What can you do in seven hours? Well, you could fly to Dubai, catch a train to Edinburgh, or bid au revoir to London and say bon soir to Paris via the Eurotunnel. The homebodies among you might slow-cook a casserole while watching an entire Netflix mini-series. Perhaps you could run a marathon, or maybe even two of them.
When it comes to your business, in just seven hours you could be well on your way towards winning and engaging more customers, according to Google’s 7-11-4 rule.
Remind me, what’s the 7-11-4 rule?
The 7-11-4 rule is a theory developed by Google that’s based on what they call ‘moments of truth’.
Hopefully, you’ve read our introduction to 7-11-4. To recap, back in the day the first moment of truth was thought to be something like an advert, the second moment of truth happened at the point of sale, leading to the third moment of truth – the customer’s real-world experience of the product or service.
However, Google has since highlighted a preceding – and all-important – ‘zero moment of truth’. During this fundamental initial leg of the customer journey, the customer peruses products and services and ponders how they might suit their needs.
To be convinced, they need access to 7 hours of content or interaction, across 11 touch points, in 4 separate locations before they make that purchase or sign on the dotted line.
If you run a busy company, making this happen might seem like an insurmountable marketing task but we’re here to explain how it’s easier than you think – starting with lucky number “7”.
We’re living in an information-driven age and consumers are content-hungry beasts. When they go looking for facts, reviews, images, video and audio about any given product, they expect to find a rich and juicy smörgåsbord upon which to gorge themselves.
Brands that give them around seven hours of top-quality gourmet content are likely to win more purchases, hires, subscribes – and hopefully customer loyalty and referrals too. It’s a noisy and competitive marketplace out there, so customers need at least 7 hours of information in order to feel they’ve found the best deal for them.
Companies that put out a few stale biscuits once in a blue moon – metaphorically speaking – are likely to be ignored and forgotten. Not being present in that ‘zero moment of truth’ results in close to zero engagement and sales. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles now.
Three ways to seven hours
So, what counts toward those vital seven hours? You can educate potential customers about your products and services and promote yourself above competitors with a mixture of:
Let’s take closer look at ways to create seven hours of content in each of these areas…
Face-to-face wins the race
Forget about the saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” When it comes to marketing your products and services successfully, familiarity breeds sales.
To know you is to love you! When potential customers have at least seven hours of interaction with you and your brand, they feel like they recognise you and can buy from you with confidence.
The moment of truth is also the moment of trust. Get familiar with your target audience by:
Practicing the art of mingling at networking events and social occasions (top tip – people love talking about themselves)
Asking open questions to exhibition delegates to encourage conversation
Running workshops to share your knowledge with others
Attending courses with a collaborative mindset rather than as a passive ‘spectator’
Creating interactive events on social media
Soon enough, your face will become known and that will give all your other marketing activity more power and resonance.
The pen is mightier than the sword
In the battle of the brands, words can be your secret weapon – so choose them well. Think about WHAT potential customers need (and want) to know – and HOW they communicate. Craft ample, useful, topical content in an appropriate tone of voice that speaks to them.
Research, tap, and scribble:
Regular blogs that are in tune with what’s going on in your sector
Case studies to showcase your portfolio
Whitepapers to provide persuasive and factual evidence that can influence customers’ decisions
Testimonials based on customer feedback to show of your products/services in the best light
Downloadable how-to guides filled with practical advice to make life easier
Email newsletters packed with the latest news and must-share stories
Books that explore relevant topics with depth and insight
Take note, you must do these things consistently. Sporadic content output can make your brand look flaky. Customers might become suspicious that they’ll get an erratic service, too.
Oh, how the camera loves you (and your voice)!
Many consumers are time poor and don’t have the headspace to read written content, even if they want to. Others simply absorb information better when they see it in a video or hear it explained verbally. In any case, video and audio content has fast become the norm, mostly due to the ubiquity of social media in our everyday lives.
Therefore, your brand definitely needs to be visible in this space as part of your 7-11-4 content creation strategy.
Be seen and heard with:
Inspiring, on-topic social media posts, stories and reels
Helpful webinars e.g. step-by-step tutorials, group discussions
Demos that show off the features and benefits of your products and services
Podcasts featuring chat with entertaining guests, points of view, and advice
TV and radio appearances – be the expert the media calls on for clarity and opinion
Advertising – captivate car commuters and be the reason viewers don’t make a cuppa in the commercial break
Shrinking violets, don’t fear – it doesn’t have to be Oscar-worthy and the more you do it, the more natural it will become.
Is your brand present in the moments that matter?
Brevity’s 5 Mandala Marketing Principles include Personality, People Power, Performance, Personalisation and Positivity.
Google’s 7-11-4 rule allows you to optimise your ‘Performance’ potential because it puts your brand front and centre in the zero moment of truth.
A steady stream of rich content that feeds your target audience for seven hours or more will help cultivate the familiarity required to hold their attention through to the final moments of truth – the sale and their ultimate experience of your product or service.
Now that you’ve got so many ideas for your 7 hours of content, keep an eye on this blog for more information on the 11 touchpoints and 4 locations needed to maximise their visibility and effectiveness.
If you’re looking for a content marketing consultant our team of experts is here to inspire, create and deliver all the content your business needs to thrive and reach its full potential.
Take this test to discover how well your company measures up against the Brevity Mandala Marketing Principles – and how ‘exit-ready’ it is. We’ll send you a report featuring insight and tips that will improve your business performance today – and attract the right acquirers when the time comes to sell.