WIIFM and Why It Matters
The first time I heard the word Wiifm (pronounced: Wif-em) I was a 20-year-old newbie at a training for sales and marketing professionals with my new agency. Everyone around the table threw around the term ‘Wiifm’ like it was everyday lingo, while I – the new kid on the block – sat clueless trying to figure out what language they were speaking.
“We have to consider the Wiifm factor of our target audience,’ one man said.
You can picture him, right? The black suit and red power tie with slicked back hair, not a strand out of place (though he probably used a little too much gel to keep it that way).
Finally, out of pure frustration from having heard this term all morning and no one explaining what it meant, I threw my hands up and asked, ‘their what!?’
The question was met with a roar of laughter… and though I tried not to look as stupid as I felt, I know my face was the same shade of maroon as the floral carpet in the hotel conference room.
Even though this experience in my early career was embarrassing (and I don’t miss those corporate meetings one bit!) I learned a valuable lesson I have applied throughout my career and into the blogging and entrepreneur community!
Wiifm, as I learned that embarrassing day, is an acronym standing for:
What’s in it for me?
Sounds a little selfish, right? But in reality, WIIFM is something we all subcontiously ask ourselves continually.. yup even you! When we look at this question from our reader’s perspective, we are able to evaluate our entire business (or blogging) model to better serve the needs of our audience!
Let’s break it down and be specific to our own sites:
WIIFM on your Home Page
Whether you’re offering a product, service, or program, you’re probably guilty of selling, even if you don’t realize you’re doing it.
Bill started a blog to help others find volunteer opportunities in their area. On the front page of his blog, he has clearly market buttons;
Who I Am – What I Offer – What Are My Goals.
Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Not sales-y at all!
But Bill is missing a crucial piece of information. Without realizing it, he is trying to sell his ideas to his viewers. Notice all of his buttons reference himself. They specify who Bill is, what Bill offers, and what Bill’s goals are. But what Bill has forgotten is to include what the benefit is for his viewers – or – the WIIFM factor!
Often times we assume our readers WIIFM is what we offer and what our goals are. After all, it’s for them, right!? You’re right! But by simply reconstructing the wording on our home page to feature these areas in a way that plays into the WIIFM of our audience, we have a better opportunity to engage with viewers immediately!
For example, let’s take Bill’s ‘What I Offer’ button. Instead of just handing his audience a list of things he offers on the site, Bill could reconstruct this button to say ‘Why This is for You,’ which will intrigue his audience to learn more.
This teaser approach is used worldwide in marketing and advertising agencies, but you can use this technique on your blog to get more engagement with your viewers – turning them into avid readers!
WIIFM in your Content
It’s so easy to go on and on about the great stuff we offer, isn’t it! I mean, who wouldn’t want to sign up to receive our emails!?
You can still promote what you offer and your own goals while considering what’s in it for your readers. Again, we just look at restructuring our sentences!
Take this sentence for example:
“I have a passion for helping others, and I want to help you be successful too!”
Nothing wrong with this sentence… but it’s the first sentence so you know it can’t be the right answer! 😉
Let’s refocus on our audience. First, try not to start any sentence where you’re offering a service or produce with ‘I’. Instead, make it personal to your reader!
“You are aiming for success, and I want to help you get there!”
That simple switch from ‘I’ to ‘You’ is that WIIFM factor! We said the same thing but flipped the focus from ourselves to our readers. This little change leaves your readers with a feeling that you are speaking directly to them, and in turn increases engagement and a likelihood that they’ll opt-in to what you have to offer!
The Social WIIFM
Social media is vital for every Blogger, of course! But often times we fall into the trap of only posting self-promotions instead of considering what our readers really want and need!
Take the marketing for a recent article with DIY resources for home improvement for example:
“6 Awesomelly-Awesome DIY Hacks for Home Improvement”
This isn’t a bad article title at all! In fact, we see articles like this littered all over our Pinterest feeds! So how do you stand out among all those oh-so-pinnable headlines?
You got it… WIIFM! 🙂
When you customize your promotions to not feel like you’re promoting a product, your readers will be more likely to engage because they see what’s in it for them! Let’s practice by rephrasing the Awesomelly-Awesome headline above…
“Make Your Vision a Reality with these 6 Awesome DIY Home Improvement Hacks!”
Our headline now shifts the focus to the audience instead of the promotion! If your audience is seeking home improvement it’s likely they already have a vision of what they want! Achieving that vision is ‘what’s in it for them’ and triggers a reason to read your article!
With all this being said, you don’t have to WIIFM your articles to death! Balance is they key to success in this area. A good rule of thumb is to add one WIIFM factor for every promotion. So, for example, if you use your headline solely as a promotion, make sure to lead your article with a WIIFM factor so your readers feel they have a reason to stick around and read the whole post!
Well, if you’re here, you’ve learned about WIIFM without embarrassing yourself… congratulations! I wish I was as lucky as you 10 years ago! 🙂
If you aren’t sure how or where to implement WIIFM, or other ways to market to your audience, hop over to my services page to learn more about how you can improve your content, your branding, and even your logo!!
Do you have a rule of thumb for better engagement with your target audience? Leave it below in the comments!