Branding in today’s distracted world

Marketing today is a big job in a very busy connected world. We are plugged in 24/7 but we can only absorb so much information. In reality, our attention spans are quite small. If you mix that with too many distractions, you have a big marketing challenge in front of you.

Attention economics is a real thing and its something businesses need to work on every day to grab the attention of their audience. Our capacity for attention is very scarce so marketers have to battle it out every day to reach and engage their audiences through their many personal devices.

There are two ways marketers can capture attention: paid and earned marketing. Paid marketing focuses on advertising to promote a message online. It’s true that paid media is everywhere, similar to TV commercials. However, the venue revolves around Facebook, Instagram newsfeed ads, paid SEO, online banners and more. Earned marketing focusses on promoting a brand slowly, more subtly along with a lot of conversation, interesting posts, and images that the audience can relate to. Earned marketing may take time to achieve, but in the end it often proves to be just as successful if not more successful than paid marketing. This is done by posting high quality and consistent content. This content is information-rich, valuable and combined with attention-grabbing words and images.

This distribution of earned marketing information will reach more customers who will share this kind of message to others in their social media. With that said, its good to try some proven tactics to make the most out of your social media marketing while helping build your brand.

1. Try leaving the brand out of it

It sounds like an odd approach doesn’t it? It has been proven time and time again that the general buying public does not like to be sold to. Many viewers have the automatic reaction to pull back from brands with too much prominent branding. Instead of the old-fashioned in-your-face advertising, create a message of value that you are offering to the customer. This can be done with images and words that your audience can relate to such as the weather, or trending hashtags like #MondayMotivation and #throwbackThursday. Another approach is getting your audience to participate in your social media. Starbucks does this by having their audience post their favourite ways to enjoy coffee.

2. Make them laugh

In a world full of downer news and negativity, it helps to make your audience laugh by lightening the mood. Pure humour can attract an audience fast but it depends on what kind of humour you are offering. Best advice: keep it simple and relatable and avoid anything obscure or offensive. Humour works because it is fundamental to forming positive relationships. We trust and buy from people we like, and humour is the easiest and fastest way to get there. A perfect example is The Dollar Shave Club. They took a very boring average product that we use daily and used humour to promote it against a lot of competition — and it worked!

3. Focus on a feeling 

A good time to do this is around holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or even birthdays. Flower shops promote love and giving. However, in the spring they focus on nature, a new season, growing and being outdoors in the fresh air. These are all relatable, positive and happy feelings.

4. Focus on the human experience

The biggest way you can become relatable is by showing a behind the scenes look at your business. This can anything from posting about the messy stockroom in progress, a paper cut from all the filing, workplace meetings, idea boards with doodles, new products in the store or showing everyone dressing up for Halloween. The idea is to show everyone that you’re human just like them. Show them your process and all the day to day events that your audience doesn’t always see.

5. Show the usefulness of a product

Have fun with your services and products. This can be done with photos or videos. Many stores have their employees showcase their latest clothing and accessories. ThinkGeek does this well by providing a short video mixed with a lot of silliness to promote their products. Try being as relatable and down-to-earth as possible- it’s the easiest way to build trust and attention from your audience.