Branding generates revenue

How many of us understand the value of branding?

Branding is the process of developing a differentiated presence in the mind of consumers that attracts and retains customers.

According to research, the average revenue increase attributed to presenting the brand consistently is 23%. 

Having an understanding of your business vision and knowing your ideal audience can help you authentically connect and maximize your efficiency.

Authenticity is Key

91% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from an authentic brand. 

Branding is a method to showcase your business, founders, and value through mass means. Instead of communicating one to one with every prospect, branding allows people to understand who you are, what you offer, and how to relates to them.

However, branding needs to rely on authenticity to be effective. Developing a message that's not based in fact is the surest way to lose customer trust and loyalty.

Branding Drives Customer Loyalty --> Revenue

Customer loyalty can be worth 10x as much as a single purchase.

Increasing customer retention is a valuable part of branding, especially with the amount it's worth to the bottom line. By creating a place in the mind of the consumer, they both remember to purchase from you next time and continue to associate you with their positive experience.

Loyal customers can become brand advocates, individuals who share their enthusiasm for a product or company with others. Strong fan bases are typically seen in sports, but are prevalent in the way certain customers refer to brands (like "I only buy Nike" or "I'm a Nike girl/guy").

Branding Engages Current and Potential Customers

Customers who are fully engaged represent a 23% share of revenue compared to average customers.

Branding gives companies the opportunity to gain the attention and value of an engaged customer. These are people who are fully engaged in a brand, ready to share new information or be involved with upcoming information. These are the individuals that open emails, reply to social posts, and more.

Engaging customers through branding means showing up as yourself on multiple platforms (email, social, web, etc.). Without showing up to engage, it's hard to have a conversation with customers or potential customers. 

So, after all this research, why wouldn't you want to brand your business?

The power of partnership: collaboration over competition

I love working with other businesses! It's a great way to get to know someone and to help lift each other up. Every business and business owner has different strengths, so by working together in a complementary way you can create synergies between your businesses (and maybe create something that you may not have attempted on your own).

I have been partnering a lot recently on different projects as a way to:

- Increase visibility: Jessica Modad and I have partnered for our InstaBrand series.

This way people that they know get to know you too! 

- Create things together: Laura Cheek and I partnered for a series on social media marketing.

Sometimes it's hard to get outside of yourself and get feedback on your own business or how to improve. Business besties and connection can open doors you've never thought of! 

- Celebrate collaboration: J Franco and I will be creating a Live video about hiring a marketing expert.

By working together, you're promoting collaboration over competition (and may accomplish some pretty nifty things).

Ways to partner with other entrepreneurs

1. Go Live together

2. Interview each other

3. Have coffee 1 on 1

4. Promote sharing of each other's social posts

5. Use as referral partners

6. Develop a co-offering

7. Create a video series together

8. Leverage a partnership network (instead of doing everything)

9. Share or pool resources

10. Ask for referrals or recommendations

11. Keep in touch

12. Co-creation of articles and content

All of these different ways can help you create a deeper business community and create an offering with greater depth to meet customer needs.

How else do you partner with other entrepreneurs?

The cost of not investing in your online presence

I've heard a lot lately that some business owners aren't interested in investing in their online presence. Online dollars can seem like a lot when you "aren't getting any website leads anyway."

Your online presence consists of any messages you put out online and can include (but isn't limited to) your website, social media channels, Google My Business, news articles, videos, and anything else an individual might find when searching for your business.

However, what does it cost you when you don't spend the money?

1. Your brand presence

A brand without an online presence, or without a presence that resonates with its target audience, isn't helping you attract new customers. It's not helping you connect on an emotional level and not doing the thing it's meant to do - let people know that your business exists.

This sometimes looks like:

- People who exclude their website from their business card

- Being too nervous or ashamed to tell people they have a website

- Going out of their way to hide that they have a website from prospects

2. Online leads

If people can't find, navigate, or connect with your online presence then you are losing potential customers. People want to know more about a business before they show up to a storefront or reach out. At this point in the 21st century, not having an online presence is downright suspicious since it makes people question if you're a real company.

