We think of illusions as false and not factual, things meant to mislead. But, when used to showcase and emphasize our marketing message in blogs, parhelions can be the most honest of illusions!
A “sun dog”, or parhelion, is an atmospheric optical illusion. Ice crystals in the atmosphere reflect sunlight, causing “halos” to appear at one or both sides of the sun. Interestingly, the parhelions seem to showcase, rather than distract from, the central figure of the sun.
Parhelions can be used for showcasing the main message of a business blog. Most business owners and professional practitioners will tell you they have more than one target audience for their products and services, so what can be done is to offer different kinds of information and advice in different blog posts. In fact, blogging is perfect for hitting a blog topic from multiple angles, while still highlighting the central message of the company or practice. And just as parhelions frame the sun, the “parhelion effect” can enhance an owner’s “slant” through contrasting that approach with other views in the industry or profession. Remember, the parhelion effect needn’t happen within one article but can be achieved in groups of blog posts.
- Illusions in marketing:
We learned from InSitesCOnsulting, “The bitter reality is that brands barely differ from each other in the consumers’ perception.”
Illusions in public speaking:
The Illusion of Transparency is a cognitive bias that makes us overestimate the degree to which other people know our mental state. Thorough audience analysis will provide insights into what your audience is thinking and serve to mitigate the speaker’s fears.
Illusions in online marketing:
Entrepreneurs can be so engrossed in their products or services that they forget one important fact: this is the Internet age, where any information about any product/service/idea is available within 0.01 seconds on Google.com. The number one rule of any marketing campaign is to highlight the benefits of the product or service rather than its features.
Illusions in writing:
Anything and everything can be used to help you advertise your brand. Get creative, think outside of the box, and incorporate illusions whenever possible.
Illusions in reading:
We’re so used to words being arranged in a certain order that, when the words are jumbled up, we often don’t notice: We mistake our expectations for the words. That’s why proofreading your own essays is so hard. Try reading this out loud: “You that read wrong.”
One thing that stands true is how important authenticity is to the public. Business2Community took a look at how honest marketing and advertising affect how customers view a company and whether or not they would be willing to invest money or time into that brand. It seems as though the younger generations, millennials and Gen Z, are demanding that companies are truthful about their message and products and that won’t change anytime soon. They backed these claims up with links to studies and inforgraphics, such as this one from Bonfire
that tells us about how the public rates honesty.
In short, the key to being more authentic starts with treating your audience like people – with understanding how they think and what they care about and shaping your marketing messages to their unique experience.
Authenticity is a critical purchase driver for modern consumers. If your brand comes off as uncaring, cold, or insincere, people are going to abandon it for a competitor that feels more trustworthy. Follow the advice laid out here, and see to it that it does not.
In the end, what matters is how transparent you are and how you weave your illusions into your blog posting. We all love a great brand story and appreciate genuine creativity!