We live in a world where consumers are bombarded with hundreds of messages each day and, as a result, have become extremely selective about what they’ll pay attention to. Therefore, businesses need to treat attention as a scarce commodity. To stay on top in such circumstances, your message must be unique, clear and impactful.
People often underestimate the power a strong message wields. You could be selling something that isn’t intrinsically groundbreaking, but if you manage to get creative with your messaging, you’re more likely to make it into the big leagues.
Through my experience of helping brands with video marketing, I’ve developed a four-step process that’s helped unclutter our clients’ messaging and allows them to connect with their audience in a more meaningful way.
1. Identify Your Objective
Before you get in the zone and start crafting your brand message, you need to ask yourself what your objective is. What do you want your audience to do when they come across your message? Do you want them to give you a call, sign up for something or buy what you’re offering?
Whatever action you want your audience to take has to be clear. Once you have that established, you and your team can move ahead with confidence.
2. Pick Your Messaging Style
Consumers today have plenty of options to choose from. Brands are now competing for their audience’s attention in a world that’s saturated with marketing gimmicks and subpar advertising. To emerge from a sea of cookie-cutter messaging, you have to carefully consider your messaging style.
Establish a tone for your message that represents your brand and resonates with your target audience. Keep in mind that your tone may change as your brand evolves.
So, how can you go about trying to establish your tone? As a first step in developing your style, make sure you understand that people buy from people they like, know and trust. Through your brand tone, strive to build an emotional connection with your audience, rather than just a transactional one.
Avoid going down the worn-down track of constructing your message around basic factors, such as quality and customer service. Messages that rely heavily on just these ordinary aspects can come off as insincere or pedantic.
Focus on the aspects that make you different from your competitors. I understand that it’s not always easy to find a differentiating factor in an overly crowded industry. In such a case, strive to be slightly different — different enough to be remarkable.
Your aim should be to have your customers make an apples-to-oranges comparison instead of an apples-to-apples one between you and your competitors. In the latter case, it would most probably come down to price being the deciding factor, and there’s always someone offering a similar product or service at a lower price.
Step into your buyer’s shoes and try to understand what they’re looking for. If your target audience consists of laypeople, you shouldn’t use insider jargon. This might cause your customers to lose interest and shift their attention elsewhere.
Once you start focusing on the audience’s perspective, you’ll be better able to craft a compelling message that’ll really strike a chord with them.
Apple is a great example of a company that does this well. Every single product it launches has an underlying message that echoes the company’s “Think Different” attitude.
3. Tell A Story
Evolution has wired our brains to recall stories better than plain facts. Incorporating storytelling tactics into your messaging can make whatever you’re trying to convey more memorable and engaging.
For starters, add detailed case studies in your marketing collateral that discuss the challenge your customer was facing and how you helped them overcome it.
How you present the information is also important; for example, the structure of the pages of your website and other marketing material should walk your customers through a story where they learn about your brand and your raison d’être before you present them your offer.
Along with storytelling, highlight your customers’ pain points. Visualize your brand as the story’s superhero — something that saves the prospect from an unfavorable situation and gets rid of their worries.
To play the part of the hero well, you must be authentic and learn to empathize with your audience. Present your prospects with the solution in a step-by-step manner. A clear road map can help your audience to achieve their objectives.
4. Deliver It
Every single person is unique, and we all attain knowledge in different ways. Some people retain information by reading while others find that videos and audiobooks work better for them.
Your audience will consist of various kinds of people. Therefore, as a marketer or business owner, you should share your message in different formats (audio, video, blog, etc.) and on multiple relevant channels (web and social).
In today’s competitive landscape, attracting and retaining consumer attention is the name of the game. I find that videos tend to perform better because our brains are hard-wired to detect motion. Once you have that attention, videos can give you a chance to hook the viewer by engaging both their visual and auditory senses.
It’s important to realize that any form of content — whether it’s video, images or written — has its own value. At the end of the day, it’s the quality of the content that determines how effective it will be in getting your message across.
As the founder of a video marketing agency, I’ve identified a few key elements that make videos more effective. These include focusing on creating content that has the propensity to evoke an emotional response, refining the concept and message of the video instead of just its visual aspects, paying attention to context and optimizing the delivery of the message based on the distribution channel, and finally, establishing a clear CTA.
Once you have the brand messaging insights sorted, you’ll realize that communicating with your audience becomes easier and much more fun. You can use these steps to build rapport with your prospects while thriving in the attention economy.