Why do people fall for marketing pitches?
7 Key Strategies You Must Learn From Apple's Marketing
Have you ever looked at a really successful brand or person - a celebrity or a large company, for example - and asked yourself, "How the hell do they do this?"
Apple is one of the biggest brands. Almost everything that this company tackles will be a success. The company experienced almost unparalleled growth in 2004-2014 - from $ 8 billion to $ 180 billion. That is amazing.
But Apple's success isn't just about making a ton of money or selling a lot of products. How many other brands are there that have completely mixed up their respective niche markets, like Apple did?
But that's not all. Apple has repeated this several times, despite the strong critics and naysayers. The iPod, the iPhone and the iPad ... all of these products have revolutionized their respective markets.
Apple keeps freaking fans waiting in line for hours just to buy the first edition of a new product as soon as it hits the market.
Apple does its job so well that there are various websites that deal exclusively with Apple products and Apple marketing. Even top-class journalistic publications like The Atlantic swrite endlessly about this company, taking apart what it does and how it does it.
Much more than just a “computer brand”, Apple makes products that its loyal customers believe will improve and enrich their lives.
How the hell do you do that?
Well, design and utility are just two of the reasons behind Apple's success.
But much more important to you and me are Apple's secrets of how to turn a casual buyer into a brand ambassador and how to apply that to any other company or industry.
In this article I introduce the seven pillars of world-famous marketing from Apple that you can adopt in your own company.
1. Reconsider your advertising needs
It is tempting to spend a lot of money on PPC advertising with Google or Facebook if you are planning to increase your sales. But Apple knows that this is not absolutely necessary.
In fact, Apple uses two completely different strategies: product placement (with celebrities on popular shows) and excitement with positive reviews in the media.
This secret was revealed in Apple's patent dispute with Samsung, believe it or not:
Even if you don't have Apple's resources or budget, you can still take advantage of this approach. Now of course you can ask yourself, “How can I incorporate these marketing secrets into my own business?”.
Well, it may not be possible to put your product in the hands of a Kardashian or show it off on a popular television show.
But you can try to get closer to insiders and influencers. If you can convince an influencer that your product or service is worthwhile and relevant to their audience, they will share it with their fans.
Another way to use this Apple secret is by offering a free trial in exchange for a positive review.
If the free trial version of your product is not possible, then contact your existing and satisfied customers and ask them for positive feedback. Then publish these positive reviews on your website.
I've been posting positive reviews from my satisfied customers for a while now and can attest that it does indeed help in convincing potential customers to convert them into subscribers. You'll find some of these reviews on this page.
Don't forget to add a picture or avatar to each review, as well as the customer's name and a backlink to their website, if possible. This underlines the credibility of the customer review.
You can also use this Apple strategy to create new case studies. The Nielsen research on consumer confidence in marketing shows that 92% of customers trust recommendations received from friends or family members, while 70% of shoppers trust other customers' opinions posted online as reviews.
In addition, case studies are among the 15 types of content that drive increased traffic and generate leads.
Adam Sutton of MarketingZeus.com suggests that you should use the following outline to design your case studies:
Last but not least, if you are planning to launch a PPC advertising campaign, make sure you are doing it cleverly. Choose your PPC network carefully; Create a flawless, well-written landing page with a clear call-to-action, and make sure the landing page and ad text match.
If you need more help with PPC ads, the following resources will help you:
2. Avoid price wars by highlighting your uniqueness
Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that they have to compete on price. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, price wars can hurt your business - and Apple knows that.
Falling prices and price competition force you to “race on the ground”. If you've ever looked at the freelance job boards, you've probably seen strange things. Some sites pay $ 10 or less for blog posts.
That sounds like a great idea at first, but only briefly. “You get what you pay for” is never more apt than in the business world and freelancers want to undercut each other.
Your $ 10 post is most likely badly written with no research or data to back it up. In addition, this post could have been stolen from another page - even copied, word for word.
Even Copyscape can't protect you from junk content.
That's because no freelancer can survive on just $ 10 per item unless they focus on "mass producing" items.
Instead, do what Apple does. Apple focuses on its unique value proposition (engl. Unique Value Proposition - RRP) - their beautiful design that works right out of the box.
What about the cost? Apple is definitely not participating in the price competition! Instead, you have to pay more for an Apple product than you would for the same competitor product.
