Marketing clutter is taking over the world. Everywhere you look, ads are there, just waiting to lure you into buying something you don’t need.
Have you ever thought about how many of them try to steal your attention in an average day? You wake up and check your email, and your inbox is so full of spam you can barely find your real emails. So you give up and go on social media. But there you’re inundated with ads for everything you’ve ever innocently tried to google. As you make your way to work, driving by countless billboards, you listen to the radio, where your favorite songs are interrupted every few minutes by even more ads. When you stop for coffee, the sign by the line advertises the shop’s new breakfast sandwich. And that’s all before you even get into the office.
Even marketers find ourselves annoyed by the constant advertising noise. And the more of this clutter we’re exposed to, the better we get at filtering out the messages brands are so desperately trying to get in front of us. But all is not lost. With the right strategy, it’s still possible to get your messages to your audiences — without annoying them in process.
Personalize Your Content
When you’re in a loud, crowded room, the constant conversational chatter generally fades into the background, but if someone calls your name, chances are you’ll suddenly snap to attention. As a general rule, we are better at paying attention to things that feel relevant and personal to us. When you tailor your marketing content to each unique individual, you increase the likelihood that your message will catch their attention. Try adding an email recipient’s location or hobby to your subject line, providing a white paper on a topic you know they’ve explored on your website or offering a discount on an item left abandoned in their online shopping cart.
Be Mindful of Timing
Even the best marketing campaigns go unnoticed if they’re launched at the wrong time. Is your target audience in the throes of their busiest week of the year? Probably not the best time to ask them to watch an hour-long webinar. But it might just be the perfect time to offer a free trial for product that will provide an instant solution for their current stress.
Deliver Real Value
We’ve all seen a ridiculous marketing piece that’s masquerading as useful content while really being nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to push a product. And we’ve all been persuaded by an ad that promises the world, only to buy the product and find out it was nothing more than a clever ruse. Fool me once, right? Be better than that — audiences can see right through marketing clutter anyway. Instead, create content that offers your audiences a real benefit (whether that’s information, entertainment, or a solution to all their woes) and make sure your brand actually lives up to the promises you make through your marketing efforts.
It can be all too tempting to focus on keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to marketing. But often, you stand out more when you dare to take a different approach. Are all your competitors doing social media advertising? Try surprising your audience with personal, handwritten notes. They’ll likely appreciate the novelty and welcome a break from the same old marketing tactics. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should compromise your brand integrity for the sake of being unique. If your brand is loved for its elegance and class, suddenly making a bunch of dad jokes on social media may do more to alienate your audience than to attract their interest.
When you’re picking a movie to watch, do you usually go for the one that all your friends have been raving about or the one that looks so cheesy you wouldn’t dairy watch it? (Sorry, once dad jokes get mentioned, we just can’t help ourselves.) Dad jokes aside, the same logic applies to brands. People are more likely to open emails, read content, interact with posts, etc. from a brand they already trust. Focus on building positive word of mouth surrounding your products and services, and make sure every interaction your audience has with your brand leaves them wanting to come back for more.
So there you have it. In a world of marketing clutter, standing out takes more than just a halfhearted postcard or email. But there is hope for those who are willing to go the extra mile. Want help coming up with ideas? That’s what we do best — and we’re always happy to help.