Digital marketing. It’s like a rom-com.

Avant Commercial Photography - Commercial Photography - Photographer Phil Burrowes - Avant Photo -

There’s two people viewing your digital marketing: One is paying attention and the other is, oh look, a squirrel!!

Digital marketing - Avant Commercial Photography - Eastbourne Photographer - Business Photographer - Online Marketing - Content marketing - Avant Commercial Phil Burrowes
Digital Marketing – Find the acorns.

Inspiration for how to improve the digital marketing of your business is everywhere

To prove this, I am going to blog about how the movie “High Fidelity” illustrates that there are two types of people viewing your digital marketing – and how using storytelling photography can help.

I read Nick Hornby’s “High Fidelity” when it was released in 1995, then in the year 2000, trotted along to see the movie, (probably with a date, but I cannot remember who?). Whoever it was is not in my all time top five break ups. (this is a movie reference, I’m sure some of you will get it? If not, don’t worry, there is not a test at the end).

The plot follows Rob & Laura as they break up and Rob works through his self loathing and anguish. He’s pretty hard on himself and searches deeply into his psyche, relaying stories to us, breaking the fourth wall, his memories accompanied by his favourite songs from his substantial record collection.

Rob is distracted by the mental turmoil and heartache his break up is causing. He also suffers the cognitively draining experience of imagining Andy Dufresne from Shawshank Redemption giving his ex-girlfriend the best sex of her life.

We’ve all been through a break up. We know how it totally takes over and consumes the energy you have to think. You are constantly distracted. I could have chosen something else to use as an analogy, but the truth is, it’s actually on now, I’m watching it as I write.

Digital marketing effectiveness and it’s relationship with cognitive ability

It’s not that your customers are stupid, they’re just human. 

When distracted, you can’t surf the internet looking for a decent holiday – I already looked, choice is limited and the weather is pants – The part of your brain you use to form opinions and win arguments with yourself is busy dealing with other things, like: did Joan and John Cusack like working together? Who got who the gig? Wasn’t life funny without the internet or mobile phones? Your ability to absorb information is reduced. Your brain has the fan running and is about to suffer a kernel failure.

Being grumpy, broke and totally distracted, Rob blunders through life totally unreceptive to helpful cues received from his ex or his peers. He isn’t even aware that Marie De Salle (played by the devastatingly beautiful Lisa Bonet) is broadcasting positive messages at him but, through her consistent and powerful communication he ends up having sex with her anyway – He went for instant gratification, a quick reward that loses value quickly, rather than the longer process of building a relationship with his ex. To do so would require commitment and the expenditure of energy, but he would reap greater rewards.

Website users are the same – Peripheral users are distracted and miss cues in your blogs and social media posts. Central Users are focussed. When seeing your messages they will scrutinise them, using their more effective cognitive ability to disseminate your messages. With the correct cues, Central Users will form positive and negative arguments in their heads, deciding if what you are saying is true or false, if it solves a problem or satisfies their desires. All of which builds valuable associations of your business within their psyche. But all of this requires cognitive ability – being distracted isn’t conducive to this process.

Predicting user behaviour in your digital marketing:

Are your communications forgettable?

Of course, you can’t know if your clients are calling their ex-girlfriends, searching for answers to why the Universe has dealt them a crappy hand, but stay with me. You can predict responses to your messages. 

  • Is the message you’re sending out relevant to the target demographic?
  • Is there value to the contents of the message?
  • Does the message challenge a view?
  • Is it too opinionated?
  • Is it forgettable?

And loads of other things that you can read through on the internet of marketing. Think about what responses your communications will evoke. How would you react to your own communications? – seriously, look again at your own posts. If you find them a bit uninspiring, are your customers likely to react to them?

Peripheral Route users are not totally invaluable. They will see your communications and will react if the message is strong and consistent in its content. Rob is peripheral – he’s distracted by thoughts of his ex, but still notices other women – he attributes no value to the women he meets, they just look nice – this is the same as photos on a social post that peripheral users whack an emoji emoticon on.

