I don’t fish much. However, my son likes to fish, so I have had to learn a few things about fishing. One of the most important lessons I have learned about fishing is that one type of bait will not catch all fish types. Different fish are lured by different types of bait. Catfish like worms and the best bait for bass are spinners.
The same concept is true in marketing: not all people are lured by the same bait. A different hook is required for different people, based on their personality and interests.
As with fishing, don’t expect to catch something each time you put your marketing hook in the water. People are inundated with marketing messages every day. In fact, studies show that, on average, people see 362 ads per day. However, your brain only notes about 153 of them. Of these 153, only 86 produce awareness in our brain, while only a mere 12 make an impression—hooking us to engage in some way.
If you are marketing a book, your ads and marketing messages often get lost in the clutter of messages your audience receives every day. To hook your audience, you must have interesting bait and you must keep putting your hook in the water over and over again. Using hooks that tease and entice your audience to want to know more is the key to getting your marketing message to stand out from the pack.
Following are six “hooks” that you can use in your marketing messages to grab your audience’s attention and have them engage to learn more.
Just like I did with this blog post, you can use numbers to get hook your audience. Starting your message with numbers like “5 Mistakes…” or “7 Tips…” will hook your readers’ attention.
Of course, each of your marketing messages should arouse curiosity, but you can use a specific phrase to really grab your audiences’ curiosity. Beginning your marketing message with “What if I told you?” is an effective curiosity enhancer.
Fear can be a powerful motivator. If I know I can do something to avoid a negative circumstance, I will. Starting your marketing message with a word like “Warning” incites a fear response that hooks your reader.
Letting your audience know they will get a behind the scenes look or information never revealed before is a powerful hook. Starting your marketing message with “Secrets of…” is a surefire way to engage your readers.
Anything that is the best or worst, longest or shortest, or highest or lowest, will grab readers’ attention because it is an extreme.
Employ The New
We love new things. Using phrases like “New methods for…” and “New rules of…” engages your audience to want to learn more.
Crafting effective hooks takes some practice. Start with your social media posts to learn the art of using hooks. Every blog post, Tweet, Pin, or Facebook post is an opportunity to practice using hooks. If you want your marketing messages to stand out from the crowd of ads that people are exposed to every day, start using hooks that will grab attention, and keep fishing.
Sarah Bolme is the author of the award-winning Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, now in its third edition. As the Director of Christian Small Publishers Association, she helps independent authors and small publishers market their books in the Christian marketplace.