For example, let's look at some computers at Best Buy, two similar laptops, both with i5 core processors and a 13.3 ″ screen. The PC version, a Dell Inspiron, costs around $ 750. The Apple Macbook Pro costs over $ 1000.
Or two similar desktop computers. The HP Pavilion all-in-one with a touchscreen and a 27 ″ screen costs a little under $ 1,000. The comparable Apple computer - the 27 ″ iMac - costs almost $ 1,800.
How can Apple keep its fans when the prices are so much higher than the competition?
That's because Apple doesn't see PCs as competitors. While others focus on a particular function, Apple looks at the overall product - and shows it too.
Apple makes its money with higher prices and special product features and specifications.
You can use the same strategy regardless of what industry you're in and regardless of your business model. It doesn't matter, ob You are selling products or services, the key to this strategy is being able to justify the higher price.
For SaaS companies, this could mean offering better personal service or having a full money-back guarantee.
For trainers and consultants, these could be well-marketed services in addition to training sessions or Skype calls.
You can also follow Apple's example and offer different versions of your products and services at different prices. Apple's Macbook laptop line offers bigger screens and improved features at a higher price.
Yes, Apple is the Rolls Royce of technology products. And customers are more than willing to pay the premium price because they know that Apple is worth the money.
3. Keep your marketing and products simple
More is not always better.
Apple knows that technology customers are often overwhelmed. This is also the case with other industries.
Apple helps minimize customer confusion by keeping its website and sales simple. They do not use jargon or industry expressions. Instead, they use simple, direct terms and continuously emphasize the advantages that the customer absolutely needs and that will inspire him.
This approach doesn't confuse customers with too much information. As Leonardo da Vinci said:
Simplicity is the ultimate form of perfection.
Apple keeps it simple and their customers love it.
Apple is also following this line with its advertisements. Do you remember the classic “Mac versus PC” commercials?
What Apple wants to get across in its advertisements and marketing is not the specifications and features, but rather how the product can change and improve your life.
But Apple even goes a step further.
They apply the “easier is better” philosophy to their entire line of products. You don't overwhelm potential customers with too many choices, parameters, or options.
Even the products themselves are slim and minimal, with a simple color scheme and clear design.
How can you apply Apple's example in your company?
Start by making sure your website and blog have clear content. Research shows that only 16% of website visitors read every word on a page. The vast majority of users - 79% - just skim the page.
To make your content skimmable, use bullet points to clearly illustrate benefits. Make sure your headings and sub-headings are clear, vibrant, and surrounded by plenty of white background.
Take a look at my homepage and see how I implemented it:
In the screenshot you will notice that I haven't plastered the page with a lot of text. There's plenty of white background around the bullet points and just a single picture - mine - to draw attention to the key words.
Don't even try to list every single function of your product or service. Instead, focus on the unique selling propositions for each product. And emphasize this.
See how Marie Forleo emphasizes her unique selling points on her website. It is immediately apparent who this page was made for and what Marie’s brand is about. That is why so many entrepreneurs and business people subscribe to them on a daily basis. They know that she is talking to them and what she wants to say:
If you have different product lines or services, make it easy for the customer to compare these with each other and compare each division. All functions and advantages should be recognizable at a glance.
A great example of this is Virgin's cell phone page:
Choose a simple, minimalist design for your landing page. Reduce the nonsense in the important areas of your site to a minimum, e.g. sidebars or widgets, so that the user is not distracted and can concentrate fully on your product.
Last but not least, I would recommend hiring a professional copywriter, especially for important product and service sales pages, if your budget allows. It is not easy to provide enough information to trigger a conversion or a sale while also following a consistent and simple approach.
4. Know your target audience and speak to them in their own language
Now it's not that Apple doesn't share product information and technical details. In fact, they are listed on every product page on the Apple website.
But they hide it in the not directly visible part of their website. Visitors to the Apple website must first scroll past the beautiful product images and the benefits shown in large letters.
First of all, customers won't find words like megabytes or gigahertz. You will find words that you know and understand:
- "Edge-to-Edge Glass"
- "Retina Display"
- "LED backlight"
Apple knows its customers very well. And they know how to address them - in a language that they are comfortable with and that does not overwhelm or confuse them.
The products themselves are positioned to show their relevance in the life of the Apple customer. For example…
- The iPod is not just “a music player and storage device” - it allows you to keep an infinite amount of music (hours and hours) in your pocket.
