The Best Ideas are Free

Young internet entrepreneur Ben Young on business tactics to stay one step ahead of the competition

People want to belong, so give them a club

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A home of the Himba tribe, who live in northern Namibia. Photo / James Whatley - Wikimedia Commons
A home of the Himba tribe, who live in northern Namibia. Photo / James Whatley - Wikimedia Commons

It's so belated that some will cringe but Seth Godin's book Tribes (came out the start of last year) talks about how people want to belong, you just need to lead them.

Being a blogger this is definitely something I see everyday, by sharing ideas each and every business day you create a following. You become a filter for your audience, sorting through what is and isn't worth sharing. However back to my point, Seth is right, kiwis do want to belong.

I've written about using the vast excess of ad inventory online to test marketing messages before but just want to come back to this point. When you have the opportunity to test messages to hundreds of thousands of people at a very little cost - why wouldn't you?

In a recent campaign we test three ads back to back, to see what was the most effective.

Ad #1
[brand as title]
[brand][features][enter to win]

Ad #2
[brand as title]
We believe [features][emotional connection]

Ad #3
[Win tagline as title]
[brand][event][enter to win]

Ad #1 is fairly standard, here's who we are, why you should use us and what to do next.

Ad #2 was more selling a cause, a reason to belong, and what to do next.

Ad#3 was trying to incentivise the reader to take part.

Which do you think performed the best? Given the subject of the post I'm sure you guess Ad#2 and you'd be correct. It outperformed the others by a magnitude of 3! That's hugely significant, three to one over the others.

By giving people a compelling reason to belong they did just that.

They bought into the cause. As I was saying last week to a colleague it's much less intrusive messaging, it's saying jump alongside me we're on the same side rather than buy my product!

Taking Facebook as an example imagine a travel company having a fan page for "Stress Free Flying" rather than their brand - that's a message we can all accept and relate to. As a brand you then have the opportunity to engage.

And the numbers stack up the ads - give it a shot, think about how you can sit beside your customers rather than across the table from them.

It's a shift but it's one that will stand you in good stead for the future.

It's really all about advocacy, bringing companies back to the people behind them, as a company we believe. Are you onboard?

Ben Young from bwagy is the author of The Best Ideas are Free.

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