Part of the challenge of digital marketing involves capturing and keeping an online audience. And that’s increasingly hard to do: with thousands of brands vying for the attention of an Internet user over the course of the day, companies have to work hard to attract viewers. But with Internet users wielding more power over the content they share and consume, brands have to go to where they users are. Two Ways To Give Audiences The Content They Want
And savvy brands are taking advantage of that power by catering to their consumers’ desires and needs. The future of digital marketing resides in the hands of the user, and brands that catch that wave will be more responsive and ready to keep up with trends.
The power of the bingewatch
House of Cards star Kevin Spacey gave the James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival late last month, and offered a warning. What works this year may not work next year, and entertainment should be ready to change with its audience:
“…releasing the entire season of House of Cards at once…has proved one thing: the audience wants control. They want freedom. If they want to binge—as they’ve been doing on House of Cards—then we should let them binge.”
Watching TV has always been a social activity, but social media has made it possible for people to connect with thousands of other viewers at a variety of times. Hit TV shows like Scandal and Pretty Little Liars thrive on viewers watching live and interacting with each other on Facebook and Twitter; but the bingewatch has given many shows an extended shelf life. And for advertisers, that can translate to more opportunities to reach viewers with their message. Spacey’s lesson is simple: if your audience is asking you for more content, give it to them.
How new tech commercials have gotten old
But in the rush to give consumers what they want, many brands have forgotten to treat audience members like individuals. And many companies have begun to use shortcuts to create ads to attract “young,” “hip” consumers—without actually knowing what “young” and “hip” look like.
Enter Every Tech Commercial Ever. All the modern tech product conventions are there: quick cuts, watered down diversity, speculative career choices (“I’m a wicker weaver!”). And although some of these people surely exist in real life, not all of them fit the fantasy demographic of the marketing professionals who conceive of these commercials.
So, how do you solve a problem like tech ad fatigue? Companies could start by letting go of conventional advertising completely; personalization and audience analysis could save both time and resources. One of the reasons Apple’s ads are so popular is because they tend to speak to a very specific audience—and that’s different from speaking to the same audience over and over. To reach the right people and give them the right content at the right time, brands must first discover who wants what they have to sell. And half-hearted attempts at attracting everyone end up attracting no one.
These are just two examples of how media can help or hinder a brand’s ability reach its audience. In both instances, knowing the user is the most important element of success—and listening to what your audience tells you is just as vital. The brand that allows its audience to guide its content creation efforts could be the most successful.
Image credit: 1How
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