Lessons in Content Marketing from The Tinder Swindler

I finally saw the much commented-about Netflix Documentary Tinder Swindler and was amazed by how he went on to scam so many women using the exact same strategy time and time again. More importantly, I found it very interesting how these very normal, smart, self-made women fell for him time and time again and all I could see was a strategy that worked so well that it didn’t need to be changed.

As a content marketing enthusiast, my mind couldn’t help but draw parallels between some of Simon’s behaviors and winning (content)marketing strategies that I personally endorse.

As I always say, content marketing is a lot like romance so this article can be read as content marketing advice or as dating advice.😉

Make Your Customers Feel Special

Simple as it sounds. Everyone loves to love and everyone wants to feel special, cared for, and thought about. Everyone loves the idea that they mean something to someone and as a brand, it is important to go the extra mile to make sure that every one of your customers—no matter how many—feels special. Some brands that I think do a really good job at this are Footlocker, PayPal, and LinkedIn. If I were looking to date, these three would be top of my list because they’ve in one way or the other been able to make me believe that they genuinely care for ME and not just after my buck.

Footlocker sends me coupons on my birthday and keeps track of exactly the kind of shoes I like to see. My browsing experience feels tailored to me and my interests.

Paypal is the caring partner that checks in, their choice of copy shows that they understand my issues and exactly where they come into the solution.

LinkedIn I would describe as a great listener. Delivers recommendations based on my recent activity and searches.

I don’t know about you but If I had just offloaded to a friend about needing to eat a specific type of food and they texted me the next day with restaurant recommendations for exactly that food, I would 100% fall in love with them. That’s a love language.

Everything from their UX copy to Email marketing and notifications just screams concern, care, and a personalized experience. A personalized experience can only be achieved through active listening. Listening to your customers, their issues, their preferences, what they like, and what they don’t. That tells you what to say to them, when to say it, and how to say it in order to ensure that it is well received.

Open Up/ Be Transparent

The age-old way to make someone feel closer to you is to make them feel like they know you. Vulnerability is a driving force of connection. Transparency makes your brand real, relatable…human. It gives it a physical form, something measurable, something that’s worth attention. Because Simon was able to tell these women about his fake problems, he was able to draw them even close into the story he was trying to sell by making them a part of it. His vulnerability made them feel special and made them feel like they were in this together.

In the same way, Brand transparency is all about being open and honest when it comes to your products, your pricing, your values, and how you do business overall. It gives customers a view into what your company is all about and makes them a part of your journey.

Be Consistent

In the words of some wise woman somewhere,

Don’t introduce me to a vibe you can’t maintain

Inconsistency is unattractive—in people, and in brands. Content marketing is a journey, not a campaign and by design is supposed to be a continuous process. To make a customer fall in love with your brand (or you), you cannot afford to be hot today and cold tomorrow and then decide to be hot again the next week. The process of falling in love *I think is very similar to the process of building a habit. It doesn’t matter how well you perform on any individual day. Sustained effort is what makes the real difference.

Consistency in presence and consistency in delivery. Half of being in love with someone or something is just (your brain) being used to them—being used to the fact that they’re always there. The human brain makes them a part of your personal story. That way you condition your customer’s mind to relate your brand with positive experiences or more simply put, the customer’s mind gets used to you and falls in love with you.

In conclusion, a huge part of building consideration in the minds of customers (or lovers) is the commitment to the cause. Take your customers through a journey using storytelling to make them fall in love with your brand just like they would a person. True connections are always worth it every time.

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