Marketing Rubbernecking aka How to draw customers in with content marketing


Today we look at how you can intentionally draw people in with enough information to stimulate their storytelling brain. Then promise to answer it with engaging content. Doing so will add impact to your content marketing.

But first, let's take a look at something entirely different.

Have you ever been driving down the road and been drawn to look at an accident, slowing down to do so? If you have then you have participated in something called 'rubbernecking' but why does it happen?

Is it just morbid curiosity or something else? Why are we drawn like moths to a flame when seeing a tragedy on the side of the road?

In this article in the Seattle Times Monica Hunter of the Washington State Patrol has this to say on the phenomenon:

"We had an audience, I can't explain it. The only thing I can say is, yes it happens."

An audience? Yes, it sounds morbid, but it makes sense. An audience as defined by a group of spectators is a naturally built into any given traffic situation. People are brought in a steady flow to the incident, one after the other.

We can't bring ourselves to drive by without wondering. The data shows it.

We wonder what happened.? We look at impact marks, skid marks, positions of vehicles. Of course, it's virtually impossible to figure out what happened as we seek to travel safely past. But we can't help it; our brain wants to figure it out. Safety prevails, and we drive on, undoubtedly having slowed down a little along with everyone else.

“Nature abhors a vacuum” - Aristotle

Our brains desperately want to fill that hole. The lack of knowledge of what happened to those poor people.

The Seattle Times article offers up a few more perspectives:

'Like horror films, roadside wrecks are arousing, thrilling and riveting. "The accident provides a close encounter without yourself being directly involved being put at risk."'
"You look because you want to see if they are OK."

Audiences? Horror films? Sounds like a strong connection to storytelling.

And therein lies the point.

Our brains can't resist the unknown story. 

And that brings us back to how you can intentionally draw in people to your content. And no, I'm not suggesting you use imagery of accidents to get attention.

Consider these three questions:

  1. About what, specifically does your audience care? Get literal.
  2. What information can you serve up that is attention-grabbing, yet leaves a hole?
  3. How can you package up what you leave out as a deliverable that your audience can choose to engage with?

Here's an example:

  1. Customers care about security strategy when pursuing and edge computing implementation
  2. "Major security pitfalls for computing on edge" is attention-grabbing and a real issue for the customer
  3. An asset "How to navigate the top 10 most common edge computing security issues" is of value and thus worth engaging with (trading an email for a whitepaper in this case

Of course, you'll plan for a landing page, other assets to articulate the value (maybe an infographic in the case, or a short video) and you'll wrap an outbound above the line campaign around it to drive leads.

The key is starting with the stories that your customers care about and serving up just enough to get attention, be heard and draw your prospect in so you can start engaging with them.

On to the links!

First up:

Sometimes we need to go back to basics. Whether you have kids or not these activities can inspire you to create better stories.

And then:

Seeing as we are talking about content marketing. We often coach our customers on how an element of marketing is sales support (or enablement), and of course… it's much more.

And finally:

Lead cultivation and the compelling Marketing Rubbernecking content you create need to go hand in hand

Go Narrative is a marketing consultancy that assists business leaders in technology firms to build and implement advanced marketing strategies. Our secret sauce is storytelling for business growth and transformation. We can help you cut through the noise and improve your reputation. We love helping business leaders understand, use and apply storytelling in business via writing, presentations, video, strategy and actionable plans. Get attention. Be heard. Make an impact. | eBook available at |

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