The premise of Christopher Nolan’s latest thriller Inception is simple enough.
Plant an idea within the mind of your target so it grows in a way that it seems to come from the target himself.
Why? Because nothing consumes a man more than his own idea.
An idea with which he can persuade himself along a path YOU’VE pre-determined.
But how do you plant this idea?
Well, that’s where things get a bit complicated. You need to do it in a dream. And in this case – a dream within a dream, within a dream. Like I said it gets a bit complicated.
Since it’s unlikely you’ll be breaking into people’s dreams. You’ll have to settle for inboxes, social media and feed readers.
That’s exactly what’s been working for so many successful content marketers.
What is content marketing?
Here’s an excerpt from the masters of the Inception Method at Copyblogger:
“Content marketing is a broad term that relates to creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers. The primary goal is to obtain opt-in permission to deliver content via email or other medium over time. Repeated and regular exposure builds a relevant relationship that provides multiple opportunities for conversion, rather than a “one-shot” all or nothing sales approach.”
You should visit Copyblogger to find out more about Content Marketing 101.
How can you use the Inception Method of content marketing?
In the film, the Inception team, led by Leonardo Dicaprio, first decides on the idea they need to plant.
They then reduce the idea to its simplest form. To its emotional core.
Once they have that emotional core, they must implant the message. But this can’t be done in one dream alone. It has to penetrate many levels in order to take hold. Hence the need for a dream within a dream, within a dream.
What if you think about your marketing the same way?
Beyond one level deep.
So the idea extends over multiple levels or messages. And allows for “multiple opportunities for conversion.”
So here’s where you’d need to start
1. What’s your ‘thing’ really about?
Whether it’s a show, a season, a product or service, there are many things or angles you could look at when discussing your work. Make a list. But then tackle only one thing from the list. This keeps things easier for you to build a ‘dream’ around it and easier for your ‘target’ to remember.
This season at Astoria Performing Arts Center we’re exploring the idea of home from an American perspective. If we look more closely at our two mainstage productions, Joshua Conkel’s MilkMilkLemonade and the musical The Human Comedy, book and lyrics by William Dumaresq, music by Galt MacDermot, MML focuses on characters wanting to get away from home, whereas THC is more about characters want to return home.
What does all this mean from a content marketing perspective? It means we can start discussing this “relationship to home” throughout the content we create with the goal of getting our audience engaged in the discussion. Which leads us to number two.
2. Start discussing your topic
We’ve completely changed the way we approach email marketing. Instead of sending just ads when we have a show, we use it as a way to have more human and personal interactions with our audience. This allows us to create an atmosphere where we share what’s going on rather than continually ask people to buy stuff. So of course that’s one tool we’ll use to introduce the topic.
THIS SEASON AT APAC WE’RE EXPLORING THE IDEA OF HOME FROM AN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE. THE SPRING MUSICAL, THE HUMAN COMEDY LOOKS AT CHARACTERS WHO YEARN TO RETURN HOME. IN MILKMILKLEMONADE THE CHARACTERS WANT TO GET AWAY FROM HOME. WHAT WAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HOME?
3. Invite people to respond
Whether it’s via email, on Twitter or Facebook invite your audience to participate and share their stories or expertise on your topic. This allows you to showcase your audience and also find out what interests them. This allows you to create more engaging content for people to share.
Why are we doing this again?
Simply, using this Inception Method to market your work allows you to promote what you’re doing in a way that is engaging an interesting to the audience. And in this new media landscape you want to create stuff your audience wants to share. Which as you know isn’t always “BUY THIS!”
So grab your Inception team and take a look at how content marketing could benefit your work.
What do you think? How can you plant an idea using the Inception Method?