Can I Have Your Attention, Please?

Michelle Lawrence Picture

by Michelle Lawrence | Last Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Not too long ago, I fell prey to clickbait headlines...especially on YouTube. Most of the time, these headlines weren’t too far off from the video’s content. But as we all know, there can be too much of a good thing. Fast forward to today; consumers have become skeptical of these clickbait headlines. Content creators discovered they could drive a large number of clicks based on titles of content. So, they took advantage of creating shocking titles, regardless if it portrayed an actual description of the content. Not only are consumers ignoring clickbait headlines, but regular content is not catching their attention either. So how can marketers recapture the attention of consumers? When JoAnn Martin, VP of Marketing at Searchspring, was on the Real Marketers podcast, she gave marketers a valuable tip to solving this problem - you need to understand your audience. Understand Your Audience When’s the last time you watched a commercial? Or spent your free time reading an eBook rather than watching your favorite show? If you’re anything like me, it’s been a while. We crave content that’s not only on-demand but also extremely engaging. Your content must be more compelling than Netflix. But this doesn’t have to be a difficult task to complete. It comes down to one simple action: understand your audience. If you’re not seeing the engagement you would like to have on blog posts or emails, it’s a pretty good indicator your audience doesn’t want to hear from you on that channel or the message you’re sharing isn’t interesting to them. And don’t be surprised if these preferences change even in a few months...nothing in consumer behavior is ever stagnant. Changing Content Preferences  2020 was an unusual year for our content consumption. For starters, the movie industry will be forever changed due to the pandemic. Conversely, our screen time drastically increased as platforms such as TikTok, Fortnite, and Netflix became our go-to apps. But this doesn't mean they're the only thing we’re paying attention to. 85 percent of adults are using multiple devices at once. We are being constantly stimulated with content. But this statistic doesn’t have to scare you. In fact, you can take advantage of the second screen movement. We’re on our phones 24/7 now, so capitalize on the rising trend of QR code marketing. This works particularly well with live TV. Or try engaging with your audience on social media during a live program. Let Go of Your Content Bias  Let 2021 be the year we say goodbye to our content bias. What I mean by that is if you’ve always had a towards a certain channel, it’s time to let that go. As content creators, we have to go where our audience is. With that being said, everything in life has balance. If your passion is writing blogs, but your audience prefers video, you shouldn’t stop writing. Make sure your marketing strategy includes both! Write blog articles, but then create authentic videos based on that. This task can be difficult for those in the B2B space. Many assume B2B marketing needs to be boring - and that’s just not the case. If you’re in B2B marketing, and your audience is on TikTok, you’ll need to give up whatever bias you have and meet them there. And if you don’t have the resources to have a dedicated content creator for TikTok, get your audience involved with content creation! If there’s one takeaway from JoAnn’s episode, it’s that you don’t have to have a Netflix-sized budget to capture your audience’s attention. You just need to take the time to understand them. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out JoAnn’s full Real Marketers episode here.  

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