Seriously, it’s time to find a good enemy. Not sure why?
Effective marketing in a low-trust world means developing a bond with your prospects through your content marketing. One great way to do this is to share a perceived common enemy with your readers.
Now, before you run off to write that rant about the fellow blogger you love to hate, let me explain. While the common enemy you share with your readers can be a person, most likely it won’t be. It’s likely a group, thing, ailment, or a conceptual fear.
The “enemy” is whatever is troubling your ideal prospect, because your solution happens to be the path to victory. Something is standing in the way of your prospective customer’s goals, and you’ve got the answer. But first you’ve got to establish that bond.
The key is not to rant, rave or bash the enemy, but to provide an underlying theme that shows you’re all in it together against the enemy. When framed that way, you’re not a salesperson; rather, you’re a comrade who can lend a hand. Establishing a thematic enemy allows you to focus on providing solutions without coming across like you’re hard selling, and is a perfect technique for white papers, tutorials and blogging in general.
Want a few examples?
- Let’s say you’re a discount real estate broker. Your enemy is high real estate commissions and greedy and overpaid Realtors. It doesn’t matter that this isn’t necessarily true—it’s what your ideal prospects believe and want to avoid.
- Or maybe you’re a nutritionist or someone selling natural health products. Your enemy is obesity, diabetes, low self esteem, the FDA, and greedy corporations who peddle processed foods filled with empty calories.
- How about a search engine marketing specialist? Your enemy could be the snake-oil salesmen who give the industry a black eye, it could be other forms of ineffective advertising that businesses throw money away on, or it could be the search engines themselves.
The key is to find the prospect’s pre-existing enemy and align against that common foe. It’s possible to introduce a new enemy to an audience, but you’ll have a much harder time of it than if you simply identified an adversary that’s already troubling the mind of the prospect.
Here are a few things to look out for with this tactic:
- Don’t make the wrong enemy. A misguided attack against someone or something the prospect is in favor of will leave you out in the cold.
- This strategy only works with problem and solution scenarios. You’ll strike out trying to create an enemy, for example, when you’re selling lifestyle products and some luxury items.
- Don’t dwell on the enemy. Establish the underlying theme in your writing, and then focus on solutions in the form of benefits, satisfied customer stories and applications.
Uniting against a common perceived enemy can be extremely effective at forming a bond with your readers, when used in moderation and your solution is a good match. So, give it some thought—do you actually have an enemy (or two) after all?