When you listen to the radio and your favorite song comes on—that's a moment of activation (MOA). You might smile and turn the volume up, and if you're like me, you begin to sing along, shamelessly.
When you stand in line and you hear your name (or the name of someone close to you) drop in the conversation happening behind you—that's also a moment of activation. It's like you're called to attention and you might even turn your head a little to get a better listen.
When you're driving down the road and you see a car painted black and white in your rear view mirror—this is yet another example of a moment of activation. It might cause your heart to race, your eyes to glance at your speedometer and foot to ease off the pedal a bit.
All of us do mindless things each day that don't require too much thinking, and a lot of times during these episodes something happens that captures our attention again and gets us to take action.
One mindless thing we all do is surf the web. We visit page after page, brand after brand and over time, it just becomes mindless clicking. It's your job as the owner of your brand to utilize various types of MOAs to help mindless clickers realize that your website is the place to be, your brand is the one to follow, and you are someone they can trust.
And if you truly believe in your message and the value that you're providing, it's not only your job to do this—it's your responsbility! Without these special moments, people will come across your brand and leave as fast as they came, never fully realizing what you have to offer them.
The MOA is all about activating that conscious decision to stick with you, and in this post I'm going to introduce three types of MOAs that you should be injecting into your brand. You don't need to utilize all of them, but you should definitely incorporate as much as you can.
MOA #1: The “Me Too!” Moment
“If you can define the problem better than your target customer, they will automatically assume you have the solution.” -Jay Abraham
I love this quote, because it's true. When you can completely relate to your audience, understand them, empathize and speak their language, you will naturally become one they are attracted to.
Great copywriting, for example, incorporates “me too!” moments all throughout a single piece. From the headline to the bullet points and the testimonials, target readers of great copywriting are always saying “Yes! Me too!”.
Make sure to do your research and truly understand your target market. Find out what their likes and dislikes are, and the language they use to describe their problems. Use that within your brand. In your copy, your content, your email, your imagery—everything.
What's the best way to do this research?
Easy. Have actual conversations with people in your audience.
Get someone on Skype or take them out for coffee and record the conversation. Dig deep and play it back later while being conscious about the language they use, the stories they tell and the examples they share.
That's how you figure it out.
This “me too!” moment, however, isn't just about proving that you understand the problems and pains of your target audience, it can also work simply by sharing a common interest or connection.
For example, imagine you're having a conversation with someone you just met for the very first time. At first, the conversation is usually surface-level. Perhaps it's about where you're from, or maybe the weather.
But, the moment one of you shares something you both have in common, you're instant friends. If you're both parents, your kids become the topic of conversation. If you went to the same school, you start naming off buildings or landmarks on campus.
Any commonality becomes a point of activation where a person lets down their guard and begins to open up.
Keep this in mind on your website, in your content, and even when you're trying to reach out to people you've never met before—say—for an interview or a partnership opportunity.
When you visit SPI, for example, you immediately see pictures of myself and my family. When you listen to my podcast, you get a brand new fun fact about me (read by my movie voice-over guy) at the top of the show, and if you watch SPI TV you might see my Back to the Future memorabilia chillin' behind me on camera.
All of these things, which seem like they have nothing to do with my business, have everything to do with building a real relationship with my audience and creating these moments of activation.
Therefore, they actually have everything to do with my business.
Don't be afraid to share more about the person (or people) behind your brand. These little tidbits become seeds that could potentially connect with your audience and help people make a conscious decision to stick with you.
MOA #2: The “Finding Something Familiar in an Unfamiliar Space” Moment
A friend of yours invites you to their holiday work party. After you park at the venue and walk inside, you're lost in a sea of smiling strangers—your friends' co-workers—who are all clumped in groups having drinks and conversations together.
We all know this feeling and it can be very intimidating, but that moment you finally see your friend sitting at a table, all of your troubles fly out the window and all of those strangers become a little less strange.
This experience is much like somebody brand new arriving at your site for the first time. It doesn't matter how they got there, but to them it's a strange place, so we have to make them feel comfortable.
Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate this MOA into you brand:
- Make sure you know how and why people are coming to your site. If what they are looking for or expecting isn't there, it's extremely easy for them to leave without regret. The copy, the navigation, the images and design should all reflect their reason for being (and staying) there.
- If you're getting a significant amount of traffic from a single source, immediately welcome them in relation to where they are coming from, if possible. That connection from where they were to where they are now confirms their destination and immediately helps to draw down their guard so they can feel safe to explore what's in front of them. Specifically, for example, you could create a landing page for those targeted group of users with a welcome message, or if you happen to know you're going to be featured on a large site for a guest post or interview, try to time your most recent piece of content to match the same topic.
- Social proof is important too. Including “as also seen on” type references on your site proves to new visitors that other brands and people they may be familiar with have already given you a thumbs up.
MOA #3: The “Small, Quick Win” Moment
Do you remember what the very first level of Angry Birds was like?
On the left, you have three angry birds—three chances—to knock over one bad piggie on the other side of the screen who sits high up in a poorly built wooden tower.
One hit, and you win. It's nearly impossible to lose this round. Of course, it was designed this way on purpose.
When you win, that moment becomes a moment of activation that ignites a sense of reward in your brain, one that begins to form a habit to keep coming back for more. It's a small win, but small wins are powerful, especially one's bedazzled with fun noises, increasing points and three stars as a reward.
Before you even know it, you're at level 100 and downloading the next version of the app.
An online example of a small win in action is when I came across a blog called IWillTeachYouToBeRich.com from a guy named Ramit Sethi. I liked his blog because his content was different than all of the other personal finance blogs out there, but I only visited every once and a while, usually when I was bored.
Then one day, I read this post on his blog which outlines how to call a utility company, read a script and immediately save $10-20 bucks per month on your bill. There wasn't much to lose so I tried it out, and it worked! I was able to save $30 on my cable bill, and it was at that moment I was hooked.
That was my moment of activation with Ramit.
I've been an avid reader and subscriber of his for years now, and we've actually become friends since then too. He was a guest in Session #92 and Session #120 of the SPI Podcast, two of the most popular podcasts I've published to date.
You must include small, quick wins throughout your brand. On your website, in your email sequence, and even within your products—and the earlier they experience that quick win, the better.
Sure, we all want our readers and listeners to go big – to change their lives for the better from the value that we provide for them over time.
If you want change somebody’s life, give them something that changes their day first. (click here to tweet this)
I'm hoping this post was helpful to you, and something beyond the normal “just provide value” advice that we hear and already know. If you have something to add to help the rest of the community, or just a comment about MOAs in general, please leave your comment below!
And finally, as a reminder, the content schedule for SPI moving forward is:
Woot! Thanks again for your support, and here's to you and your success!