The MadAveGroup Blog
The window in this picture is next to the door of a county government office.
The staff's hope must be that customers will read each sign and learn the do's and don'ts of conducting business with this department before even walking through that door.
But the signs ain't workin'.
Over the years, I've seen literally thousands of people enter that office, and not one has even slowed down to glance at that collection of paper taped to the glass.
It's too much to take in. Never mind the inconsistent look and the negative tone of the messages that “welcome” you to this office. It's the sheer amount of information that's overwhelming and off-putting.
So, ask yourself if customers might be ignoring or even turned off by an over-abundance of your messaging.
- Does your website copy need to be simplified or better organized?
- Do you try to force too many details into your radio spots?
- Could your social content be more concise?
- Are you sending emails too frequently?
People are distracted. They're in a hurry, and their attention spans are shrinking. That means that too much of even the best content may be disregarded because it takes too long to read and process.
In the new year ahead, work to focus your message, wherever it may be. Make it as easy as possible for your audience to see, understand and remember your main point.
When preparing any type of marketing content, I'm constantly applying my “Who Cares?" rule, from the concept phase to the proofing of the finished piece. I think about my audience and ask the following:
• Will they care about what I've written?
• Does my content provide them with some type of value?
• Does it give them a reason to keep reading or listening?
Here's an example. Years ago, while I was gathering copy points for a client, she asked me to mention an award her company had just won. She emailed the following suggestion:
"We're pleased to announce that we've won the Silver Service Award for the third time in four years. We'd like to give our great staff a pat on the back."
Now, I certainly understand the client's pride in winning a major award and her eagerness to have people hear about it, but the copy she wrote would have offered no benefit to the listener.
Unless the news of the award could be turned into information that provided value to the company's audience, what would be the point of mentioning it?
So I asked the client a few questions.
• What does that award symbolize?
• Why would your customers or prospects be interested in it?
• Why is knowing about this award valuable to them?
Once I had my answers, I wrote this copy:
"The Silver Service Award is our industry's highest compliment. It's given annually to the company with the best year-to-date record of customer service in 24 measurable categories. If you're considering new vendors, you should know that The Smith Company has won the Silver Service Award three of the last four years. No other company has ever done that. The Silver Service Award: proof of our intense commitment to your satisfaction."
That copy acknowledges The Smith Company's win, but it also helps prospective clients make an informed buying decision. Rather than a self-congratulatory high-five, the copy delivers an important clue - substantiated by a major industry award - as to how the prospect will be treated if they do business with The Smith Company.
We're humans, so our first instinct is to talk about ourselves. That means developing content that's focused on your audience's needs can take a lot of thought. But if your marketing message is to stand out and ring true with prospects and customers, it needs to give them a reason to engage.
Applying the “Who Cares?" rule to all of your marketing content will help.