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8 Content Engagement Triggers to Build Your Brand

8 Content Engagement Triggers to Build Your Brand

How do you create content that inspires your audience to take action? Why do some content go viral and other content falls flat? A few…

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How do you create content that inspires your audience to take action? Why do some content go viral and other content falls flat? A few weeks ago, I got to speak at Pat Miller’s Idea Collective Retreat down in Lake Geneva on my “Top 8 Content Engagement Triggers.” I also throw in my top two “right now” marketing hacks. The speech got a good response, so I decided to record it on the podcast.

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I got to do something exciting, something I hadn’t done since before the pandemic. I gave a speech at a conference in front of a live audience at Pat Miller’s Idea Collective Retreat down in Lake Geneva at the Grand Geneva Resort, which was a great event, big props to Pat Miller. I know he took a risk putting that on any event that skill, and he had Jesse Cole from The Savannah Bananas and Mel Robbins also spoke.

It was cool to go down and spend some time at a conference, step away for a couple of days, get some good information and speak again. Since I have put all that time and energy into putting together this speech, I figured why not put it out into a blog post, so more people can read it. I have got a good response. They can help a lot of businesses out.

If you are a small business owner, a marketer at a Fortune 500 company, a content creator, a solopreneur or anyone who creates content, this is for you. My goal for this show is to help you create content that leads to engagement conversions and ultimately grows your business. A lot of companies struggle. They put a lot of time into creating content, whether writing an email or building their website that is considered content, posting on social media and maybe you write a post and press the boost button, which is the cocaine of social media. You get some likes and engagement but it doesn’t lead to anything.

I’m going to be going over how to create content that converts into customers. This presentation will be applicable across industries. The agenda is I’m going to go over some of my favorite marketing rules to set the tone for things that are important that a lot of companies miss, and I’m going to go over which would be the bulk of this is my topic content engagement triggers with examples and how they can apply to your business. After that, I’m going to briefly touch on my top two marketing hacks that can help grow your business, and we are going to bring it all together.

Marketing Rules For Creating Content That Convers Into Customers

First off, let’s dive in. Rule number one, no one cares about your brand until they know how you can make their life better. A lot of companies lead with what they do. They might even start with why and lead with why they are doing it, which no one cares about until they know how you can help them out. Companies talk about their family history. They might go on and on about that and talk about themselves.

Even when you are in a pitch, what I’m going to be going over now applies to pitches and pitch decks. You want to lead with how you can solve problems for your potential audience, which takes me to rule number two. Your customers only buy for one reason. That reason is to get from their current state, where they are at now, to their future desired state, where they want to get to. It doesn’t matter if I’m selling my marketing services. People are in a place where they are usually frustrated with their own marketing or need to get their business to the next level.

They are hiring me to solve a problem, and for a reason. My job is to get them to their future desired state, which is typically to help grow someone’s business through marketing. If you are selling fitness coaching or a gym membership, and you are trying to get someone maybe from overweight to in shape. If you are selling therapy services, you are trying to get someone from depression to healthy and happy.

It applies across the board consumer products. It is like, you are selling a nice watch. No one needs a nice watch. Everyone has an iPhone. They know what time it is. Is it to signal status? Is it to get girls? Why are they buying the watch? We find a need to know why people are buying for their own reasons, for psychological reasons and philosophical reasons, and go based off of that.

Rule number three, people buy with emotion and justify with logics. We want to make sure we are hitting people on an emotional level. I’m going to show you how to do that. My last rule is to go where your audience is already spending time and where you can add unique value to them. Some marketers say, “Go on every platform. Dominate every platform, be omnipresent. You have got to be everywhere.” It is nice in theory.

There is no downside to being on every platform and putting content on every platform. Everything is a trade-off. I would rather have you go to a platform where your audience is active and where you are strong. If you are not good on camera, you don’t need to be creating video content. If you don’t like that and you don’t have a desire, you don’t have to create video content.

You can create written content and do other things. If you are selling to middle-aged 50-year-old men, you do not need to be dominating on TikTok, especially if you are also a middle-aged man who is not funny or good on camera. That is going to be a nightmare. Go where your audience is already spending time and where you can add value to them.

One last thing I wanted to talk about before getting into the eight content engagement triggers is you need a few things in place for someone to buy. If you are running a sales funnel and doing any online advertising, I’m stealing this formula from Alex Hormozi. He has a book called $100M Offers, in which he has the best offer formula that I have seen.

