Have you ever tried to get a friend’s attention in the middle of a crowd? You’re yelling their name, waving your arms over your head, jumping up and down, and still, no matter what you do, they look everywhere but at you. Trying to get your audiences to notice your marketing messages can be very much the same. With so many brands competing for attention and distractions everywhere, it can be hard to stand out from all the surrounding noise and clutter.
So how do you effectively connect with the people you are trying to reach and inspire them to take action?
Understand Your Audience
Nice as it would be to have a one-size-fits-all formula for marketing success, in reality, reaching your goals requires a finessed approach based on a thorough understanding of your audiences. As you’re choosing your marketing platforms and messages, look at each option from your audiences’ perspectives. Consider relevant demographic information, media preferences, pre-existing assumptions, etc.
Tempting as it may be, it’s also smart to resist the urge to immediately jump on every trend. For instance, while there’s currently a huge shift toward digital marketing, it may not be the right solution for everyone. If your audience doesn’t have access to a computer or mobile device, or prefers the tangible feel of printed materials, you may be better off staying away from a campaign that’s heavy on digital components. Every step of the way, ask yourself if you’re reaching your audience in the way that they want to be reached, with content that will resonate.
Reinforce Your Message
While a single marketing effort (be it a one-time ad, e-blast, mailer, etc.) is probably better than nothing, you’re a lot more likely to get results if you reinforce your messages through continued efforts over time. Various studies offer different recommendations on how many times someone needs to see a marketing message before they retain and/or act on it, but the consensus seems to be that the magic number is definitely more than once.
That being said, people can get bored of seeing the same marketing concept over and over, so while your overall message may remain consistent, consider mixing up your creative to continually capture your audiences’ attention.
Diversify Your Tactics
Most of the time, you’ll have better luck reaching your audiences successfully if you spread out your efforts over more than one platform. At certain points during the day, or during certain activities, your audiences may be more or less receptive to your messages. For example, an e-blast that adds to the clutter in someone’s already-crowded inbox may be instantly deleted, but later that day, as the person is commuting home, a billboard advertising the same product may pique their interest.
By reaching your audiences across multiple channels, and experimenting with your campaign timing and creative, you help increase the chances that your messages will be seen — and lead to the desired outcome.
Create a Cohesive Campaign
In addition to diversifying your approach, make sure all of your campaign efforts work together to accomplish your goals. Consider your sales cycle, and use your various campaign materials to guide your audiences through each step, from generating initial awareness to earning loyal, repeat customers (or donors, clients, etc.).
For example, maybe you spark interest with social media advertising that drives audiences to a landing page where they can learn more. Maybe the landing page has a contact form of some kind, and you continue building relationships and educating your audiences through targeted email campaigns (with calls to action that change as the individual moves further through the sales cycle). And after you’ve gotten someone to take the desired action once, you invite them to participate in a loyalty program that encourages them to return again and again.
Of course, even with these tips in mind, getting your messages noticed can take a bit of trial and error. But at the very least, you’ll be shouting at your friend in the crowd with a powerful megaphone, instead of waving your arms over your head in desperation.
Want help thinking through it all? That’s what we’re here for — just let us know how we can make your life easier.