Three things I learned about marketing from my April Fools’ joke.
If you fell for my April Fools’ joke last week, you weren’t the only one.
I got tons of emails, tweets and slaps on the back for announcing I was building a Broadway theater from some of the smartest people I know. So why did this one work so much better than some of my others?
Lots of business owners believe in having a meeting after something fails to figure out what went wrong. And I do them, for sure. But I also do them when things go well, to try and understand what about the initiative worked, so I can try and bottle that up for the next time.
I never imagined that my joke would generate almost 500 likes on Facebook and get as many shares as it did. So I sat down with myself and came up with three things that I learned from my April Fools’ joke. Ready, set . . .
1. JUST BECAUSE YOU WRITE IT, DOESN’T MEAN PEOPLE WILL READ IT.
When we write advertising copy, marketing blurbs, even scripts, we think our consumers are going to digest every single word with incredible detail and care. And the fact is, they don’t. Especially in today’s world of information overload, people sometimes only read headlines, first paragraphs, and barely get to the bottom of an article. And clicking? Forget it. So many of the folks who fell for my April Fools’ simply didn’t get to the bottom of the blog, and definitely didn’t click the link. Maybe they will next time, but I doubt it. So when you’re writing marketing email blasts, letters to investors, etc., make sure you remember to keep it on point and easy to digest. It may take you 8 hours to write, but some won’t even take 8 seconds to read.
2. IF YOU WANT TO BE CONVINCING, BE SPECIFIC.
I asked people who fell for it what about the post made them think it was real. Some of them said it sounded just like the insane sort of thing that I do, so they bought it. But most people said it was because I was so specific in the description of the plan. It was going to cost $113 million. Not $100 million, or even $110 million. $113. And I was buying a warehouse. On 48th. Between 10th and 11th. “Steps away from where the Shuberts bought theirs last summer.” All those details sounded like a lot of research. Specifics just help sell anything, whether that’s tickets, an investment, or a joke.
3. I GAVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANTED.
The truth is? There aren’t enough Broadway theaters. And everyone I know would LOVE there to be more. I mean, who wouldn’t? So people wanted to believe what I wrote, before I even wrote it. I listened to the rumblings of the market, and delivered something I knew they wanted. It’s the reverse of what we do a lot on Broadway . . . but maybe we should do it this way more often.
If you fell for the Fools’, don’t be mad at me. I promise to use what I learned from it for good instead of . . . well, instead of an even better joke next year. Ba-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
Did you fall for any good pranks this year? If so, what were they and more importantly, why did you fall for ’em?
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