I had the pleasure of attending the Swivel Conference in Bend, OR this year. Below are quotes from various speakers that stuck with me as I made my way back to Anvil in Portland. You will find my take below each quote but I encourage you to dig into the words and take away what makes the most sense for you and your business. I have left off the ‘authors’ to the quotes below in order to avoid any misquoting.
“Marketing to everyone is like marketing to no one.”
You will miss your audience when you consider everyone your audience. Different demographics, groups, genders, etc. speak and interpret things in their own way. Learn what these ways are for your most prominent audience and market to them directly. This isn’t saying you have to pick just one audience segment. If you have more than one segment, reach them with different messages and marketing tactics – don’t combine your messaging in an attempt to appeal to the masses. This thought can also be applied to the purpose of your messaging and making certain marketing materials multi-purpose. The same way you miss your mark when trying to reach everyone, you can miss them by trying to say too many things at once. Focus on one purpose and one audience to get the most qualified traction on your marketing efforts.
“The visual is the new headline.”
This quote was referring to social media postings but consider this for any marketing materials you produce. Choosing the right visual to accompany your content is key. Consumers may skip the copy altogether and decide whether to engage or not solely based on the visual. Adding rich media such as images and videos to your content can increase engagement. However, it is important that the visual is compelling and relevant. We all know that cats own the internet but that doesn’t mean your Facebook posts about your sale should feature your favorite feline. Remember this when you are adding Open Graph and Twitter Cards to your site as well. When your content from your website is shared on Facebook or Twitter, images can be automatically loaded into the posting – make sure you choose the best image to represent your brand on social media.
“Contrary to popular belief, a picture is actually only worth 81.4 words.”
According to Jason Miller from LinkedIn, research says that a picture is worth 81.4 words when comparing images to actual text. Although the previous quote stated that the visual is the new headline, content is not all about the image. Copy does matter. Consider this when creating content, especially when length matters. Also, on Twitter a picture is worth 24 words. Craft your Tweets to accommodate the character limits when adding images.
“A mindset is bigger than a demographic.”
This quote was said during a presentation about Millennials. When it comes to marketing, Millennial is a mindset, not just a demographic. The presenter made this obvious when he said that before the event started he saw a dozen people over 35 years old ask for the WIFI password. The audience (that appeared to be 80% over 35) wanted to be on their mobile devices, they wanted to stay connected and they assumed that they could do this at the venue. It’s about their mindset, not their age. You can think about this in a couple of ways; who else are you inadvertently targeting when you aim your marketing at millennials and are you missing out on an audience because you think only millennials fall into your audience? Start with the ‘why’ before the ‘who’ when determining the audience for your product or service. Then let the data tell you who your target is.
“Search Experience Optimization”
SEO redefined from Search Engine Optimization. There are a lot of factors that play into how a website is displayed on a search engine results page. The act of searching for a website can be an experience in itself so do what you can to make it the best one possible. Appeal to your audience as much as you’d strive to appeal to Google.
“Brand behavior is the new brand positioning.”
Brands should have character and a personality that shows through everything that the company does. Brands aren’t just defined by the positioning lines anymore. They are defined by the actions they take and the brand voice in which they communicate. The actions taken become brand behavior that speaks louder than a tagline or market segment that a product or service falls into. Behavior is ongoing, interactive and unique so it needs to be established and maintained. Social media is a great place for brands to show their personality and interact with consumers. Take advantage of the right channels to give your brand an active voice.
“The [social] medium is the message.”
Speaking of the right channels… each social channel has different audiences and purposes. This quote’s point is to stress how much the medium is a part of the message because of the why, when, where, who and how it is consumed. Adapting your content per channel and audience is vital for success. Also, knowing what channels are right for you is important. Focus your efforts where your consumers are and where other values such as SEO play in. For example, Google indexes Tweets from Twitter, so it may be beneficial to be on Twitter to help your search rankings even if your audience isn’t there.
Knowledge is power – know your consumer(s) and know how, when and where to talk WITH them, not at them. Knowledge is in the data – measurements are easily taken through each online effort made. Take advantage of all the measurement tools online to report, analyze, execute and repeat. For more helpful tips and tools for all your digital need, visit Anvil’s Insights page.