Peripheral route users want immediate gratification, an instant hit of endorphins from hitting the like button. Hooray! Let’s all set off fireworks and celebrate the vanity metrics!

Customer loyalty & relationships.

not a romantic relationship, a customer/supplier relationship – there’s much less kissing.

It’s great for there to be a reaction of some sort to your posts, but an enquiry, or a booking or even a purchase from a post that appeals to the more loyal and cognitively able user is of much greater value and has more longevity.

Central Route users are loyal. Their ability to absorb messages, retain the information and recall it when they are eventually in a buying mood, is why we want to engage them. Have this clear goal planned when posting online..

Use professional photos to tell stories that provoke thought and give the cerebral cortex a little wiggly wiggly woo. Great copy supports the message the images convey. By telling stories we build relationships with clients that help them become customers for a longer period.

Peripheral users react to the mood altering chemicals that pump into their brain when they see something they like. It’s a quick reward for them that is returned, in kind, with the whack of a like button, but is forgotten the moment they have scrolled up.

It’s the same as Marie De Salle – she’s a Facebook like – Laura is the fully subscribed customer that opens and reads all your email shots, she is the first to visit your new website to see your latest updates.

Save me! Instagram metrics that no one uses.

Central route users save your instagram posts – take a look at your insights and see how many saves your top post got. Why is this? The hashtags used, the image used or did they like your caption? Try to do the same with other posts – compare these posts to ones that didn’t perform as well. 
If you can’t see these metrics, you don’t have a business Instagram account and you should change this right away.

There’s some seriously useful information within all that metric data. It’s useful. Free. It takes you into the minds of the people you are trying to reach. It can help you reach more of them. Find your people. They have money for you and might bring pizza if they ever come visit. 

Psychology in digital marketing – do your customers feel valued?

For Rob to persuade Laura to take him back, there needs to be a shift in attitude and he needs to appeal to her more, making her feel valued and of interest to him, helping to form a better relationship.

Our relationship with customers needs to improve, too. Our digital marketing must be more stimulating and they must get more value from interacting with our businesses. Our relationship with customers needs to improve, too. Our digital marketing must be more stimulating and they must get more value from interacting with our businesses. It’s no good just giving a 10% discount code out once a month – no one cares. Digital marketing needs to be more effective, it’s no good just giving a 10% discount code out once a month – no one cares.

It is far more valuable to provide insight into your business, feeding customers interesting and engaging stories in your digital marketing that are relevant and stimulating them in such a way that they expend their cognitive energy, thinking about you and your business.

In much the same way as Rob needs to change, you can change peripheral route users to central route users by using high quality and informative content. Storytelling builds awareness and knowledge of your brand. Drip feeding positive stories gives viewers something to invest in. They will like your story and form positive feelings about your brand. Use photography to promote your core beliefs and illustrate to customers how you action them and live to them, every day.

A day in the life photoshoot does just this – it provides a rich portfolio of engaging photos for you to build campaigns around.

Link to Day in the Life Packages – opens a new window and has details and prices of packages

Then, you can be like Rob at the end of High Fidelity and have the epiphany that resurrects his life, he gives Laura a level of respect and engages with her more than he ever has. Build a relationship with your clients by telling stories and you too, can live happily ever after, enjoy posting on social media and writing about your business on your website. Show your customers that you are worth the time and energy it takes to form a relationship with you. That you are worth buying from, that you are someone they are happy to do business with. And take an evening to watch High Fidelity, it’s a great movie with an epic soundtrack.

I think I deserve a medal for writing a blog about digital marketing and using a film that was made at a time before the internet and social media really exploded – man, they don’t even use mobile phones in this film! Am I that old..?

Like how my brain works? There’ll be more of these insightful and useful business insights on their way, soon. Be sure to follow Avant Social Media to see the links when they appear – or subscribe to the feed.

Follow me on social media – it might explain a lot of the reasons why I’m writing this.

Leave a Reply