What are the key characteristics of successful marketing campaigns? Do they make you think or appeal to your emotions? Do they make you wonder how you ever did without something? Or do they motivate and inspire you to make a change?
The shortest answer: probably all of these things and more. Successful marketing finds ways to reach the most basic and most complex parts of our humanity—from everyday needs to deep-seated desires.
So how do you achieve the kind of magnetic power that attracts and engages your audience?
We draw some inspiration from our namesake. While a basic campfire might be a useful tool, a bonfire is an experience. The towering flames of a bonfire can generate compelling discussions and create camaraderie among the people circled around them.
When it comes to building a quality marketing experience that emulates the roaring heat of a bonfire, the words of Arnold H. Glasow ring true: “Success isn’t the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” While we don’t condone setting oneself on fire, we do believe in creating content that demands attention. This involves purposeful efforts to ignite and fuel your campaign.
Here are some practical ways to be intentional in your marketing strategies—taking your campaigns from spark to flame.
1. Get to really know your audience
Make the most of your time and resources by getting up close and personal with your customers. Generate detailed target personas that can guide your marketing efforts and keep you on track. As you create personas, find out about your clients’ backgrounds, jobs, and goals. But don’t stop there—go deeper by exploring their personal interests and the broader challenges they face. All of this upfront preparation will help you connect on a deeper level with your audience—kindling their interest and encouraging ongoing engagement.
2. Don’t ignore the competition
Burn brighter than the rest by closely observing your competition. Thorough competitive analysis can help you determine the overall direction of your campaigns, so you can stay a step ahead. Take a look at what other companies are doing to rouse enthusiasm and generate business. By seeing what works and what doesn’t work, you can better gauge the potential effectiveness of your plans and devise new approaches that are all your own.
3. Dare to be different
Once you’ve seen what your competitors are doing, create a unique voice and tone that stand out in your market space. Don’t be afraid to circumvent conventional word choices, formats, and models. Instead, focus on using phrases, styles, platforms, and narratives that relate directly to your audience. Banish the buzzwords and get on your customers’ level to encourage community, build natural conversation, and ignite ongoing communication.
4. Stop selling
Wait, what? Isn’t selling the end game of marketing? Yes, and no. Modern-day marketing is about more than making a sale. It’s about continually feeding the fires of your brand experience—providing timely, relevant, useful, and engaging content that keeps people coming back and sharing it with others. So instead of pushing product or sticking with traditional service spiels, shoot for customer-focused content that educates and entertains. As a thought leader in your market, you will have the power to guide conversations that continually show the value of your brand.