His whole theory is that if the perceived value outweighs the cost and the investment, people are going to buy every time. What I was saying before is, “Good content can drive traffic and create emotion but if you don’t have a good offer for content, you need a good offer for content to convert into customers.” You can drive traffic and create emotion through content but you need a good offer and get it in front of the right audience.

No one cares about your brand until they know how you can make their life better. Click To Tweet

Audience content offers, those three things need to be aligned with the audience content offer. If any of those three is out of place, you are going to have issues. His formula is that there is more that goes into cost and investment than money that you need to be cognizant of. Other things that go into that bucket are problems, obstacles, I touched on money, and time investment. Time is a big thing, time for money. If it is inexpensive but it is going to cost someone a lot of time, that is still a big commitment.

Another thing is fear, pain, and what are other people going to think of you if you go off and do something or buy something? All that stuff is wrapped into cost and investment. The value has to be greater than that, and undervalue is that perceived dream outcome, that future desired state multiplied by the likelihood of that outcome.

If I am saying to you, “For every $1 you invest in my marketing services at GGMM, I’m going to return $100 to you.” That is a dream outcome but you are probably going to call bullshit on me because I don’t know any marketing agency that is returning $100 to $1. We are pretty good but we are not that good. I don’t know anyone who has. Value needs to outweigh cost and investment.

Content Engagement Triggers

Let’s dive into the eight content engagement triggers. I’m going to list them off. If you are taking notes, feel free to write these down, and I will be going through them one by one. Number one is social debate and conflict. Number two is taking a stand. Number three is intrigued. Number four is comedy. Number five is authenticity/vulnerability. Number six is sex, and cuteness sells, not just sex sells. Cuteness also sells. Number seven is timeliness. Also, newsjacking would fall under number seven, seeing what is hot in the news, what people are fired up about now, and turning, putting your take on that into the content. Number eight and finally is pain and success or better yet, pain to success. Everyone loves the pain to success story because we can relate to it.

Number one is social debate and conflict. If you are like me, you are glad that you haven’t had to watch many political ads over the year almost. I guess there was stopped the steel, which went on for a few months after that. For the most part, we have not had to see any political ads. We will, again, shortly but most of these political ads try and scare the shit out of you and they attack the other person.

There was $44.4 billion spent in the last election cycle on political advertising. There was that much spent because it works, and they do these ads that are terrible. They play off of our emotions of fear and things like that. The world is going to burn down if Biden is elected. Now, it didn’t burn down, and he is elected or Trump or whatever, but they do that because it works. A lot of those ads create social debate and conflict. They get people riled up, and for the most part, they can be effective.

If you are not in politics, for some other examples, we did an episode with Johnson Financial Group, and I have a Facebook video in front of me. It was on the tax code. I guess this is somewhat political on Biden’s proposed tax changes. We put a video ad up that should buy it and raise the capital gains tax. The piece of creative was the guy from Johnson Financial talking about his take on what the capital gains tax will do. It will affect anything. That got a ton of shares and comments. A lot of people are jumping in there because it sparked social debate.

Another thing is if you go to QuickTrip’s Instagram account, they have a great Instagram account. It is humorous. I’m looking at a meme now. It is the Aaron Rodgers meme. This was pre-all the Aaron Rodgers vaccine drama, which also sparked social debate and conflict. This was from right before that after we knocked off the Cardinals, which was a great game. It says, “Date stops at BP and me.” It is Aaron Rodgers giving her that look. It is funny. It also starts a social debate and conflict QuickTrip versus BP.

Another good example and one of the most iconic ad campaigns of all time is the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC.” What does that do? It is social debate and conflict. There is also a lot of humor and taking a stand mixed in there. If you wrote down the eight content engagement triggers, what you will notice in a lot of the examples that I’m going through is a lot of the good content they stack a lot of these engagement triggers. When you are creating content, whether it is putting together a pitch deck, creating a speech or doing a social media post, the more these eight content engagement triggers you can stack, typically, the better off that you are going to be.

Number two is taking a stand. The first thing I have in there is that Colin Kaepernick Nike ad, which says, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.” You don’t need to agree with that ad. I’m using it as an example. After they posted that, there was an uproar. People were burning sneakers saying they would never buy from Nike again, saying that Nike was done. Two days later, the Nike stock price went through the roof, and that ended up getting the ad campaign of the year because they took a stand for something.

Barstool Sports, I know they are going through some drama now to report noise, at least. They took a stand, and they were successful during COVID. They helped out a lot of small businesses. They started their BarStool Fund, and they took a stand against the government and how slow the government was moving to providing PPP funding, helping small businesses, and staying shut down. Barstool took a stand and donated. It ended up being tens of millions of dollars to support small businesses. It was good for business. That campaign went viral. What if you are not Nike or Barstool, and you don’t have millions of dollars or have a social issue to take a stand on?