This sometimes looks like:

- A lack of any online materials for people to find and search

- A website or social media channels that don't rank well enough for people to find you

- A site that is confusing about what you want people to do

3. Credibility

One of the things that a website gives your business is credibility. It shows that you've invested in your business enough to care about potential customer's impressions when they actively are looking for people that offer your types of services.

This sometimes looks like:

- People not picking up the phone because a brand or website looks like outdated

- People feeling skeptical about a business's expertise

- People looking for additional ways to validate your business's expertise (i.e. maybe I'll check the reviews feelings)

4. Trust and Interest

Despite what you may have heard, customers are paying attention - especially to video and content. Investing in these types of methods to boost your brand presence can be very effective when increasing customer interest and engagement.

81% of video viewing sessions capture people’s attention.
— Google/Ipsos, “Video Mobile Diary,” U.S., 2017

This sometimes looks like:

- Loss of interest in a category or business

- Deciding not to return to a website or social media platform

- Choosing a competitor to give their business

So, at what point does it become worth it to you?

And if you're not going to invest in your business, than how can you ask customers to?

How you can incorporate the most important thing (hint:yourself) into your social media

Why should you do this?

People need to know you’re a real person.

On the internet, people have the opportunity to craft amazing profile which may or may not be real. By showing your face and giving a face behind an organization, you are literally showing people that their is a real person behind your presence.

Familiarity builds liking. Liking builds trust. We do business with people we like and trust.

If people never see you or get to know you, how can they be expected to purchase from you? Without incorporating your personality into your posts, they will never get a sense of who you really are and why you are the right person to do business with.

Think of it like owning a physical location - wouldn't it be weird if you never met anyone helping you?

Can you imagine going into a store to buy a new outfit and hearing a voice over the PA answering your questions? Would you feel comfortable not knowing who's behind all of the words and messages?

Probably not. Stand behind what you're saying and help your customers understand who you are so you don't end up with a Wizard of Oz situation.

Incorporating yourself into your social media is especially important when you own your own business or YOU are your business.

You are not a corporation, you should have a human side.

People want to meet the owners and people behind the scenes. That way they understand who you are, why you do what you do, and why they should be excited to work with you. No one wants the dry or boring copy. Or the answering service that hangs up on you. They want a human side to a company.

Big business is trying to humanize themselves, so it should be something easier for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Humanizing brands and businesses is a way to get customers to care more about what you have to offer. You can read more about how you can be successful humanizing here.

Ways to infuse your personality and presence into your social media

Your brand palette

This should be a fun way to incorporate and show who you are with color and visuals.

Positioning statement

Your positioning statement summarizes what you're all about. It should be part of your Instagram bio and make people think, "This is the kind of person I want to interact with.

Photos of yourself

It doesn't need to be every photo, but incorporating pictures of yourself and your employees shows people (literally) who you are.

Write how you speak

Don't speak like a drone, actually write posts how you would speak so people can get a true hint of your personality.

Have days just for fun - share something

Not everything should be about selling on your social media. Spend some time getting to know your followers and sharing fun information about you.

Be yourself

Always be yourself! This is the quickest and surest way to make sure the people who get in touch with you will be the right match.

Share what’s really going on

Not everything has to be sunny days and endless mimosas. Be real with your audience about life, they will appreciate the honesty.

For more tips about infusing your personality, you can read on here.

Top Instagram apps, tools, and resources

Social media is a beast to tackle. There is so much going on, things are always changing, and it's hard to know what to use to get started with the multitude of apps out there.

In response to the confusion I've seen online and in person, I've put together a list of my top resources to have an amazing social media presence.

TOOLS FOR CREATING CONTENT

Canva

My number 1 tool for creating social media content. Use it on the desktop or mobile app to put together social media templates for any platform. Template sizes for social media posts come built in so you don't need to figure out individual photo pixels.

Motion Stills (only available for iOS)

Great app for creating boomerangs from Apple Live photos.

Video crop

For iOS
For Android

With this app, you can crop videos to fit in the Instagram frame.

Instagrids

For iOS
For Android

If you are trying to create a grid out of one photo, this app will automatically divide the photo into the sizes you need.

