Creative marketing can take your marketing campaigns to the next level. When you do it right, you step into the storyteller role and use creativity to inspire an emotional response that moves your target market. We know that art moves us. Sad songs make us cry, hilarious jokes make us laugh. Emotion makes us remember what's important to us. Easier said than done right? Well here's some tips and idea on how to unleash your own creativity and get your customers inspired!
How We Lose Our Creativity
When does it happen exactly? When does a person lose their creativity? We all know what happens when you put fingerpaint in front of a group of five year olds. Chaos! Magic! Creativity.
Time goes on and kids get older. Social pressure to fit in, critical teachers, grades, objectivity. Somewhere in middle school kids begin to conform and then you start to see a strong divide between those that are the "creative kids" and those that are not. Some people seem to be able to hang on to their creative streak and walk their own path. For others, the call to fit in and look "normal" is too strong, whatever that means for the decade they're in. (slouchy socks should never have been normal, okay?)
This process of fitting into society is actually a good one, it's how we learn to be a good citizen, and a productive member of a community. But it also means a loss of individuality, expression, and uniqueness.
When you're marketing, the last thing you want is to fit in too much. Creative marketing is about standing out in the crowd, exploring your brand's unique qualities and magnifying them in entertaining, useful, or interesting ways. It's about grabbing attention.
Re-Finding Your Creative Inspiration
So you're convinced you need to find your creative streak? Great! There are lots of great ways to get in touch with your creativity. There are games, books, programs, and coaches. Here's a few ways that have been proven through research and experience to help us get creative:
Ask "what if" questions: when you're trying to get creative you're working on "getting outside the box. What if style questions challenge you to drop assumptions and think about wild possibilities.
Take time to dream: creativity is about connecting to your intuition and imagination. It's something you can't force. But you can give it space to emerge. Do creative cross training. Go paint for fun, or try out Artist Pages
Make time for creativity: you can't force yourself to come up with a creative idea, but you can schedule time for the possibility of creative ideas. Especially as small business owners it's easy to only make time for logical, task-oriented, getting stuff done things. Sitting around thinking of weird ideas can seem lazy or foolish. But if you really want to find your creative marketing inspiration, you need to work at it. Schedule time on a regular basis to think about how you can be creative with your marketing.
Get creative with others: brainstorming by yourself can get a bit old. Find other people to climb out of the box with you. Get loose, get fun!
The Motivating Power of Inspiration
Creativity inspires. It tells a story. It makes a journey, and that's a journey your customers can walk. Inspire your customers with your creative marketing and you've got the job done. You don't want to just show pictures of your product. You want to evoke the powerful feelings that come from using your product.
Your business, brand archetype, and marketing goals are going to influence what kind of emotions you're going to want to evoke. Excitement, anger, fear, frustration, freedom... The possibilities are wide open. They say that the definition of art is something that evokes an emotional response. So get creative and make some marketing art!
The SPCA made this powerful commercial featuring Sarah McLachlan's singing paired with images of pets recovering from abuse to create a vastly powerful emotional response that wildly drove donations for their cause. It makes your heart ache, just watching it, and they use that powerful emotional response as a perfect call to action. Creative marketing at its best.
Inspiring Others with Creative Marketing
Get Real: that doesn't mean you have to share all the gritty details, but you do need to be authentic. You can't inspire people when you're faking it. be genuine, and share what you love about your business and your work. Your excitement and interest will naturally inspire others to get excited about your product.
Get Making: creative marketing only works when something's getting created. What are the stories you want to tell? What emotion do you want to evoke in your clients and customers? Take that inspiration and make something with it. If you're not sure how to translate your business creativity into words, we can help.
Get Marketing: when creative marketing works, it's highly inspirational for your customers, and for you. You're riding high on connection, and it can be easy to forget that while this really is authentic and powerful, you also have to be using this to market your business. Don't forget to give your target market actionable things to do. This can be a call to action to order a product but it can also be so much more. Ask them to interact with you or with others. Inspire them to create in turn. Inspiration is viral, and word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Use that authentic creativity to build your business and get the word out about how awesome you are!
Are You Riding High on the Idea of Creative Marketing?
If you want to get in touch with your creative side but you're not sure where to start or how to translate inspiration into creation, we got you.