Picture the scene: You’ve just finished a productive, but tiring day at work. You get home in time to see the kids who are cranky but don’t want to go to bed – or perhaps, your attention-starved pet. You survive the blanket tug-of-war, only to remember it’s your turn to rustle up dinner for two. You finally settle down to watch some TV, but your mind is being pulled in different directions as you scroll through your personal emails, find travel deals for your next holiday, scan social media to “catch up” on your friends’ lives…it’s all too familiar.
As a brand, it has become a perennial challenge to cut through all that noise to not just be seen, but also have the reader engage – and it’s only going to get harder. In an increasingly saturated digital landscape, having meaningful interactions with consumers means drawing their attention and connecting with them at times when their focus is often elsewhere.
At The Giles Agency, our copywriting, translation and design teams tackle this challenge regularly. Here are 5 top tips we keep in mind while doing so:
1 Know your audience inside out
To reach and hook your audience at the right place and time, you’ll need to get “cosier” with them. With so much research and data to harness these days, putting in the groundwork can help you target and engage them more effectively. If, like the example above, they aren’t going to start browsing the web until 8pm, there is no use posting social content at 11am or sending emails at 3pm as they will likely go unnoticed. While we won’t profess to being media buying specialists, this strategy goes hand-in-hand with the creative work we develop.
2 Stand out from the crowd
Ever spend hours scrolling and not remembering any ad you saw – or automatically closing those you come across? For some platforms like social media, this is where your visual content can make a difference. On top of being eye-catching, it has to resonate with your audience’s state of mind and be unique enough that even if they don’t click on it, they subconsciously remember something of it. Don’t forget, video is king! For other channels like emails, all your audience will see is a subject line. If every email they get seems to say the same thing, why should they open yours over others? Having the right mix of catchy creative work, a point of difference that taps into your brand’s values or USPs, and a reason to engage will keep your audience interested in what you have to say.
3 Get straight to the point
Although standing out is important, in a digital world, you have less than 3 seconds to grab a consumer’s attention and have them subconsciously decide if they want to find out more about your brand or content. Beautifully crafted headlines and taglines are great once you have their attention, but you’ll need to be crystal clear about what you’re selling and, more importantly, why it is of benefit to them. Keeping subject lines short and sharp with the right balance of information and intrigue, or laying out what the reader is going to take away from a blog post in the opening paragraph or sub-headline is key to having them read on.
4 Take yourself out of the equation
As marketeers, it can sometimes be difficult to remember that we are not always the target audience we are selling to. Despite what you personally think might be compelling in the situation, your copy should always be written in a way that relates to them while keeping the context and platform in mind. Although the tricky part lies in staying true to your brand, speaking your audience’s language (and not that of your boss!) can carry your communications further than you think.
5 Try, try, and try again
The beauty of digital communications is the ability to test what works and keep tweaking it until you get the impact you are looking for. This could involve testing different headlines or subject lines, using different images to see what resonates best, playing with the length of your blog posts until you hit the sweet spot, and changing up calls-to-action to see which one drives the most engagement. Every piece of digital communication is an opportunity to learn more about your audience’s preferences (see tip #1) and apply the learnings to the next brief.
At The Giles Agency, our team of copywriters, translators, editors and designers are on hand to be an extension of your team to ensure you’re getting the most impact from your content and communications. Get in touch if you’d like support in cutting through the noise and creating engaging work that sets your brand apart or ahead of the rest.