Fake news is big news.
Willfully misleading, relentless and just plain unethical, these clickbait-y “alerts” have fatally undermined legitimate journalism. Indeed, untrue “breaking news” has broken the news.
The creators of fake news have perfected a communications approach that taps into base emotions, and exploits the human needs for validation and status. Fake news has forever altered the public communications landscape, and has activated an “us against them” environment that breeds false narratives and renders integrity almost meaningless.
Not fake news; that’s totally uncool. (The journalist in me dies a tiny bit each time someone shares a “100% real” news flash from worldnewsdailyreport.com.) No, what’s interesting to me is the sophisticated formula fake newsmakers use to inflame and activate everyday people.
There are a couple of things retail marketers can learn from these modern muckrakers (minus the nefarious intent):
Focus on a single emotion. Emotional reactions serve as primary drivers behind how people interact with brands and brand content. Focusing on just one emotion per contact helps to simplify a message and clear the path for the shopper to get on board.
Identify an individual objective for every shopper interaction. A single marketing tactic cannot inform, activate, reward and drive a sale all at the same time. Every individual Moment your shopper spends with your brand should have a cohesive goal that is implicitly understood, simple to achieve and in line with her expectations for the experience.
Encourage and incentivize your shoppers to share on their social networks. Give them the tools to share quickly, and make it easy for them to take ownership of a particularly juicy bit of information. Make it worth the shopper’s while to share by putting her in the role of maven or trendsetter.
Repeat yourself. Expose your shopper to your specific message as often as logic and polite society allow. Don’t barrage, but don’t be too timid, either.
Say it like you mean it. Deliver brand messaging in bold, declarative language. Be specific and clear. Create word pictures and use storytelling to make your emotional points simply and without ambiguity.
Give them something to look at. A visual helps tell your story, whether it’s about Hillary’s alien baby or a new line of educational toys. Stir up emotion by showing emotion. While it sounds simplistic, visual cues encourage matching emotional response. Humans often mirror behavior they witness.