We’re All Distracted
Since the dawn of the commercial internet, and even more so since the explosion of social media, our attention spans have been getting shorter and shorter. So much so that the SAP blog recently reported that we now pay attention for less time than your average goldfish!
It’s easy to see this at work in the real world: our heads are always gazing down at our phones, jobs and family keeping us busier than ever and everyone getting bombarded with as many as 5,000 marketing messages per day.
Nobody’s Paying Attention to Your Ads
So with all of this, why would you think anyone really cares what you have to say? Will they even notice? People are becoming more and more selective with what marketing messages they pay attention to and which the filter out. of the 5,000 messages received per day, they’re likely only paying attention to 5% of those, the rest are ignored. So how do you break through?
Reach the Right Audience
The first key to getting through marketing clutter is targeting. A scatter shot approach won’t work, because 99% of the people you reach won’t matter for your product or service. Targeting an audience but getting it wrong is about the same – if you’re selling tea and your audience drinks nothing but soda, you probably aren’t getting much traction. Targeting extends to the medium used – which social media channel, which television or radio station, and so on. If the audience that would buy from you isn’t there, don’t bother.
The great thing is that reaching the right audience is easier than ever before. We are literally surrounded by data, especially for online marketing. Want to reach women 24-50 on Facebook who like black tea and Starbucks? No problem. Men 18-22 who love NASCAR? Easy.
Use the Right Message at the Right Time
The second basic concept for breaking through and getting your audience to pay attention is relevancy. If you’re advertising your artisan sausage business to vegetarians, they’re probably not interested.
Always ask yourself two things when you create a new ad or other content:
- Is this about me or about my audience? It’s always about your audience. Nobody cares that you have something to sell, but they may care that you have something that will really help them in some way, solve a problem for them or enhance their quality of life.
- Who cares? The easiest way to tell if you’re creating something worth putting out in the world is to keep asking yourself if anyone in your audience actually cares about what you’ve just written. When you can answer “my audience does” for every sentence and headline, it’s ready to send.
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