Propinquity. This incredible Scrabble score is a word that is all the rage with content marketers. Not just a buzzword like ‘synergise’ or ‘gatekeeper’, the law of propinquity states;
“that the greater the physical (or psychological) proximity is between people, the greater the chance that they will form friendships or romantic relationships.”
This theory is based upon the work of psychologists Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter and Kurt Back. Their work at Westgate Studies (MIT) looked at how proximity affected relationships and more specifically, friendships. They found, unsurprisingly, that the strongest friendships were found between students who lived next door to each other on the same floor. Even in friendships over different floors, they found that one of the parties tended to live near the stairwell.
This simple study led to the non-scientific discovery that people who see each other more often have a greater chance of forming friendships. This is obvious if you’ve seen literally any rom-com. Celluloid history is filled with strangers bumping into each other at bookstores, coffee shops, work and any other scenario you can imagine.
Rom-com thinking can inform content marketing and digital marketing strategy as a whole. Familiarity takes many forms. Here are just a few ways you can make sure you have the ‘meet-cute’ you want with your audience and increase engagement and conversion.
Benefits Trump Features
Advertising online is becoming increasingly saturated. This, in turn, has led to a focus on building long-term relationships through brand identity. One of the best ways to create this relationship is to focus on benefits rather than features. But what is the difference? A feature tells you what a product or service does. Whereas a benefit tells the customer the result of using the product or service. Benefits are more personable, relate to the user’s needs and make the user the focus of your content.
This thinking isn’t anything new and can be seen in the work of Nike, Apple and L’Oreal. L’Oreal is one of the most brazen in pushing the benefits with the slogan “Because You’re Worth it”. This simple line is unforgettable. It doesn’t need to talk about the features of their products, instead, they cut out the middleman and say it like it is. People want their products to treat themselves. Simple as that.
Leaning into customer ego is key to endearing yourself to your audience.
Create Unique Connections
Creating connections with customers takes time. Think of it in terms of a rom-com. Boy meets girl. They go on the usual dates, dinner at an Italian restaurant, a bike ride through Central Park, and anything else you can fit into a montage. Connecting with your audience is no different. If you’re greeted by the same ad on blogs, social media and paid search, the message becomes grating. Instead, content should show reflect the many facets of the brand. A blog on brand values coupled with a Facebook ad on Summer sales and a retweet of a funny celebrity latest musings makes your brand image more human and complete and offers a greater surface area for consumers to connect with your brand.
This ties back into propinquity. The more chances there are to ‘bump into’ your audience, the more chances there are to show them a different side to your offering. This sets users down a chain of ‘Awareness, Knowing, Liking and Buying’ and allows you to ride off into the sunset with your audience in tow.
Use Content Strategy to Deal with Several Targets
A lot of brands, especially SMEs, tend to put the various digital disciplines into boxes. PPC and social media = sales. Content = SEO value and visibility. This view is narrow-minded and ignores the fact that content, PPC, social and SEO all work together to create the desired result. This means content doesn’t just act as a net to catch keywords and users but can also be used to:
- educate audiences
- build credibility
- generate leads
- nurture audiences
- reinforce loyalty
- publicise events
- generate sales
- support the launch of a new product or service
Studies have shown a trend towards using content across multiple campaigns with the number of marketers using content for the above goals increasing year on year.
Which brings us back to propinquity. The more you can use your copy to connect with your audience in a meaningful way, the better the chance they will stand by your brand for years to come. Rom-coms aren’t just for the hopeless romantics.
If you’re looking to write your brand rom-com contact us today. We love being the matchmaker for brands and audiences and offer complete digital solutions for clients of all shapes and sizes. What are you waiting for? Take the plunge.