WordSwag

If you haven't heard of WordSwag, you need to! WordSwag is great for putting together text and photos without needing to worry about resizing or restructuring you content. You just type in the text you want, choose a photo, and choose your text style. The app automatically generates the photo for you!

PicFlow (iOS only)

Put together photos with music for a slideshow. You can make a slideshow of just about anything, and add in some music off of your phone. They also include standard tracks in case you don't have music on your device.

Boomerang

For iOS
For Android

Turn small movements into a GIF! I love boomerang for adding a fun touch to my Instagram feed.

Pic Collage

For iOS
For Android

Want to make a grid of photos? Use this app to turn any collection into a collage.

Places to find stock photos

When putting together templates for your social media posts, try to use your own pictures. For industries that lack photos, or are working on collecting some, I've gathered a few stock photography websites together.

Stock photos should not have any copyright restrictions in place when you are using them for your account. These are my top sites for finding free stock photos that have a creative commons license.

I love using stock photos since marketing can be under an NDA or clients don't want you to release ongoing projects. Check out how I've incorporated stock photos into my Instagram:

TOOLS FOR SCHEDULING OR POSTING CONTENT

Repost for Instagram

For iOS
For Android

Allows you to re-post content from other people's pages. Make sure you get their permission before re-posting any of their content!

Later

App and site to schedule Instagram posts. If you are pressed for time, this will prompt you when to post and let you see what your grid will look like if you post in a any given order.

TOOLS FOR INCREASING ENGAGEMENT

Hashtags.

One app I like to use for hashtags is Tagomatic. For more about hashtags, read my complete guide to hashtags.

Tagomatic

Allows you to find and save hashtags for the account you are working on. It also recommends additional hashtags to use based on your search.

Followers

The app will let you see who is following yo back, who has unfollowed you, and who is following you that you are not following back.

I hope this list of recommended tools has helped you jumpstart your social media strategy! What other apps do you love to use?

Want to read more about Instagram?

How to Gain Instagram Followers

Tips on Defining your Brand on Instagram

How to drive social media engagement

Your brand is more than your logo

Branding is more than making your company look pretty.

It’s about conveying your spirit and personality to people who can identify with you. Brand identity, what you say and show, is a large part of that.

Brand image, the visual composition of your brand, is also a major consideration. It’s the visual story of what you bring to your customers. It includes your logo, any trademarks, particular colors, and anything else attached to your brand from spokespeople to packaging to in-store experiences.

Brand image is a lot to cover since it includes every way that a person sees your brand. This image should convey the aspects of your brand personality, especially your top brand adjectives.

Your image should get to the point where people recognize the brand even without the logo. For example, you see a baby blue box and you think of Tiffany’s. Or a bright red box with golden arches and think of a Happy Meal. These are obvious and effective signs of branding at work.

 

Here are some things to keep in mind:

These main considerations are essential to the success of your brand and should be maintained. McDonald’s is red and gold. Tiffany’s is baby blue. Brands event patent signature colors or the way they are used for this reason.

Your choices should be reflected in every place the people interact with you. This means your website, business card, social media and more need to reflect your brand personality, image, and identity.

Why is this so important?

Let’s say you’ve chosen a high-end restaurant to take you and some friends out to celebrate. Their website’s photos made you think of white tablecloths and champagne buckets. When you arrive, the white tables are actually linoleum and the champagne is only a dream. What you expected to encounter and the actual experience are nothing alike.

This incongruity between what people expect and what they experience can stop people from returning. Disappointment abounds and people decide to try somewhere else next time.

Now think of the opposite situation.

You read an online review about a pizza by the slice place that is so popular that is has a line around the block. It’s in a crowded area right next to where you like to go out with your friends. That night, you drag your friends with you and experience a wait (but not too long). You have an amazing slice of pizza at a picnic table nearby.

While this experience may not be mind-blowing, the difference between expectation and reality was positive enough to return.

Your brand image needs to show your at your best without representing you. Otherwise, your customers will end up with a negative experience instead of a positive one.

Need a brand health check to see how your brand is performing?
Check out my Brand Audit Package to see how you could be leveraging the power of your brand.

