size firms and get their
attention and get them trust F-Secure as a B2B virus protection provider.
They create lots of content on their blog and their content is pretty good but that’s
not the journey I want to share with you. What they did in 2011 was actually create
a ten minute documentary called Searching for the First PC Virus in Pakistan. The Virus
was called Brain. Let me just play a little bit of this journey, this quest for you so
you can get a flavor for it and then we’ll talk about it briefly. Here we go—Sorry,
it’s slow to start. Now! Video: My name is Mikko and I work here at
F-Secure, in Finland, and this here is Brain. Brain first PC virus in history, written in
January 1986, it’s now 25 years old. This here is a picture of me almost 25 years ago,
as I remember being fascinated about the virus and about how it worked, about where it came
from. We actually know where Brain comes from because inside the code of the Brain virus
there is an address, so we know it’s coming from Pakistan and we know it’s written by
two brothers, Basit and Amjad, now we’re going to go and find them. You have to look
away, we are taking you back home. I won’t play the rest but Mikko is obviously
a smart guy, he’s the Chief Research Officer for F-Secure and there’s not a better way
to impart the trust of an organization than to even just see that picture of Mikko when
he was 20 researching PC viruses so this is unbelievably good content. It’s a really
great journey, it’s a quest that you could share with your audience.
I want you to embark on an audacious quest, I just want you to ask yourself what if—what
if we went on this journey, what if we challenged ourselves to do X, Y and Z, and what if we
created content around that and shared it with our audience.
We have created hooks today. I have tried to help you embrace the idea of a hook. I
want you to go on big quests, think about challenging yourself or even some experts
in the marketplace to come up with a consistent type of content that’s all about a challenge,
even challenge your team to get creative with the complementary coverage. I want you to
think about visual hooks, can you come up with a visual element that’s consistently
delivered that makes your content look unique. Stop telling me your content is different
and start showing me it’s different. What if you implement the Mashup, what if you take
a few things your audience already likes to consume, mash them up and make them for your
audience, that’s a great way of coming up with a simple twist on a familiar theme designed
to ensnare or entrap your audience. What if you Micro Daypart, own a very specific time
in your audience’s life and format the content around that, like Whiteboard Fridays, or even
Executive Elevation. Think about a gimmick, if you just want to take it very simply come
up with a thing, a hook, that you do consistently from every piece of content you create, even
if it’s very simple it helps build that relationship with your audience, and make
your content just a little bit different just like Fold Factory did, or just like Wistia
did with Pass the Hat. A hook is a television concept and Rachel
Ray embodies what that concept looks like very simply. 30-Minute Meals is a genius example
of a very simple hook but no one has done it better maybe than Gary Vaynerchuk’s simple
twist on a wine show. What if ESPN Sports Center met wine tasting is a great and simple
hook, in fact it’s a Mashup. I want you to create a hook, think about your
email content today and create a simple twist on a familiar theme designed to ensnare or
entrap your audience. If you do this you will combat commodity content, you will create
less content and see bigger results. You will cut through information overload and be part
of the information your audience wants to consume, and most importantly your audience
will get addicted to your content. You my friends have been drewed. I want you
to ask yourself what if we create a hook. Alright, wow that was longer than I expected,
I’m really sorry. It’s 9:52 here in Central time or wherever I am, so I am excited about
taking some questions. Let me get out of my screen sharing so we can look at the questions.
Abby, are you doing alright? Yes Andrew, thanks, that was incredible. You
guys now is the time, ask Andrew questions. We’ve got about eight minutes left, so I’m
going to try and get these approved and Andrew will get them answered and we will close out
in a few minutes. Thank you Andrew. Yeah, no problem. I am glad you guys enjoyed
it, that’s so nice. William you asked, no—Bianca, you said can you clarify a bit more about
the Mashup? Sure, think about Mashups, if you go on YouTube and search for Mashup songs
you’ll see some of those, but think about the content your audience likes. If you’re
going after Chief Information Officers, what’s the content they already consume? Do they
watch Myth Busters on TV and do they read Information Week? What if you created Information
Week meets Myth Busters, what would that content look like then brand that content and deliver
it to your audience every week. Think about the content they already consume, even if
it has nothing to do with your area, then attach it to your area of business and make
it relevant to them. Hopefully that helps, if not Bianca ask another question and I’ll
try again. Brione, where can we get that color wheel?
Great question, I will – this is a genius idea, I will create that color wheel and I
will send it to Abby so that she can send it out to all the attendees if you’re interested
or post it on their blog. Hopefully Abby, you can do that, but I’ll be happy to create
that for you and send it out. How did I personally learn all this information,
Daniel asks? So for example how can I develop myself to someone on your level of marketing?
Daniel great question, I would say that this kind of stuff has come out of 20 years of
working in television and running an ad agency and working with brands around the world.
To sound a little self-promotional, there’s a whole chapter in my book Brandscaping about
hooks and thinking like a television executive, so that might help get you a faster shortcut