We helped the brand called Meridian Putter’s launch. If you are looking to get a holiday gift and you know a golfer or a good client gift, go to, and use the code SINK MORE PUTTS for 15% off. I have to put a plug. I enjoy working with Meridian Putters. It is awesome. High-end putters. You can put custom logo engravings on them at a reasonable price point. They are nice putters.

In this ad that we have running on Facebook now, it was me in a video on the golf course talking about, “At Meridian, we don’t believe a high-end custom CNC milled putters should have to cost you thousands of dollars because you can get an engraving, your name and a logo on ours for about $500, which is a fraction of what a Scotty Cameron, Bettinardi or some of those leading brands would cost.”

GGP 175 | Content Engagement
Content Engagement: Go where your audience is already spending time and where you can add value to them.


Taking a stand, whether it is a social issue that you believe in or even against your competitors, can be powerful. It creates us versus them type dynamic. People can relate to it. People like latching on to a cause that they believe in. When you put that out there, it can be beneficial for business. It can also lose you some customers but the benefit typically outweighs the cost.

The third element is intrigued. As human beings, we are attuned to self-discovery. We like learning more about ourselves, and we also love comparing ourselves to others. It is not healthy. I don’t recommend it but naturally, we love comparing ourselves to others. Some of the examples that I have on intrigue is a quiz ad that we ran for my dad when he launched his book the Presidential Playbook, in 2021, which I will go into on marketing hacks.

We put a quiz up that said the creative was a little video and the header said, “Do you know the facts with an American flag?” He released his book Presidential Playbook and 12 Simple Solutions to Save America because he was tired that the politicians were attacking each other. No one was talking about actual issues that will move our country forward, which happens every election on both sides. That quiz did well. We were getting $0.20 or $0.30 clicks. 1 of 3 people completed the quiz, and it intrigued people. What quiz can you give to people to intrigue them, have them fill it out, and make them give your email for their response? The lead quizzes are what we use for that.

Another one that does a good job on this is Mental Golf Type. If there are any golfers out there and are interested in Meridian Putters, you will probably also be interested in taking a mental golf assessment. This company puts this out, and it is a free assessment. They got my email, and it was good at giving me back information.

I gave them my credit card and bought their course because if anyone can take a few shots off my golf game, I will happily give you my credit card, and you can charge whatever you want because we buy off emotion and not logic. They have a good assessment. It is a personality test. Depending on how you are wired, you should approach golf differently.

It was good for me personally because I’m not a detailed person. A lot of mental golf advice aims at the smallest target possible, which stresses someone like me out. There was a lot more stuff in there but that was one of the main takeaways. Dan Gramann, shout out to him, Cultivate Advisors. They had a Facebook ad going for a while. If you go to their website, they have an assessment and a quiz on what stage of the entrepreneurial journey are you at and what entrepreneur are you? What coaching you need and how you should be coached varies differently based on that. What kind of quiz? How can you intrigue people? Can you do a quiz? Can you game a fire content? That is usually effective.

Number four is authenticity and vulnerability. I have told this story on the show several times. I will make it short but if you want to learn more about me dealing with my anxiety issues, you can go back to the episode, Overcoming Anxiety Day by Day. Long story short, I took a flight back. It was several years ago, from Quebec to Chicago. The point gets stalled on the tarmac. I had a full-blown panic attack. I had to deal with a bunch of issues after that like riding in elevators and flying was scary. I still do struggle with some of this stuff. When I’m doing my exposure therapy, it helps a lot but even being stuck in standstill traffic was an issue for me.

At age 29, this all hit me out of nowhere. It is weird how mental health can work like that. After going to a bunch of therapy over a couple of years, riding a ton of elevators, doing a lot of breathing exercises, and doing a lot of exposure therapy, I finally flew medication-free after several years of having this panic attack. Before that, I had never been afraid to fly or have any issues.

I hesitantly posted that story on Facebook, not knowing what to expect. I didn’t post it for business reasons. It was therapeutic to get it out there enough. I figured if I could help a person or two, it would be a win and worth putting it out. The response was overwhelming in a good way. A lot of people reached out from all different walks of life, telling stories about themselves, what they have been dealing with, and what their kids are dealing with. Things like that.

What I learned is most of us are going through something when it comes to mental health or some struggle in life. Being vulnerable, pulling back the curtain, and being authentic can be helpful. It can be helpful for business reasons because people like working with people that they can relate to in a world where everyone is posting a highlight reel on social media, pulling back the curtain, and telling people what is going on with your life can be powerful.

