Have you ever been in an endless loop or Mobius strip conversation with a toddler? You know… the endless circle of WHY?
When a toddler keeps asking “WHY?” in response to everything they hear or see, it's called the “why stage” or “why phase”.
As children grow and develop, they become more aware of their surroundings and their own thoughts and feelings. This leads them to ask more complex and nuanced questions as they try to make sense of the world.
If you get frustrated, you can try to end the loop by saying, “Because I said so… THAT'S WHY!”
WHY can be both a question AND an answer!
Simon Sinek explores the word WHY in such an exciting way in his book “START WITH WHY: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”
If you have never watched his TED Talk – here it is…
When it comes to getting traffic to a website, I find that business owners start with WHAT (we need more SEO). Then they try to figure out HOW (do I learn it myself, send my staff to SEO school, or hire consultants or an agency to do it for us). Then they finally start to examine the WHY!
It helps to act like a toddler and keep asking WHY. “WHY do you want more traffic?” “WHY do people come to your website?” “WHY do the vast majority of the visits to my website last only 1-10 seconds?”
I suggest you ask yourself, “WHY do I want or need more sales?”, “HOW can I entice people to do more of what is already working?” “WHAT do I need to do to entice people to do more of what is already working?” and “WHY would that convince them to make a purchase?”
If you noticed, Simon Sinek starts with WHY, HOW, and WHAT. This is the power of three. So let's explore WHY three choices help you increase the chances that your ideas and messaging will be engaged with.
The Power of Three
In internet marketing, there is a saying, “If you make them choose, they get confused.” If you tell people what to do, they generally will take action. Some will take the action you want, while others won't. That is a binary yes/no, this/that, yin/yang decision.
In contrast, research suggests that offering people a limited number of options tends to be more effective than overwhelming them with too many choices.
Three options can be a good starting point for decision-making because it provides enough choice to create distinct options, but not too many to become overwhelming. It can also create a balance between choice and simplicity.
The Three Types of Learning
People primarily lean towards one of three types of learning styles…
- Visual learning: images, videos, diagrams, and other visual representations.
- Auditory learning: hearing and listening.
- Kinesthetic learning: physical activities and hands-on experiences.
Computers are the perfect delivery platform for learning. People can choose how they want to learn.
The computer screen feeds visual content in the form of video, pictures, and infographics. The speakers (or headphones) feed the ears with podcasts, beeps and alerts, and audio from videos. The mouse and keyboard provide the kinesthetic ability to input data, and make choices.
The Three Types of Content
If you focus on only one type of content creation, you limit potential engagement and interaction. This is WHY, when experts tell you to “Focus on YouTube or TikTok”, “Podcasts are more convenient than video”, or “SEO is the only way to reach busy B2b buyers”, you may be missing out.
We create weekly content in multiple forms for our business and have found that to be incredibly effective for our clients.
It starts with the script or visuals. This post becomes a script for a podcast and ultimately becomes one of three options shared via email.
Sometimes, we'll create a webinar, which is transcribed and shared as a blog post summarizing the key concepts. That content is then shared and distributed.
We also create eBooks. These can then be broken up into a series of blog posts. Then we create a teaser video to promote the eBook and the blogs. Also, we create a series of email drips to remind people WHY they engaged with the ebook in the first place.
Three Types of Distribution
Finally, you want to reach your audience where they are hanging out. This is WHY, you want to use as many distribution methods as possible.
We use websites as the home base and then distribute teasers via social media, emails, and podcasts (or videos). That way, people are exposed to the content multiple times which creates greater awareness.
From that point, it also gives the end user, the opportunity to choose the method that they prefer to consume your content.
So the combination of multiple opportunities, with multiple options, increases the effectiveness of your messaging and engagement with your messaging.
It may sound complex, time-consuming, and costly, but it's not as daunting as you may think. We have systematized the entire process so it's simple, repeatable, and cost-effective.
It's never just a cookie-cutter or out-of-the-box solution. Every business has different audiences who require some customization. Also, it takes time to get into the right rhythm.
But… when it starts working, the WHY becomes the HOW! Then the WHAT can bend and flex as the business environment evolves and changes.
Ultimately, your WHY is going to be different than almost any other business. That means your HOW and WHAT are also going to be different than most other businesses. This is why most cookie-cutter and out-of-the-box solutions fail. It takes thinking and effort to create a custom solution to your unique problems, needs, and circumstances.
In the next post, we will discuss how we have used the power of three to increase engagement with visitors to a website.
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”
– Henry Ford
Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about WHY and how the power of three benefits your business! Do you consistently ask yourself WHY before taking action? HOW can you consistently do things to get your perfect customers to spend three minutes or more on your website? WHAT messaging needs to be created?
To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast.