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Want Attention? Use Surprise!

Every year, we look forward to the Superbowl. For the ads, of course. Superbowl ads are known for their funny twists — the element of surprise.
You can use the same technique in your own marketing. This topic was recently covered by MarketingProfs, which offered techniques marketers can use to hook and engage readers with their blogs, tweets, and marketing copy. We’ll look at some of their suggestions with our own twist thrown in for good measure.
1. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
By definition, surprise takes us out of the box. Don’t be afraid to be edgy . . . but keep the material appropriate to your target audience.
2. Jump on current events.
Create your own twist on newsworthy events. MarketingProfs used the example of Oreo, which immediately capitalized on the power outage in last year’s Superbowl by tweeting, “You can still dunk in the dark.”
3. Pick up on small things.
Listen to your audience. Know the things they care about. If you see a higher than usual number of comments to a blog post, for example, you know that’s something your customers care about. Find a way to integrate that back into the conversation.
4. Bring in new voices.
Consider adding in some new voices to the discussion. Sometimes being surprising requires a fresh look at the content. Bring in some of the younger members of your staff and ask them to present their ideas. You have a wealth of humor and antics at your disposal. Tap it!
5. Take chances.
Taking calculated risks is part of great marketing. Test something new, take the pulse, and either stay the course or change directions. You won't know what works until you step out of the box and try it.
Happy surprising!