Another thing we did in 2021 was we did an episode during the BLM Movement, a candid conversation on race in Milwaukee, where I had my Black friends, DJ and Khalif, come on. One of my White friends, Greg Marshall, who is active in the Black community, and come on. We had a raw, got some different perspectives, and told stories. It was good. A lot of people got a lot of great takeaways out of that. We were the only non-true media company to win a Press Club Award in because of that episode. It was vulnerable, authentic, and timely, which is a content engagement trigger.

Number five, sex sells, and cuteness also sells. I’m looking at my deck now, and ads from and Carl’s Jr are popping up. GoDaddy is a domain company, and Carl’s Jr is a cheeseburger-ish chain where if you eat that a lot, you are not going to look like the woman on my screen who is holding a cheeseburger and smiling now. They were targeted at middle-aged men or younger guys, and those campaigns ended up transforming those companies.

If you can incorporate sex sells into advertising, it can be effective. Cuteness also sells. You will notice that I put my puppy in a decent amount of my ads on social media. You guys have probably seen him before. 1) I liked my puppy a lot. 2) Strategically, I know cuteness sells and sex sells. I make my girlfriend come on some of those ads as well because I know attractive women and puppies perform well on social media ads. I also know that I’m neither of those two things. We also spend enough money on the puppy that I would love to get a little bit of ROI on that guy at some point in time.

People buy with emotion and justify with logic. Click To Tweet

Segueing into number six, comedy and humor. People love comedy and humor. I have got some things in front of me. It is like, “How can you be funny if you are in a still industry?” On my screen now is a YouTube video that says, “Financial Advisors React to Money Advice on TikTok (Part 1).” They are breaking down this advice that these 18, 19, and 20-year-old kids are giving on TikTok about finances and roasting them about how incorrect the advice is. That is funny.

I’m also looking at a billboard now that says, “Best time ever to get braces from an orthodontist.” It is a girl smiling. Her face is covered by a mask. The best time ever to get braces is during COVID. I thought that was funny. You can’t see the billboard now but it is good. The memes work good. Those videos worked good. I’m looking at QuickTrips, Instagram account. If you can work that into it, that is great, number six.

Number seven is newsjacking. We did a successful giveaway for the putter company and Meridian Putters around the Ryder Cup. We created a couple of Ryder Cup putters and gave them away. I used this platform called KingSumo for viral giveaways. It had over 3,100 people enter and only spent about $900 on ads. Those emails have already been profitable, and it is an engaged list. Doing a giveaway is a good idea. I will get to that shortly but what can be timely if we did that? It wasn’t around the Ryder Cup. It wouldn’t have been as popular but since people were already riled up about the Ryder Cup, that worked well.

Another thing I did in 2021 was I had a lot of business owners on the show during COVID, which a lot of you probably remember. They came on and had raw, real conversations on what they were going through. I had about 4 to 8 on at a time. I give them all a five minutes segment. It was a good way for me to bring the community together. Selfishly, I wanted people to have a beer with me virtually on a Friday afternoon. I enjoyed doing those episodes, and they performed well.

Even going back to that social debate and conflict when I put up that Aaron Rodgers, QuickTrip meme, which I said social debate and conflict, but that was also humor. That falls under comedy and humor. It was also timely. It stacked at those triggers, but timeliness and newsjacking are important. That is why the news has been successful for a long time. It is timely.

Number eight, pain to success. One example I use here is I was at the Bucks and Timberwolf game. I’m looking at the scoreboard. It was not a good game. We lost to the Timberwolves for whatever reason. I think we are still maybe a little hungover from the championship, but we won a few games in a row as of this recording.

I looked up at the jumbotron, and there was a video from the Sojourner Family Peace Center. I usually don’t pay attention to what is on the jumbotron but it was this dark music. These women were walking up to the screen with signs that said, “Broken, exposed, afraid, overwhelmed, shattered, and grieving.” It was heartstring-pulling up. I was tearing up in the stands at a basketball game, which I don’t know if that had ever happened before.

It was a good video but about halfway through the video, upbeat music came on. These women came back holding signs that said, “Healed, secured, fulfilled,” and it was a good example of pain to success. What happens in marketing when sometimes you shove success down people’s throats in your marketing is they can’t relate because you are high up. If they know that you have gone through what they need to go through, you have been in their shoes before, and you can show that empathy, all of a sudden, showing success becomes a lot more powerful.