21 ways to increase your site traffic

"How do I increase my site traffic?"

I have heard this question several times in the past week and wanted to put something together to help small business owners to increase their site traffic.

Site traffic is important since online sales can be a numbers game.

Online conversion rates are incredibly low, around 2.95%, so increasing the amount of people coming to your site is key.

Here are 21 ways to increase your site traffic

1. Guest blogging

While this is no guarantee of traffic, it can help increase it if you are posting in place where:

  • Your target customer hangs out
  • The blog owner actively promotes their content on social media
  • The blog following is engaged with new posts
  • The content is related to what you do
  • The site receives a significant amount of traffic (if you want to check it out, see Similar Web.)

Guest blog posting can be a lot of fun, but does require time and commitment to see results from.

Suggestion: Try getting one guest blog post per month with the above parameters in mind.

2. Social media marketing

Use the power of social media to direct people to your site! You can use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn. Before choosing which ones to concentrate on, ask yourself:

  • Which ones make the most sense for my business?
  • Which ones are my ideal clients on?
  • Which ones best showcase what I have to offer?

Suggestion: Try a couple out and see which ones offer the best results. For social media to work though, you need to do more of this.

3. Content marketing

Blogging on topics that are of interest to your target market can help them stumble upon your site. By answering their questions, before they need to reach out and ask you directly, you are showing that you are knowledge, interested, and concerned with the customer's point of view. It can also help you since people also search for their problem, not necessarily the name of your business as their solution.

Suggestion: Include blog posts on your site that give in-depth answers to some of the concerns you've received from customers.

4. Advertise online

Placing advertisements in social media or as part of a search engine can increase the number of people coming to your site. Keep in mind that conversion rates are very low for advertisements, and that people may bounce out of your site if what they land on isn't what they expect.

Suggestion: Test out advertising on different platforms and see which one is offering real conversions for you.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Make sure your site includes your industry, product, and any additional keywords involved in purchasing your product or service. This can be done on-page for your website. However, for increased SEO results, you may want to look into hiring an SEO expert.

Suggestion: Make sure your website includes the keywords related to your industry so people can find you. Targeting long-tail keywords is a good idea.

Some additional changes you can make to increase your site traffic:

6. Include your website link in your email footer

7. Include your website link on your business card

8. Direct potential clients or customers to purchase from your website

9. Ask people to share your content on social media that has a link to your site

10. Email your friends and family about your business and ask them to share it with others (include a link)

11. Create a subscriber list for your blog or services and email market to your followers

12. Get listed in online directories (Google My Business, Yelp, Whitepages, etc.)
13. Invite others to blog on your site or be featured and then ask them to share the post

14. Incorporate video into your site (Google loves and prioritizes sites that include videos)

15. Get your name out locally or in your industry with speaking gigs or networking events

16. Share your blog posts or advice in social media groups and conversations (Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Chats, etc.)

17. Be a guest on or start your own podcast

18. Find other people in your industry who can act as a referral for you, and you for them

19. Comment on blogs that your target customer would be interested in

20. Reach out to social media influencers to post about your product or service

21. Do something worth talking about

6 reasons why you should brand your Instagram

Instagram is one of the best places that you can promote your brand. It's not too crowded with brands, is great for showcasing a product or service in video or photos, and has an algorithm that makes it easier to reach your ideal customer.

Why you should brand your Instagram

6 compelling statistics on connecting with your following

  • Organic marketing reach on Facebook has been down 63% over the past 4 years, while Instagram's organic marketing has increased by 115%.
  • Instagram users are more than twice as likely as Facebook users to regularly engage with brands.
  • Instagram has 58% more engagement per follower than Facebook.
  • Only 36% of marketers are using Instagram (compared to 93% of marketers on Facebook).
  • Instagram has a higher average order value than Facebook ($65 vs $55).
  • Brands on Instagram reach 100% of their followers, compared to 6% on Facebook.

Statistics are courtesy of Selfstartr.

If you're not sure if Instagram is for you, ask yourself these two questions.

  • Does my brand lend itself to visual presentation?

  • Do I want to connect and engage with potential customers?

