There's an old copywriting principle: You should enter the conversation that's already happening in your customers' heads. If you talk about what your customers are already thinking about, it's easier for you to grab their attention and turn the conversation to your products and services.
Sleep is a topic that lingers on many people's minds, especially when you consider reports that one in three adults don't get enough sleep. Mattress-maker Casper found a way to get people thinking and talking more about sleep (and its brand) in a clever way: This week, the company placed 21 sleep-themed puzzles across New York City's subway lines.
Riders can pass the time during their commute figuring out the playful math puzzles. And should they get stuck, they can go online to find the answers.
This is a smart campaign. I have a feeling it'll win Casper more customers--and the strategy behind it is easily replicable for entrepreneurs everywhere. Here are the three lessons you should learn:
1. Go above the brand.
Ads don't always have to be filled with all the features and benefits of your product. Your efforts will stand out more when you deliver an experience that induces an emotion that lingers with your customer long after they've consumed your marketing.
The new Casper ads are puzzles. Puzzles are a fun way to engage people. They don't feel like ads.
When I first saw these, I immediately started working through them. I got stumped on a few, so I went to the website for answers and found additional puzzles to solve. My sister is a math educator, so I sent her the link to the puzzles because I know she'll appreciate it.
In retrospect, that's exactly what Casper wanted me to do. When your ads deliver an experience that transcends a transaction, your customers won't hesitate to share them.
Uncover related issues that your customers are already thinking about. Then, find unique and remarkable ways to join the conversation about those pressing issues in your ads.
2. Play the long-game.
Mattresses aren't something people buy with a great deal of frequency. Most of the time, people only think about mattresses when they are on the hunt for a new one.
Here, Casper is getting subway riders to think of mattresses in a fun way--and it's planting a seed that could pay many dividends when it is time for these potential customers to get a new mattress.
I'm not in the market for a bed at the moment. But because of the puzzles, I spent time on Casper's website and poked around on the company's Instagram feed. I have a more favorable view of the brand now. Maybe I'll think of it when it's time to get a new mattress.
You can always get your customers thinking about the problem your business solves in a way that doesn't feel intrusive. If you continue to nurture that seed over time by showing up and adding value to your customers, it becomes a no-brainer for them to consider your brand when it's time for them to buy.
3. Build an integrated campaign to extend your reach.
People might see one or two of the puzzles on the train. If they find them fun, they may go to the website--like I did--to work through the others.
Without that last part, this campaign doesn't work nearly as well. It's always a great idea to get your customers thinking about your promotions, spending time on your website, and engaging in your brand in multiple channels.
Giving people ways to access the puzzles beyond just the subway means more opportunities for potential customers to engage with Casper over an extended period of time. And even though this is a local campaign in a specific city, the move helps invite anyone with an internet connection to join in the fun.
Build your marketing campaigns in a way that makes it easy for your customers to engage across multiple channels. Put elements of your campaign in one channel, and make it desirable for your customers to continue their experience with you in other channels.
When your customers have a delightful experience with you across various touch points, it paves the way for them to develop a deeper relationship with your brand. And that's what you need to do: Deliver experiences in your marketing that make your customers want to spend more time with your brand.