Channels and platforms for delivering your marketing messages seem almost limitless. However, the challenge comes in trying to cut through the noise of the millions of other messages competing for your target audience's attention.
Digital marketing experts estimate that the average American is exposed to some 4,000 to 10,000 messages each day.
Yet, the average adult supposedly has an attention span of eight seconds—less than that of a goldfish. The goldfish stat may just be a myth, but it seems the more information available, the fewer people pay attention.
According to the American Academy of Arts and Science, from 2003 to 2018, the average amount of time Americans spent reading for personal interest per day fell to less than 16 minutes per day.
So, how do you cut through the noise to grab the attention of your audience?
Disrupt the Disruptions
Large national corporations are always announcing big ideas and big plans. They are always trying to one-up each other. Certainly, this is true within any industry you choose.
For the average business, trying to compete against such headlines could be daunting. The best strategy is don't try to compete. Let the juggernauts have their own competing moments—remember the attention span theory. Announce your expansion and new services to an audience with whom you have a connection at a time when they aren't distracted.
Deliver to Right Place at Right Time
It all started with a donut. When Krispy Kreme offered a free glazed donut for anyone showing their vaccination card, who would have imagined the incentives to vax that followed? Free orders of fries. Pop-up clinics at bars giving shots-for-shots. Sweepstakes for airfares, cruises, and Super Bowl tickets. In Louisiana, you can enter the Shot-at-a-Million lottery for cash or college scholarships.
This is just an example of how to use imagination and incentives to get consumers’ interest. If thinking outside the box strategy works for COVID-19 vaccinations it can work for anyone. Deliver solutions to people where they live, work, and play.
Serve Snack-size Bites
Eight-second attention span; 10,000 daily messages; 16 minutes reading time. Use those numbers to guide your marketing plan. Keep all content short and consumable in snack-size bites.
Based on users, Facebook and Instagram remain the most popular social media platforms. However, Twitter may have most influenced how people consume media. Even though it has increased the character limit to 280 characters, tweets getting the most engagement still tend to be between 71 and 100 characters.
Listen to Your Audience
For years, marketers have used the marketing funnel to direct messages to key audiences where they are in the journey from top of the funnel awareness to bottom of the funnel action. However, 2020 turned the funnel upside down.
No longer can you assume that consumers follow the path from top to bottom. The fluidity of communicating with audiences must now be in a timelier manner. You don't want to lose momentum.
Changing consumer patterns demand changes in customer experience at every touchpoint. Remember, 2021 buzzwords 2021 are "empathy" and "connectivity." When you understand an audience's needs and desires, your marketing messages better connect to their expectations and drive them to action.
Use your marketing channels to cut through the noise and deliver a balance of content that educates and informs as well as engages your brand. Another residual of 2020 is that stakeholders' interest in your brand goes beyond service lines; they care about how your brand makes a difference in the community. That connection can differentiate you from the rest of the pack.