Lessons from a Late Night Infomercial
If you watch late-night television, I mean really late (2 – 4 am), you have probably seen an infomercial for some random product. Somehow in the wee hours of the morning, you find yourself watching with interest the demonstrations of the Jack LaLanne Power Juicer, the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ or the George Foreman Grill.
As cheesy as an infomercial might be, the format works. People buy Snuggies and ShamWow. So how do these companies keep you watching essentially the same message for twenty or thirty minutes? When you break down infomercials you see several common elements:
- A reliance on repetition of the same value proposition throughout the program.
- Informal, down to earth presentation style.
- Real people support the proposition with testimonials.
- A promise that if you wait, you will see there is MORE!
Right about now, you are wondering what a late-night infomercial has to do with your business. Hang with me because it is relevant.
Infomercial Strategy for Your Website
Just as advertisers on late night television hope to keep viewers from changing the channel, your objective should be to keep visitors engaged on your website, willing to browse from page to page.
Repetition of the value proposition
What do you want people to think about as they scroll through your website? Why should someone hire you? What problems do you solve, what benefits do you bring? The answers to these questions should be consistently presented without being redundant. On our site, for example, the underlying theme is giving control to our clients. On some pages, we talk about them taking control or owning their marketing, while on others we simply provide resources that allow them to do that.
Review your content and talking points. Make a list of phrases which describe your value proposition, answer the question “Why should I hire you?” Then use these phrases liberally throughout your site.
Informal, down to earth presentation style
Don’t put a wall between you and your visitors. Long sentences in dense blocks of copy with no headers to allow for skimming turn a reader off. Stuffy language and block justified text may have been great for that term paper or legal brief, but they just don’t work on your website.
Welcome visitors with words and phrases you might use if they walked in your door. Let them know they have come to the right place and you are ready to solve their problem. Let your personality shine through because people buy from people they like.
Real people support the proposition with testimonials
This is true in every industry, from plumbers and restaurants to accountants and marketing firms. Prospective customers are more likely to believe what other people say about you than what you say about yourself. Use work samples, testimonials, reviews, and case studies to confirm to visitors that real people like working with you.
And Wait! There’s More
Every page on your website should have a logical next step. That irresistible teaser that takes a reader to another relevant place on your website. You can do this with links within your content and specific calls to action in the sidebar, on the bottom of the page, or presented in a pop-up when visitors have been on a page for a few seconds.
What should your “more” be? That depends on the industry you are in but here are a few suggestions:
- Read the blog
- Download a white paper
- Complete a self-assessment
- Print a case study
- View or register for an event
- Subscribe to a newsletter
- Watch a video
- Listen to a podcast
- View the photo gallery or portfolio
- Browse products
- Collect favorites
- Create user account
- Order products
- Schedule an appointment
- Apply for a job
- Ask a question or search FAQ
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