or smart cut to thinking like that. But Daniel I think the best thing to do is really challenge
yourself to not just do what everybody else is doing but think a little differently when
it comes to marketing, I think that can really, really help.
Coach JV, where can we get that content wheel? I will have Abby try to get that to you.
Lynn Williams, are you suggesting we move away from monthly newsletter? Lynn, great
question. Newsletters suck to be honest, I can’t stand newsletters, I don’t think
they’re actually very effective. No one cares who your new receptionist is, it’s
all about you and not about the audience, and even if you’re sending me five articles
I’m supposed to read if they’re not really relevant to exactly what I’m doing they’re
not building my relationship with your brand. I am suggesting that instead of a newsletter
and taking all that time to curate content or create five links that people are supposed
to read, why don’t you invest that time in creating something that’s much more powerful,
build a deeper relationship other people talk about so you actually build that trust with
your audience. I would stop creating a newsletter and invest
that time, money, and energy into creating something much more effective. Hopefully that
answers that, Lynn. Chad, do content creators have the most success
mashing up all these or focusing on one or two key hooks that work for them best? Great
question Chad. I would say you want to focus maybe on one hook per piece of content first.
A great TV show doesn’t try to come up with seven hooks, they just try to come up with
one simple twist on a familiar theme that’s good enough to keep the audience attached.
Don’t over-hook something, if that’s a word. Just come up with one hook per piece
of content or content brand that you’re creating and consistently deliver that. People
will fall in love with that, it works certainly for TV and it definitely works online as well.
Sujada, where would personal development be on the color wheel? Personal development,
that would be like lifestyle content I think. I will have to think about that, but I’m
trying to think about what newspaper section that would show up in, it might be style if
it was talking about style or something like that but I think you want to think about how
a newspaper would report on personal development. If it was tech personal development it would
be in the tech page about how to use technology to make your life better. If it was health
personal development, so you want to think about that a little bit.
Bianca, what type of hook would you suggest for solo entrepreneur? Bianca, good question,
it depends on who your audience is. The key to creating a great hook is taking an audience
first approach. I’m not as interested in who you are I am interested in who exactly
you’re trying to reach and what’s your perspective on that audience. Let’s say
you’re a solo entrepreneur who has just started a business that’s all about, maybe
it’s a solo entrepreneur who started a cleaning service. I don’t know what it is, but if
you started a cleaning service what kind of content could you create on a regular basis
for your audience that has a smart hook. Maybe you’re trying to start by cleaning some
office buildings, then I would create a content brand that was like “dirty jobs” is a
mashup of office working late at night. I would call the show After Hours, and I would
shoot the show – I would send an email every week that was about what happens when your
business doors are closed and everything is dark and what a cleaning person does. It’s
not the best idea, but you see what I mean, you want to think about your audience first.
Paula, how do you balance visual brand consistency with presenting new visual content? Trying
to avoid the recipients of the email just closing them when they see the header. Paula,
forget about your brand, put your brand at the bottom. A great example of a content brand
that does this genius, all of you should go look right now at the Book Video Club. You
will see that they invite you to subscribe to get an amazing story in video of a great
bestselling book and at the very bottom, not at the top, at the very bottom it says brought
to you by Broad Studios. That’s what you want, you want people to first fall in love
with the content and then say who is this that creates this, these people are geniuses,
I’ve got to work with these people. Get rid of your header that’s all about you
and make it all about the audience. One more question, I will pick what if you
were to combine two different hooks like a visual gimmick or a Daypart quest, do you
think that would be doubly effective or just more content overload? That’s a good question
Mary, I think stick with one hook. It doesn’t mean you can’t have elements that look like
other pieces of the hook, but you don’t want to confuse the audience and remember
one of the most important things about a hook is getting people to know what to tell other
people about your content. Think about Folding Factory, people say is it that lady with the
funny shirts—yes it is. If you make it too confusing, especially in the online world
so people can’t pick out your hook and talk about it, it makes it really convoluted. I
would say try to focus on one great one and go from there.
This has been great, thank you everybody. I will cut and paste some of the questions
I didn’t get to and I will try to send those to Abby as well. For sure Andrew, thank you guys. You were
an incredible audience, and Andrew was an incredible presenter as always, so thank you
so much. Thank you Abby, thanks everyone have a great
day wherever you are in the world. END


  1. This is really helpful. Thanks for putting this together and thanks to Andrew for the amazing value.

  2. Such novel and useful advice Andrew, thank you. Also thank you GetResponse for the webinar. If you could send the color wheel to your attendees who watched it afterwards, or on a download page, that would be awesome! Take care.

  3. Thank you, Andrew!….lots of noted taken from this webinar!Ah, I figured out a hook of yours!….your bow tie and colourful clothing! It works!

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