Yes, you did read that right. We’re really asking that question.
It might seem ridiculous. After all, what’s exciting about accounting? It’s not exactly exciting or sexy when compared to other industries and their products, like iPads or flat screen TVs.
What could possibly motivate thousands of people to comment on, like and share an accountant’s social media post?
You’d be surprised what catches on. It isn’t always immediately exciting or interesting. Consider the case of Blentec.
In 1999, Tom Dickson founded his own blender company, Blentec, in Utah. The business was doing alright, but no one really knew about it. That’s why he hired George Wright, a marketing specialist, to promote his special blender, which was cheap to make yet incredibly resilient.
One day George was walking past Tom’s workshop, and could hear a horrendous buzzing noise. There was sawdust on the floor. What was the deal? He went in to find Tom shoving two-by-two boards into one of his blenders. He was trying to break it by testing the durability of the product (hence the dust on the floor).
George suddenly had an idea. He ran out and with $50 bought a rake, some glass marbles, and a golf club. He also got a white lab coat for Tom to wear. George came back and then filmed Tom putting each of these items into the blender.
The blender whirred for 15 seconds. Tom then cautiously lifted the lid, and peered inside. There was glass dust everywhere from the marbles. The blender had prevailed. What a product!
George created a YouTube account, uploaded the videos, and watched to see what would happen.
Social pandemonium ensued. People were enthralled. They adored the videos, and began sharing it with their families and friends. It wasn’t long before the video had 6 million views. People started to ask what else could the blender handle? A samurai sword? What about computer hard drives?
Out of these questions, their video series was born: Will It Blend? They put pretty much anything you can think of in there. Controllers for the Nintendo Wii, Justin Beiber CDs, you name it. Overall, the series gained over 300 million views.
From there, over the course of 24 months the company saw a 700% increase in their blender sales. The videos they made cost only a few hundred dollars each. Talk about ROI!
What’s the point? The point is there is immense potential in marketing for accountants. Think about it. If you can make something as ordinary as a blender go viral, why can’t an accountant brand?
The key is finding the answer to the question: “What Makes Things Go Viral, then?” Here we turn to Jonah Berger.
Berger wrote a book called Contagious: Why Things Catch On. In it he argues that there are six key STEPS to making something go viral:
1. Social Currency
People want to look good in front of other people. It’s called social currency. They want to appear cool, smart, or in the know about something generally unknown. If you can create something that meets these desires in human beings, then they will talk about you. This is where content marketing for accountants can be really powerful.
Create ideas, products and services that are linked to events and experiences in peoples’ everyday surroundings. When they come across these experiences and events, these act as frequent “triggers” reminding them of your brand.
Your message needs to make people feel something quite deeply. You need to tap into their emotions, especially surprise, awe and outrage. Avoid anything sad or depressing. Certain emotions are better than others. Some are counterproductive, so be careful.
Are people able to notice other people using your service or product? The key here is to create something that can be observed easily, so it can be imitated. This makes it more likely to become popular.
5. Value (Practicality)
Human beings like to help out others. If your service of product can save money, or time, or improve peoples’ health then they’ll naturally want to spread the word. Marketing for accountants can tap into this by clearly explaining how an accountant can improve peoples’ lives in these tangible ways.
Throughout history, people have transmitted information through folklore, tales and stories. We like stories. They are also a great way to transmit morals and lessons to others – such as the benefits of your service.