- The iMac is not just “a computer” - it gives you an exciting and enjoyable computing experience.
- The iPhone is not just “a smartphone” - it is the power of an Apple computer in your phone.
Does your website speak the language of your potential customers? Creating a customer profile for each of your main audience segments is the best way to find out.
Even better, the process of creating these profiles will help you understand your audience a lot better. Then you can offer them what they are looking for - and make your content even more appealing and valuable.
Here's how to make sure you're talking to your customers in a way that they understand and are comfortable with.
First step: Create customer profiles - or customer avarates - for each of your company's large audience segments. The more detailed the profiles are, the more helpful they will be.
Use factors such as age, gender, occupation and demographic information as well as psychographic data - weak points, fears, wishes, etc. What motivates you to buy? What incentive do they need before they trust you? How can you meet their needs?
You can also have more than one profile, e.g. older couples whose children have already moved out, singles who have graduated from university and are not yet married and have no children yet, etc.
Second step: Give each profile a name. Find the picture of a person who matches the profile - either through Google Image Search or on stock image pages. The idea behind this is that every profile should look like a real, living person.
Here is an example of how a customer profile can be created, with name and picture:
Third step: In your copy, speak to these people in the language they understand. Take a look at every page of your homepage and revise anything that doesn't sound like you're talking to these people.
Pretend you're actually speaking to the person, and your ad will target similar customers accordingly.
You can also extend the same customer-centric approach to all aspects of customer contact, including customer service.
Let's assume you are serving an older generation. Don't force customer service on them that offers chat. Give them a phone number and a person to talk to. And make sure the font size on the website is appropriate for older people to read.
Millennials prefer systems based on chat because they are faster. Don't make them pick up a phone when they'd rather write about their problem and want a prompt response.
5. Enable a better customer experience
Did you know that Apple fans often create videos of their own in which they unpack their new Apple products and then upload these videos to YouTube?
It really does exist, it's called unboxing. Search for it on YouTube and you will find hundreds of Apple unboxing videos. Each video from a different user, on a different part of the world.
Why is this happening? Because Apple created a customer experience that goes way beyond the actual purchase.
The “Apple Experience” includes elements from every aspect of the buying process - comparing different product versions, trying the product in an Apple Store, actually purchasing the item, receiving the product, unpacking (sorry ... unboxing) and setting it up ...
None of these elements are left to chance. They have been painstakingly created, reviewed and improved to stimulate all of the client's senses.
Let's take the installation as an example. One of the things that Apple fans love about Apple computers is the ease with which they are set up.It really is that simple, all you have to do is open it, plug it in, turn it on and it'll all work.
Yes, Apple spends many thousands of hours testing, designing, and then improving those designs. You do this so that the contents match the promises of the box and vice versa.
The Apple Store experience isn't just a quick detour for most people. Almost everyone who enters an Apple Store lingers, tries the products, asks questions - and many leave the store with a new product.
The stores have been carefully designed to create the right atmosphere. Warm light and a simple color scheme. The interior design of the stores does justice to every sense of the buyer without appearing cool and impersonal. Even the large storefronts that allow people from outside to look in and see that people are having a good time there is by design.
To implement Apple's “eye for design”, first outline what experiences your customers have with your brand. Make a note of every major step (e.g. on your Facebook page or a specific page on your website, etc.).
Then analyze each piece of the “experience puzzle” and rate how well it fits your brand. What can you improve?
Think about ways that will make contacting the prospect easier, clearer, and simpler. Align every part of the customer experience with the look, feel, visual brand elements, and personality of your brand.
Then think about taking it a step further. What else could you do to please your customers?
This is the Apple way!
6. Address the feelings of your potential customers
Think back to the first advertisement for the iPad after its buoyant launch in 2010.
Do you remember the pictures of people sitting relaxed in the living room with their new device? They looked happy and satisfied.
They didn't talk about screen size or processor power. They just enjoyed their iPads.
As with all of Apple's marketing activities, these advertisements hit customers where it really matters - not in their wallets (we've already clarified that), but in their hearts.
The emotional connection is the key to success in marketing. That's why certain stories, videos, and memes go viral.
A well-known study by Dr. Jonah Berger showed that content that evokes emotions is more likely to go viral than content that does not arouse emotions. Examples of high emotional arousal are happiness, awe, amusement, and fear.
