Whether it’s a great slogan like “15 minutes could save you 15%.” Or a clean, functional design and product packaging from a brand like Apple, Dyson or Absolut. Simple sells.
Sometimes the medium – think Twitter or a TED talk – also forces us to get to the point and do less when it comes to communication. 280 characters or an 18 minute session drives a certain structure in our storytelling, and rewards brevity. But even when we have the luxury of rich media like an online video, or full-length webinar or e-book, it pays to think small in our content creative and marketing as well. Not just in terms of short segments or chapters, but also format, delivery and CTAs.
This is especially the case as more consumers (and workers) are mobile and doing more with their apps and spending less time talking! In fact, US adults now spend more than 3 hours a day on non-voice mobile activities, up more than an hour since 2013 according to eMarketer. So if you are producing a video marketing campaign, there’s a really good chance it will be watched first on a mobile device. And if you want your audience to stay engaged, you need to keep it short – less than 2 minutes – and grab their attention in the first few seconds.
And if you’re writing copy for your blog, or for an advertising campaign or point of purchase display, “saying it short” is a great approach, as outlined in one of my favorite blogs from the world of PR. And using a cheeky headline or statistic or “number play” (GEICO in their slogan above combines all three!) is always a great way to focus your audience and get them ready to understand the why behind the what that you are offering.
So, if you want to get your viewer’s/reader’s/buyer’s attention via great content or a compelling offer for your product, or even an in-person event or demo – think simple, and think essentials.
What does my audience really need to know – the MVP or “minimum viable product” in agile-speak. How can I relate my message to an example or product they already know? How can I align content offers or deals or samples to the stage of their journey? And ultimately, why should they care enough to click on a link or sign up for a promotion or talk to a sales rep to learn more?
When brands are designing stories or campaigns or even apps for users on the go, the urgency to cut through clutter is amplified. That’s why I really like the notion of combining simple messages and short-form content with agile merchandising concepts, where thinking fast, running lots of small experiments, and quickly making adjustments on the fly is the way to go.
These focused, iterative approaches can help us not only make a great first impression, but also make connections that build familiarity and longer-term loyalty. Which is especially critical today as consumers – and even marketers – become expert at multitasking and tuning out all but the things that first catch their eye.
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