Communication in marketing is not unlike communication in any setting. It relies on clarity, delivery, timing and understanding what your audience wants. Just like with any other form of communication, if you want to hold your audience, you should place the emphasis on providing value to the receiver of the information.
The mark of successful communication is the same as in any conversation: Did you connect with the audience? Did they get the gist? Were they interested in what you had to say? Or did you blather on and on with stories about yourself?
Bore them again or try to convince them of something they don’t want or need and you could lose your audience. This matters if you want the dialogue to continue.
In today’s world, people often confuse communication with the devices and technology we use to communicate.
“I want social media.”
“Let’s do email blasts.”
“I need a new website.”
All the tactical items mentioned are merely the methods we use to communicate, not the actual communication. They play a central role in how we develop our dialogue, as they have an impact on human behavior. However, if you want a winning strategy, you should remember that it is the content that is valuable to the audience, and there are a few factors to consider if you want to create compelling content.
Consider Human Behavior
Winning communication creates alignment with value. This is not a new or changed concept. What is different, however, is the noise in the market and how technology has changed the amount of time we are willing to invest in processing information.
Now that we’re exchanging so much information, everything from attention span to how people find, view, assess and store information are essential considerations for those looking to create value. Therefore, the art of creating a winning communication strategy is about more than clever words and eye-catching visuals.
Understand The Message, The Market And The Audience
At this point, many communicators have a general understanding of the role keywords play in content and how they help to drive their products into the view of the market through technology. By ensuring your communication includes common terms that your competition also uses and that align with your audience’s search habits, you can place your business in focus.
Once you have their attention, you should compel your audience with your product at a glance. Consequently, you should make sure your message still offers value that communicates your outstanding features and separates you from the competition — all while remaining compelling and succinct.
Remember That Time Is Central
You should also make sure you consider the psychology of your receptive audience. Before your audience reads or plays your communication, they’re assessing its value. They generally conduct a split-second appraisal to assess how much time and effort it will take to absorb your information and if it is of any value at all.
Words need to convey, compel and be comprehensive, while visuals should instantly express the benefits of investing time in your content. At-a-glance writing and iconographic art — universal visual symbols (like those companies use to indicate that a product is pet-friendly or for outdoor use) that emphasize your intention or proposition and provide a fast imprint and strong impact — can help the receiver easily assess your content’s value before they engage with your message.
Deliver The Goods
Finally, remember that you can compel your audience to engage by reflecting a value they desire in your product, brand and style. This value should align with the audience’s needs and self-image. Take the time to hone your statement so that the audience can easily remember, absorb, repeat, share, save or engage with your content.
When it comes to visual content, leave no room for interpretation. By using icons, you can provide a fast imprint and make a strong impact. This strategy offers a complete message and allows viewers to gain a greater understanding, reduce their active viewing time and potentially convert faster.
The goal is to convert the message into meaningful interactions.
Understand That Marketing Is Communication
Marketing communication, at its core, creates relationships with your business through non-personal interactions for shorter sale cycles; however, they are still human interactions, so it’s important to make sure the value is there.
As people and technology change, we’ll find new ways to communicate. But humans are central to these interactions, so the core principles remain: Value your audience and you will always have someone to talk to.
By Mollie Barnett, Owner, The Smart Co, Memeber of Forbes Communications Councisl
Published first for Forbes, Dec 21, 2021