Those may be only two reasons, but they are two powerful ones. They could change the amount of people you reach quickly, and allow you to show your product or service in the best light possible.

Some quick Instagram etiquette tips

If you're not doing these things, it may be hurting your online branding efforts.

Ask before re-posting other people's content.

Make sure you ask someone if you can use their photos and then attribute them in your caption. It's only fair to give someone credit for the hard work they've done to brand their feed with amazing content. Give the compliment of sharing and tagging them, it's what you want others to do for you.

Be online to create relationships.

Comment on other people's posts. Genuinely engage with them about their businesses, brands, and services. The more you give in your relationships online, the more likely it will come back to you in a positive way.

Don't spam people.

We know that your account is about your business, but you shouldn't be yelling, "Buy from me!" in your captions for every post. It's too much to constantly be hearing about how people need to buy from you. Try sharing content from people outside your business and acting like a full brand (not just a salesperson).

Want to know more about how you can increase your engagement on Instagram?

Read more here about how to gain followers

Read on here about how to define your brand on Instagram.

Wish your Instagram presence was more consistent, cohesive, and effective?
Check out my Instagram Branding Package to increase your #InstaGame!

Here are my top 3 tips for turning your side hustle into your full-time gig

This year is huge for all the people side hustling and turning it into a full time business. First of all:

Congratulations on taking the leap!

And it is a leap. It can be hard to start committing to something full time, especially after it being relegated to an "after work" activity or on the back burner. Bringing your focus to your side hustle, especially enough to turn it full time, is amazing.

Bu the hard work is just starting.

Unfortunately, the hard work is just beginning. I'm sure you're feeling it now: the pressure to MAKE IT ALL WORK. The feeling that turning your hobby into a full time activity means you're doing a bunch of things you may not want to be doing, but that comes with the business owning territory.

Your new year is full of new and exciting things like:

  • Bookkeeping and keeping track of income
  • Managing a client pipeline and schedule
  • Creating unique messaging and reaching new people online and in person

While some of this is what gets you excited, sometimes you feel like there's just too many things going on. Suddenly, you're always busy. There doesn't seem to be any time for the work you actually want to be doing (your side hustle) or you're having a hard time actually DOING THE WORK instead of WORKING THE BUSINESS.

Based on my own experience, here are my top three tips for taking your side hustle to full time.

Cultivate focus.

Turning your side hustle into full time is just one way you've started doing this. However, now you need to be extra mindful of how you're spending your time and money. You need to focus on what is "worth it" for your business, which should be where you're generating your revenue.

Create a vision.

Understand where you want your full time business to go and what you want to spend your time doing. Have an idea of how many clients that means you need, or how many t-shirts you need to sell. Have a vision for what your work includes and meaningful goals that you're working towards.

Remember it's all going to come together.

If you're working toward your goals, seeing progress, and still freaking out and feeling like the rug is being pulled out from under you - tell yourself, "It's all going to come together." It may not be today, or tomorrow. But you never know when your next tactic or meeting brings it all together for you and your business!

Find Your Focus Worksheet.jpg
Starting a business? Here's how you can beat stress and overwhelm

Something they didn't tell you: starting a business is hard. It can look easy from the outside when you hear about the "overnight success" and "$100,000 program launch." Unfortunately, sometimes these "overnight successes" are 10 years in the making.

People slogged for a lot of years to make their businesses happen. They worked through kids play dates. They spent the weekend building out their first prototype. They took a day off of work to go pitch someone their idea or land a new client.

Starting a business and feeling overwhelmed?

All business pursuits require a lot of thought, time, and effort. But can be hindered by overwhelm and stress.

However, I'm sure you're feeling the overwhelm in the background (and a lot in the forefront of their mind). I know I was thinking and feeling things like:

  • What if I should pursue my other idea instead?
  • What if my customers aren't interested?
  • What if I can't make any money at this?

You can find yourself stuck - mired in self-doubt and overthinking your options. You spend all of your time thinking about what color a button should be instead of doing what is going to make their business succeed.

You might find yourself:

  • Not returning client phone calls
  • Filling orders late
  • Sitting and thinking about what you business could be, but not selling it to people

Why does this happen? Sometimes you don't really know what to do next. You have an amazing idea and then marvel at it. You're not sure how to tie the beast down and ride it to success.

