Marketers, don’t bother getting customers’ attention
2/3/19 Advertisers can’t catch people’s attention — Then don’t!
I was speaking to a friend who is working in a big cosmetics brand. We were having a conversation on how they are doing marketing now and what a tough time they face now.
First, she mentioned was that they no longer produce long-form articles. Reason being no one is reading content anymore (which I disagree). And by the content here we refer to textual content only. It could range from social media feeds to long-form articles, researches, and ebooks. She was also saying that most people are into the “fast-food” culture.
They want something visual, quick and instant. That’s the ONLY thing to catch their attention. Video creatives that they are producing now are soon shortening from 6 seconds to 2/3 seconds.
Now, my take. I disagree with this firstly because texts are the most basic and fundamental way to deliver, convey messages at large scale. Furthermore, it can easily be stored in a sustainable manner. That’s how we have been passing on most information since forever.
As long as you still google, you need textual content.
You're online, right?
The online world is filled with search-driven and intent-driven moments now. At least for the online world. Textual contents are the most straightforward way to build up the SEO pipeline. Not just articles. Arguing for youtube videos? The description under videos helps to pop up in the search rank. Looking to pin a great stock photo? The caption of the photo helps. (This should be discussed in another post though).
But hey, if your business and your users are still entirely offline, no online channel gets in your way, you probably can stop reading on. However, please comment and let me know what got you here in the first place, just curious:)
Of course, advertisements are improving. More efficient tracking results in displaying more relevant ads to users. In fact, as much as I hate ads, I did download a couple of workout, fitness apps from them. But in order for relevant ads to happen, the user would have already searched and looked up for that information. So why not giving them the best results in the first round when they look for it?
This is where content marketing and inbound marketing shine.
In fact, not pushing too many ads to users could even better for you. Because the advertising process could be an intrusive, one-way communication. You are pushing to them without much control. Got your audience’s attention to your ad? Congrats! But you’re still unsure of how likely will she turn into a paying customer.
It could be something that I like and what I would have bought. But the advertisement could also likely chime in with the wrong timing (happens to me all the time when I’m researching). That loses not only a customer but who knows, maybe getting a hater for seeing repetitive ads too many times.
Whereas content marketing or inbound marketing in that sense is quite the contrary. It allows yourself, your brand, and the products to be searchable. That attracts prospects that have a much higher chance of closing. They know what they want, no selling is needed.
My biggest take: let your customers find you.
That is not to say active sales & marketing are not important. This statement is, in fact, lacking context but to capture the idea of pushing too hard forcefully won't work out as you would like to.
If your ads cannot capture the audience attention, then don’t even bother trying. Audiences, readers, users are smart. Consumers will spend their attention into things they are interested in.
And to non-marketers…. ad blockers are really some beautiful inventions.