If you’re a small business owner, copywriter/graphic designer/marketing consultant, or other creative professional, and you know what I’m talking about here, you may be searching for a new twist to freshen up your campaign … to make it exciting again!
And you might feel a little overwhelmed. Having to come up with new ideas for a long-term client (or for your own business) can be tough. Sometimes, you find yourself tapped out in the “creative genius” department. Right?
Never fear! Today, I’m sharing three ways to get your creative juices (and new ideas) flowing.
But first, let’s “prime the pump,” so to speak. We need to clear your “conscious” mind, so it is open and receptive to your muse’s messages.
Review all the information about the product or service you are wanting to promote. Then, write down all the benefits (to those who buy) associated with it.
Now, write down all the concepts you have used before to market it. (This is an important step. You need to move the old stuff out of the way to make room for the new. Writing those concepts down helps this process.)
When you’re finished, you’re ready to start generating some fresh ideas.
Feel like your marketing is soooo last decade? Never fear, these 3 tips can help you put a fresh spin on your old marketing campaigns.
1. Take another look at testimonials.
Testimonials are always great selling tools, but that’s not why I’m suggesting this idea-generation method. Your clients/customers may highlight a key benefit you never even thought about before, and that benefit could become the foundation of a new campaign.
So, scour every testimonial you can get your hands on, and see if you can find something new. You might want to even try calling a few clients for quick interviews. (Don’t have testimonials? Now might be a good time to solicit some.)
2. Study other ads.
Flip through a magazine or turn on the television—except this time, focus on the structure/format/appearance of the ads instead of the content. (I know, I know … this is counter to what you usually do.)
But this time, just glance at them. Which do you like? Why do you like them? Is it something you can modify for your own campaign? (The key word is “modify”—I did not say “copy.” I don’t want anyone committing copyright infringement. What I’m talking about is using an existing ad to jump-start your own ideas.)
Maybe you really like the use of an evocative photo with a single caption. Or the use of repetition in Mastercard’s “Priceless” campaign. Or the idea of turning the “money can’t buy everything” on its head (which is the essence of that campaign). Can you use that type of concept in your campaign?
3. Check out a completely different industry.
For instance, let’s say you sell software products to computer professionals. Techy market, right?
Pick up a yoga magazine. See how that industry communicates with its audience.
Now try selling your product using similar language and concepts. Take it a step further by brainstorming ways your software product is similar to doing yoga.
Why this works: One definition of creativity is “taking two every day ideas and combing them so they become something original.” That’s what you’re doing here, and it’s a very powerful way to jolt your own thinking and start your muse down a completely different path—one you might never have discovered otherwise.
Bonus tip: A variation of this idea is to force a connection with a random object rather than an entire industry. In other words, ask yourself, “How is my software program similar to a stuffed dog?” Write down everything you can think of, no matter how silly or foolish. Sometimes, the foolish ideas are the ones that lead to the great ones.
A final note: If at all possible, don’t rush this process. Give your muse time to ponder and play with these techniques. Even though it often seems like ideas magically pop into our heads out of thin air, the truth is, that usually only happens when we’ve given our muse the necessary tools and “incubation time” to make it happen.