When you're feeling overwhelmed, aren't sure what to do moving forward, and feel the frazzle building up around you, there's one thing you need to remember. Do you know what that one thing is?

 
 

Focus.

In order for entrepreneurs to put in their time, thought, and effort they know what they need to do and work toward. Having a goal in sight or in mind is what helps entrepreneurs create the company and product they've been dreaming of.

With focus, you can:

  • Calmly meet your goals because you've been preparing for them.
  • Hustle toward your goals because you know what you're striving for.
  • Prioritize your ideas because you know what is important for you to accomplish.

Looking to find more focus in your business because your fighting the frazzle and stress of overwhelm? Check out the worksheet I've put together.

Find Your Focus Worksheet.jpg

Need a hand with finding and honing your focus for 2018? Check out my course here.

7 steps to finding and reaching people where they are

Now that you have an idea of what your target audience is experiencing, you need to figure out where they are.

With these seven steps, you can know where to find your ideal customers and select how to reach them.

1. Know your ideal customers.

Know who's shopping in your stores or browsing on your site. Know their demographic information (location, age, gender, income range) so that you can start to get a handle on the psychographic profile. Start with:

  • Google Analytics - This tool is wonderful for understanding who is browsing your site. Maybe all purchases are from women 24-35? That will help you begin to identify just where they might be located.
  • Facebook and Instagram Insights - See who is following you on these platforms to add additional insights to your ones from Google.

Find out:

Are you attracting two different audiences? And are the people engaging with your content different than the ones that are buying?

If the people buying are different than the ones following, start to adjust your content and targeting to shift your audience. Target one more likely to convert.

Do you have multiple audiences?

Find out if you're having different customers for different items. If all women purchase your purses, but all men are buying your scarves then you will have two audiences to contend with.

2. Find psychographic information

Both Google Analytics and Facebook will provide psychographic information in their insights.

Google will show you:

  • What people were searching for
  • How many people from social media were interested in your content
  • The general trends in what people were searching for and interested in when they found your site

Facebook will show you:

  • Which types of content are receiving more engagement
  • Use Facebook Graph Search to see the general content that people who are interested in your niche also like

Supplement the additional information by talking to your customers and potential surveys.

3. Talk to potential customers

The best thing you can do is to always talk to your customers. There's no getting around the fact that they are can be a great source or starting point for information. Maybe they say they always read the Sunday paper. Maybe they're addicted to Facebook. Maybe they subscribe to a certain news program.

All of these insights can help you choose a way to reach them. Take into account:

4. Narrow to your target market.

If you're reaching too broadly, narrow to the market that is converting. This may be based on a psychographic or demographic, determine which one it is to begin catering to that interest.

For example, you notice that one audience in converting more frequently and they are interested in swimming pool repair. Then develop more content around swimming pool repair for social media and your website to help them find your information.

5. Look at your competitors

They may have a good handle on where their own customers are. If they are investing heavily in print of Instagram ads or Facebook, see if that opportunity fits with your own demographic. If not, you may have a slightly different market and can reach people in a space you can own.

6. Investigate the demographic following of different mediums.

Some psychographic segmentation can make media choices easier. You may know that people buy motorcycles and have said they read Motorcycle Weekly. Then you already have a place to start, content to work from, and a place to start reaching customers.

For more vague psychographic information, like knowing someone is interested in sports, it can be much harder to narrow down where to meet your customers (simply because of the plethora of options).

Prioritize and systematize your search by:

  • Limiting yourself to the forms of communication that your target audience would be interested in. If they won't touch a computer, than skip the process of identifying website or online ad placement.
  • Starting with psychographic options. For example, if your customers are interested in sports and only like online mediums, find and read the media kits for prospective media buys in online sports news and magazines.
  • Comparing your media kits to your demographic information. Maybe these people are all interested in sports, but only a couple have a large female audience that you want to target. Focus on the options that match your psychographic and demographic profile.
  • Prioritizing each type of buy based on reach and price. Do a little math to determine what you would be paying per customer reached.