The other example that I used here is a webinar ad that we did for one of our workshops on podcasting is a quick ad. It is a social media ad. It is me talking about how we started this show in 2016 with a recorder mic and a wide-open room. I had no idea what I was doing, and we grew it into this show. That has got covered a couple of hundred thousand downloads. It was the last few years and has generated over seven figures for our business in top-line revenue and has enabled us to work with some of the top brands in the world.

It is a powerful video, not because I’m saying, “We have made this money off the show, and it has got us into some of these top companies in the world.” That is part of it. If I didn’t share the beginning story and the struggle, which makes me relatable to people and companies, who are starting a show from scratch, then it is not going to have the same effect.

Companies as a leader in the market. You want to be able to display authority and empathy. Authority, people want to that you have done it, and you have got results in your where they are trying to get to where you can get them where they want to get to but empathy. They also want to know that you can relate to them and that you have been in their shoes before. Number eight, pain and success or better yet, pain to success.

To bring the eight triggers altogether to reiterate. The eight triggers are 1) Social debate, and conflict. 2) Taking a stand. 3) Intrigue. 4) Comedy. 5) Authenticity and vulnerability. 6) Sex sells, and cuteness sells. 7) Timeliness and newsjacking. 8) Pain and success, or better yet, pain to success. The most successful content creators, speakers, and salespeople in the world typically stack a lot of these elements in single pieces of content or throughout it.

The good news for you is if you are not an Instagram model or comedian, you have got six other things to choose from. No matter what your strengths are, there are going to be things in here that you can stack or your marketing team can stack for you. Keep that in mind. Stack these triggers as much as possible when you are creating content.

Marketing Hacks

A little bonus, my two favorite marketing hacks out there now that every company should be doing. Number one is giveaways using a platform called KingSumo. It is a free viral giveaway platform if you have anything to give away. If you are a business, you don’t need to go and give away an iPad. It should have something to do with your business. Maybe it is branded.

GGP 175 | Content Engagement
$100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No

We launched a podcast for Hansen Reynolds Law Firm, At The Bar. Toby Reynolds and Tim Hansen do a good job with that show. Check it out. We launched one with them, giving away pint glasses with the At The Bar logo and an Apple Watch but there were also pint glass glasses with their logo on them. Get it At The Bar. Play on words. They are a law firm, and the conversations on the show are casual like they are at the bar. With Meridian, we did that for the Ryder Cup giveaway. We had over 3,100 people enter on $926 of ad spend. Those emails had a 25% open rate and 5% click. It performed well. Give away using kingSumo.

Number two, quiz ads. I went over this when I talked about intrigue but this could be like, “JBs, do you know the facts quiz where we had 27,654 people start his quiz and 7,017 complete it?” About 25% percent completed the quiz, which is good, especially when the content was highly engaging. We were getting about $0.20 clicks on there. The great thing is that you get data and a lead when you do that if you are a company.

Some guidelines, you should have about 6 to 10 questions. People are invested but you are not going to lose them. Make sure you collect your email on the back end of the quiz after they have already filled it out because they are more invested in it, as opposed to the front end. If you try and collect it on the front end, you are going to have much higher of a bounce rate off of that.

For some other examples, calculators can work well. Mortgage calculator, home affordability tool. Michael Hyatt has one on his website that says, “What is stopping you from accomplishing your biggest priorities. Take the assessment.” It is a productivity assessment. “What business should I start based on how you are wired?” Things like that. What quiz can you offer to your customers? works well on this. Ryan Levesque does a lot of work on this. He is another guy to look up. Lead Quizzes.

Bring it all together. If you have a great product, expertise, and stories in your organization, you still have a big opportunity to be different in 2022. When you are coming up with content, stack the engagement triggers for maximum results. When you have your target audience, be creative and offer. You need those three elements locked in, target audience, creative, and offer. If one of those three things is off, you are not going to be as effective. Make sure you have those dialed in. When you get those dialed in, take advantage of digital marketing.

If you need help with digital marketing, feel free to go to our website,, or you can shoot me an email directly at [email protected]. We are bringing on new clients for 2022. let me know but when you have solidified that target audience, that creative, and that offer, that is when digital marketing can be effective. If those aren’t three aren’t solidified, you can be throwing money away but most of your competition probably still is not doing this right.

That is all we have. If you need help with your marketing, whether it is through podcasts, production, digital advertising, or video web, visit our website, We have got a form you can fill out over there. If you want to get involved with The GoGedders, we are planning out 2022. Go to the same website, and fill out a form. We would love to hear from you. We would love it if you give any feedback on The GoGedders or want to suggest. If you are a company and want to work with us to get the word out, and if you have a good story, we would be happy to hear from you. Thanks so much for reading.

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