Remember the John Hughes classic, Ferris Buellerâ€™s Day Off? If it was a bit before your time â€“ well, you still have to see it! â€“ but perhaps a more modern example is Frank from House of Cards. What these protagonists do is known as â€˜breaking the fourth wallâ€™ â€“ when the character talks directly to the audience instead of existing in a purely 3-dimensional state.
And you know what that does? It makes the audience connect with the character. Why do you think Ferris Buellerâ€™s become everyoneâ€™s most lovable rogue? Or how Frank Underwood can do the things he does and we still think heâ€™s funny? Itâ€™s because theyâ€™re talking directly TO us, and that forges a connection. Itâ€™s like being let in on a secret. Sometimes we even find ourselves talking back.
When it comes to your customers, theyâ€™re really looking to connect with their bank on a personal level. They need to know youâ€™re taking a genuine interest in them, so you want to tailor your content so that it reaches them as individuals.
The great thing about breaking the fourth wall is that you have more opportunities to inject some irreverence into your content. Dealing with finances, talking with a bank manager, understanding how to use financial tools â€“ customers can find that kind of thing a bit daunting.
Hereâ€™s how breaking the fourth wall can not only get your message across, but actually make it fun for your audience:
What youâ€™re looking to do is create content that means customers donâ€™t have to imagine you sitting in your office or on the phone â€“ youâ€™re there with them. Whether youâ€™re showcasing a new financial tool, marketing new small business packages or plugging an upcoming event, try to put yourself in your customerâ€™s shoes and think about how youâ€™d like to be engaged.
Breaking the fourth wall means that when it comes to content, the worldâ€™s your oyster.
The question isnâ€™t WHAT are we going to do, the question is what ARENâ€™T we going to do.
– Ferris Bueller