7. Choose a combination of mediums, across different media, to create a portfolio of ways to reach people.

Don't rely on just one method to reach customers.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket. You want to have a variety of ways to reach people so you can adjust your marketing across these different channels.

Vary your messaging to reach people at different stages of awareness.

Some people have heard of you, others haven't. Some are aware of the problem you're addressing, other's aren't. Educate and help your audience understand the problem you solve before selling them on the solution.

Use appropriate messaging on each medium.

A message should be crafted differently for Facebook vs. Instagram. Choose your words wisely so that you have the best chance to convert.

3 common missteps when meeting people where they are (and how to combat them)

Your goal with messaging is to reach people where they are. To do this, think about answering:

  • Where do your ideal customers eat?
  • Where are they located?
  • Do they commute?
  • What's their day look like?
  • What are they excited about?

These are just a few things you should know about reaching your target audience. Developing buyer personas for your product lines will help clear up targeting issues and bring more focus into who you are trying to reach for a particular advertisement. Your personas should be specific, understandable, and executable.

When deciding exactly where to meet your buyer personas where they're at, so they don't need to hunt for your information, there are three common issues that need to be considered.

What you need to keep in mind includes:

People have short - squirrel.

People needed to be grabbed and grabbed quickly. People decide whether or not they will continue watching an advertisement in 3 seconds (or 8 seconds max which is shorter than a goldfish). That means you have 3 seconds during a video advertisement to convince someone to continue watching.

Other types of advertisements, outside of digital, have little research into how much people are continuing to read or engage with them. Print magazines gauge impressions - number of people who they have likely reached - rather than being able to say someone looked at your ad for 10 seconds.

 
 You only have eight seconds to grab someone's attention.

You only have eight seconds to grab someone's attention.

 

Ways to combat short attention spans:

  • Create content that engages quickly. Using cuts of video, attention grabbing headlines, and visuals can help someone decide an article is worth reading.
  • Make articles accessible. Minimize the number of clicks it takes to engage with your content. Like online shopping, online reading can be hindered by an increased number of clicks.
  • Create a brand promise around engagement. If your content is always engaging to your target audience, they will be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt for a given piece of content. They will also come back for new content rather than needing to reach out to them every time.

Noise is everywhere.

There are a couple different types of noise. Noise can be that there are too many messages vying for attention in the same space. It can be literal noise when it comes to someone receiving the ad. Noise is what interferes with someone receiving a message as intended.

This is the Shannon-Weaver model of communication. It describes how messages have issues reaching a selected individual. More stressing is the Interactive Model of Communication, insinuating that there is noise around the entire process of communication.

Ways to combat noise:

  • Choose the right time and place to interact. Understand your target audience's limitations and biases to make sure you're reaching them at a prime time for minimizing noise. Do your research in advance and test your ads to see what's working.
  • Be engaging. Exceptional content can help cut through the noise of a overwhelmed psyche. It's one of the reasons Buzzfeed rose to popularity.
  • Be different. One of the issues with noise is separating quality from a jumble of messages vying for contention. Separate your content as much as possible from what's next to you on the magazine stand, in someone's News feed, or along their drive home.

Attention is limited. Use it wisely.

People have a limited amount of time and attention to spend on an advertisement. They may be present while their is an ad going on, but there's no guarantee that they're absorbing the information. Choosing a better time of day or method of engagement can help assuage this issue.

Be careful when choosing where you're reaching customers to take into account how they might be feeling. If they're workaholics, maybe they will be working during their commute and will only skim an ad. If they're single moms, maybe they can't focus on picking up their kids from school around 3 pm rather than watching the TV that's may be running in the background. These are example scenarios - and can severely impact people's reception of your advertisement.

Ways to combat limited attention:

  • Find a better topic. People engage with content they want to engage with. Simply because you've paid for air time doesn't mean people are listening. If you've chosen a paid way into impressions or reach, impress with content that grabs attention by being relevant.
  • Find a time when your target audience can focus. Is that late at night? Early in the morning? When they're taking a break at work? Maybe there's a particular medium they are able to focus on. Take time to know these places to make the best decisions for ad placement.