Your hook. It’s your reader’s first impression to your brand. It describes, without a doubt, why you are worth paying attention to. It’s warm. It’s welcoming. And, it’s the one thing that makes your business stand apart from the competition.
You can bet it matters.
Your marketing hook is your story. It’s what makes your audience’s eyes and ears perk up and think, “Yes! This is what I’ve been looking for.”
It’s critical. And for that reason, it’s also one of the hardest things for companies to nail down. How do you find the one angle that will differentiate your brand from everyone else’s?
The answer isn’t as clear as you might think.
Don’t Fall Victim to the ‘Me Too’ Mentality
One of the first places companies look for hooks is at the competition. Perhaps you’ve done the same. You wonder what it is about the other guys in your industry that’s drawing so much attention.
- Is it the service they’re offering?
- Are they saying something different than you?
- Is there a better reason to choose them instead of you?
Looking at the competition is toxic. It muddles your mind and forces you down a dangerous rabbit hole of trying to copy other brands messages, whether you mean to or not. When finding your hook, you need to find what differentiates your business – not what will make you blend in with the rest.
Here are a few tips to help you find your marketing hook.
Start by Telling Your Story
As you try to pull out your specific marketing hook, think about your story. Write it down on paper. Where did you start? Why did you start? What types of customers have you attracted? What have you heard from these customers? Where are you going?
Put on the blinders and look at your own business’s success. What threads wove your company’s tapestry?
Pull Out Your Customer’s Story
With your story in mind, pull out your customer’s story. You already know what you offer, but do you know why your customers chose you over everyone else?
This step is tricky for a lot of businesses. It’s easy to think surface level and pull out the reasons you’d like to think your customers chose you. For example, you might pride yourself on offering trustworthy service, but is that what made your customers choose you? It helped but it probably wasn’t what hooked them into using your business.
Dig a little deeper and think about what went on in your customer’s mind before he reached out to your business. Where was he in his life? What specific problem did you solve? The better you can grasp how you helped your customer, the closer you’ll be to finding your hook.
Tell Your Story in Your Customer’s Words
As you start to notice trends in your customer’s story, you’re ready to start forming your hook.
Write down your customer’s story in his words. Consider the private thoughts that go through his mind while thinking about whether or not to buy from you. For example, if you sell a pool cleaner, your customer might be thinking, “will this save me from having to get in the cold water and scrape the scum off the tiles?”
Write down 10 of them and then turn them on their head. Make the questions into a positive statement about your brand. Using the above example, your hook might become, “The Only Pool Cleaner to Save You From Sore, Scum Scraping Arms.”
This hook is much stronger. It shows your business understands your customers true problems when reaching out to you. It’s identifiable, which means your customer will automatically be able to relate to the problem it solves without having to guess.
To find your marketing hook you must start with a story. It has to tell both your company’s story and your customer’s story. Show your customer in as few words as possible how your business solves his problem better than your competition. The better you illustrate your offering, the more likely you are to capture his attention and another loyal buyer.