The most common question among marketers in today’s erratic digital world is, “What’s next?” We finally learn the functionality of a new digital platform, only to find out we’re the last ones using it. To fall behind the times is death in the advertising industry. Most people will forget who you are if you aren’t poking at their eyes. Among the most important elements of delivering your message - audience presence wins.
For obvious reasons, you wouldn’t advertise your new app in the newspaper. You will choose a populated digital platform. However, make sure you don’t end up in the right place at the right time with the wrong idea.
We as advertisers have been so focused on establishing a presence on popular social platforms that we sometimes forget why we’re there in the first place. It’s important to be conscious of where people pay their attention and equally important to be able to deliver on their short attention span while staying within the cultural boundaries of that platform.
There's too much noise for dull, one-way messages to hold any weight. The better the message, the stronger the relationship with your audience.
We cannot ignore the importance of building a relationship with your audience. Yes, an actual relationship. Similar to the ones you have with your friends and family. Provide your audience with moments worthy of sharing. Be interactive. Be social.
One-way messages aren’t social.
One-way messages are the key to losing in today’s world. They may have been effective when we used to watch cable TV, pick up flyers on our front doors and actually read our emails - but not anymore. Not after traditional media became obsolete. Not after the overwhelming takeover of social.
Sir Gary Vaynerchuck explained it to us all: “More than I know the sun will come up in the morning, I know that marketers ruin everything.” And quite frankly, I would argue that marketers ruin everything not only because they bombard the platforms, but because they are not doing cool shit on them. Lose the ‘impressions’ mindset and focus on quality. That will result in organic impressions in the form of user generated buzz.
Begin using engaging approaches that seamlessly disrupt the platforms on which you are present. Seamless meaning it’s native to the platform and disruptive enough to steal mass attention. Think Ice Bucket Challenge. It was on a platform people spent time on and had intrinsically viral aspects. It was a good enough idea to live through the people. It was disruptive and in context driving boat loads of user generated content.
Basically, the secret sauce is the harmony of attention and idea, with respect to the context. So, the best way to approach your message is to live by those 3 main elements:
1. Attention – To entertain the obsession with attention, it’ll go first. And also the fact that super creative stuff is simply not creative unless it has the opportunity to be appreciated. So of course, choose the platform that people are actually spending time on.
2. Idea – BE THE THUMB STOPPER. Brainstorm. Yes, use your brain. Your message should be intrinsically interesting. Don’t attribute all the importance to the visibility of your logo. Make sure your message passes the test; love it even without your branding all over it. I mean come on, you’re trying to sell stuff.
3. Context – Last, but absolutely not least: You must respect the culture of the platform on which you wish to be present. Your billboard ad probably won’t fit in your audience’s Instagram feed. And by fit, I don’t mean physically. I mean your message better be conveyed in a way that is consistent with the content that originally attracted so many Instagram users. Remember, seamlessly disruptive.
The moral of the story is, give a damn about your audience and what you’re dying for them to see. Give them stuff they’ll actually enjoy. It’s how you establish the intimate relationship you’ve wanted for so long. Don’t focus on the impressions, you will lose. Invest your valuable marketing dollars into creativity, engaging ideas, into human beings.