Plus, positive content is more likely to go viral than negative. Positive emotions trigger stronger reactions in the brain.
In his book, Descartes ’Error, author Antonio Damasio, a professor of neurobiology, stated that our emotions play a crucial role in making decisions, especially when we buy something.
Neurological science shows us the same thing. Functional MRI tests show that when customers evaluate a company, they do so primarily with the part of the brain associated with emotions and personal feelings, memories and experiences, rather than facts.
Studies also show that positive feelings have a greater impact on customer loyalty than trust levels and other areas of judgment that are more objectively based.
You have to understand that you want to publish content that your target audience really wants. What is the most common content shared on leading social media? As it turns out is it the content that generates either respect or laughter - or both.
The BuzzSumo test team wanted to understand what makes content go viral and what exactly is being shared thousands of times by users. So they teamed up with OKDork and did a detailed study.
First, the team identified the most frequently shared content on the web over a period of time. Next, they categorized each item according to the feelings like joy, anger, sadness, happiness, laughter, pleasure, empathy, etc.
And this is what the result looked like:
You can see from this graph that the top 2 feelings readers think about viral content are respect (25%) and laughter (17%). Similar emotions, such as joy and pleasure, came to another 29%.
This means that you can make your readers happy with your content.
To create and build on emotions, like Apple does, use emotional language whenever appropriate. Also, make sure it sounds natural. One way to do this is to use emotion-generating terms in your writing.
Tip: To make sure the text sounds natural, record yourself as you read it out loud. Then play the recording. If it sounds contrived or formal, change it until it sounds natural.
Think about the emotional impact your product or service will have on the customer. Then look for pictures that convey those feelings.
Here's an example: JustGiving, the world's leading fundraising platform, raised nearly $ 1.5 million for good causes. Check out the landing page:
What emotions does this picture generate? Personally, I see joy and awe - skydiving has to be one of the most inspiring experiences. Then there is the empathy and joy that generosity and giving to those in need can trigger.
Finding the right images for your content sometimes takes a little patience, but it's worth it. Images not only generate interest, they also break up long and boring blocks of text - they can help convey a specific message to your readers and subscribers.
I believe so strongly in the power of great pictures and screenshots that I routinely use up to 60 in a single article - but I always make sure they add value and get my readers in the right emotional mood.
7. Create a community of users and customers
Over the years, Apple has built one of the world's largest fan bases.
The “fanboys” (and “fangirls”) camping out before the latest product launches represent a small percentage of Apple users, but this kind of fanaticism and enthusiasm is very rare.
Apple has created a brand personality and culture that is cool, fun, and friendly - the opposite of some of its competitors. Apple makes customers part of this community want.
Do you remember Apple's “Think Different” campaign? She started with a film commentary that said, “This is for the crazy people. The outsider. The rebels. The troublemakers. " Haven't we all felt this way?
Apple cleverly relied on the universality of this self-perception, which led customers to believe the brand understood their needs and was like themselves.
Even small brands can create a community of loyal users. You can start a community even before you put the first product up for sale.
The first and most difficult step in building a strong, lively and committed community is to become aware of your brand, its values and personality.
You have to have a vivid and precise picture of your brand in front of your eyes - the core message of your brand, its central values, its personality and what it stands for.
Your next step is to make sure your website, marketing copy, and content reflect all of this. Each area of your website should be designed consistently in terms of words, graphics and color scheme.
Last but not least, show your readers and users that you value them and their opinion. Show in your content that you are interested in it.
How can you do this effectively on the internet? You can use any or all of these tips right away:
- Ask open-ended questions in your content
- Reply to the comments on your blog posts - engage in a conversation
- Try to start a conversation with your readers on social media
- Create a referral program for clients who refer new clients
- Contact your customers via email.
One of the fastest ways to achieve a goal is to follow those who have already successfully achieved that goal.
Apple is a prime example of any modern brand that wants a raging fan base and incredibly loyal customers who share their experiences with family and friends.
You shouldn't copy Apple. Instead, you should get a feel for what Apple - or any other successful company - is doing and then find creative ways to do the same in your company, always in line with your brand, of course.
You can learn a lot from your competition. Competitive analyzes can show you what you are doing right and what you still need to improve.
What other conclusions can you draw from Apple's marketing efforts?
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