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Don’t Make This Super Huge Marketing Mistake

Jacob Brain


You Fell For It.

The entire function of that headline was to pray on your primitive brain. The neuroscience behind it was simple – we are risk adverse beings, looking to secure our future and we’ll do anything to avoid pain. Pain is a massive marketing lever, and it’s been used and abused for years in marketing.

Now, in the content marketing world, these headlines simply tap in to that fear.

Why do you think the news is so negative? Why are we drawn to misfortune? I think it’s because we don’t want to fall into that trap ourselves.

The same thing could be said for another aspect of human nature: why are you more interested in the quick fix than real change? Because real change is never simple. We love tips because tips go down easy, but we hate the pain of real change. It’s a much larger pill, and it’s usually harder to swallow.

Which of the following is more attractive to you?

“3 Tips to Better Marketing Today” or “A Two-Year Roadmap for Incremental Marketing Improvement”

We all think, “Tips I can do. It’s easy – there’s less pain, and the other thing sounds hard.” Those two pieces could have the same content, but the delivery sets the tone – and the click-though rate.

How You Can Use This

Most marketing and most content is actually too complicated.

There are many different levers in messaging that can help motivate a buyer, but pain is the most visceral. We feel pain when we see it in others, and it’s a constant factor in our own lives. It’s simple but impactful.

So the question becomes: why do we spend time talking about messages that are not related to removing pain from our customer’s lives?

Does your bio say anything about removing pain, or does it focus exclusively on your 25 years of experience? Does your service page simply tout your abilities, or does it talk about the removal of pain from your customer’s life?

Yes, we need technical information from time to time. We need spec sheets and detailed information about our product. But when we sell, when we discuss the value of our product, it needs to address the removal of pain.

Read Your Site With This Lens

Go test the hypothesis. Write down your buyers’ biggest fears or pains on a sheet of paper. Now, open your website and read your content. Give yourself a point for each time you see content, images, or calls-to-action that relate to that fear.

How’d you score? Probably not that well.

This is the big shift that many companies need to make in their marketing: it’s not about you, it’s about your customer. It’s about their pains.

Again, it’s not about you.

Put It Into Action

By now you are probably embarrassed (or at least frustrated by) your site, and want to fix it. We can help guide you through the process and get a new website up with the right messaging for your buyer. Let’s have a quick 30 minute conversation to talk about how we can do this.

It’s never too late; let’s talk.


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