Category Archive: Social Media

I’m busy. I’m stressed. I have 8.25 seconds. WTFSIC? | Marketing for Our Short Attention Spans

Copywriting, marketing

WTFSIC? aka Why the F**k Should I Care?

The average attention span of a consumer today is 8.25 seconds. That’s down from 12 seconds in 2000. That’s also less than the attention span of a goldfish (9 seconds), although I have no idea how they go about measuring that.

Put yourself in your overwhelmed, frazzled, impatient customers’ shoes, and for their sake, ask yourself WTFSIC? every time you create / write / develop / post a marketing message / tagline / tweet / headline / blog / email / or ad.

That’s right. Every time.

If you follow this advice, it should keep you from falling into the trap that businesses so easily fall into –

  • talking about your products from your company perspective instead of the customers’.
  • describing the product’s features, but not the benefits.
  • thinking that a prospect will make the leap of logic that you’ve made in your clever ad, and understand why your product is so great, without you spelling it out.
  • assuming that prospects will take the time to click around your website to learn about your product.
  • believing that the only thing you have to do to get prospects to give you their email address or request a sales call, is to display a “Learn More” button on your website.

“Learn more”? Seriously. Why would the average adult consumer, who has 360 messages firing at them every day via TV, radio, web, and print media (source: Media Dynamics), take the time to click a “Learn more” button? Even prospects who are actually in the market for your product don’t have that kind of patience.

What they do want is for you to describe your product’s benefits (not features) in a very brief, concise message, using simple, non-buzzword language, in a way that tells them immediately how it will make their life better, starting tomorrow. This goes for the B2B and B2C space (after all, all purchase decisions are made by the same frazzled humans).

Oh, and maybe give them a value-added resource too (like a white paper, an infographic, a how-to guide). Note: I did not say “give them a brochure about your company”. Because that requires thinking. A purely value-added piece will be useful to them and will make it abundantly clear what your product will do for them, right away.

Don’t make them think. Don’t make them click. Don’t make them hunt for where to click. Put the WTFSIC right on your homepage. In fact on every page of your site. Or at the top of your email (or better yet, the subject line). Or at the top of your ads. Make every single word in your marketing messages be meaningful to your audience. Spell out for them exactly why they should consider your product.

So, what do I want you to do now?

Every time you craft a marketing message, stop after every sentence and ask “WTFSIC?” It will force you to think from your customers’ perspective (after a while, this becomes embedded in your thinking process) and craft marketing messages that get them to take action. And ultimately sell more of your product. Because that’s why you’re in business, right?

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If you need help crafting concise, meaningful, compelling marketing messages, websites, blogs, or graphics, give me a shout. This is what I do best. But be prepared to hear WTFSIC a lot.

 

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How to Write the Perfect Blog Post | Follow this Guide to Maximize Your Post’s Visibility

After writing hundreds of blog posts for different audiences, industries, and organizations, you definitely learn what works and what doesn’t. This infographic reflects best practices I’ve used to achieve post visibility, social reach and shares, and conversions on the calls-to-action. Enjoy!

A Guide to the Perfect Blog Post

Want a copy of this infographic for yourself? Why not hang it in your cube for quick reference, or just for cube decorating purposes. Contact me for a printable, hi-res PDF.

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Secrets from the Field: 10 Questions to Ask on Facebook to Boost Social Engagement

conversation

Facebook is still king of social media. With 1.35 billion monthly active users, its just too big to ignore. Two-thirds of online US adults are Facebook users and the average user spends 21 minutes per day on Facebook.

To make the most of your time investment in your Facebook page, you’ve got to grow your followers and generate lots of engagement (comments, shares, clicks to your website) amongst them. And there are ways to accomplish this that are guaranteed to boost your numbers. I know, because I’ve done it.

Just like in a social situation, you are much more likely to be the center of attention if you engage in a two-way conversation, i.e., ask interesting questions of those around you, rather than talking about yourself ad nauseam. Right? The same thing holds true on Facebook.

So, if most of your organization’s posts are all about your business (for example, using Facebook only for sale announcements), you won’t gain a large following, and those followers won’t become engaged evangelizers of your brand because they won’t feel emotionally engaged with your brand.

Therefore, mixed in with the sale announcements, try a few truly conversational posts where you pose interesting questions of your followers. (When you start out, you may have to “plant” a few answers to get people responding – sometimes no one likes to be the first one to speak up).

Here are ten of the questions/conversation starters I’ve used with success on Facebook (you’ll want to customize them for your own business). Note, they are in random order.

  1. If you had your own personal theme song, what would it be?
  2. If you had an hour for yourself, what’s the one thing you would do?
  3. What book inspired you the most? And why?
  4. What’s your word for the day?
  5. If you had your own tagline, what would it be?
  6. What are your 3 top goals for this year?
  7. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
  8. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to ______ ?
  9. What was a turning point in your life?
  10. If you could run a workshop for a day, what would you teach?

And don’t, don’t, don’t forget to post your question with an image or photo! If you haven’t heard the news by now, Facebook posts that include imagery garner 3 to 5 times the amount of engagement as posts without an image. That can add up to a lot of shares and clicks to your website.

If you are too busy actually running your business to think about social media, 3to5 Marketing can help. Contact me today for advice, implementation, post-writing, social media graphic design, or all of the above!

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Advertising Your Brand: How Many Times Do Consumers Need to See/Hear It Before They Buy?

burmashave

Mad Men-era advertising wiz, Herbert Krugman (Ted Bates, Inc., GE, and Raymond Loewy), took a special interest in consumer behavior. In order to plan efficient TV media buys, he did research in the late 1960s, on how many times consumers needed to see an ad for the same product or brand, before taking an action (i.e., buying). This is how he came up with his famous Theory of Effective Frequency for advertising.

Intuitively we know that repetition (frequency) is the basis of any learning process, and it’s no different for consumers learning about a product. However, since cost optimization is an important consideration in media planning, the issue for advertisers is to limit the frequency to the point where diminishing returns occur.

After some research, Krugman initially concluded that the magic number was three. In other words, after seeing or hearing about a product or brand three times, consumers would take an action. As he explained it,

  • “The first time someone is exposed to your ad, you attract their attention, but nothing is really taken in, thus “What is it?”.
  • The second time is when the consumer begins to engage with the relevance of the ad, and asks “So what?”
  • And the third exposure to the ad is when the viewer decides whether “This is for me”, or whether they will choose to forget it.”

Of course, a number of factors impact this ad frequency theory, for example: how well known the product or brand is already, the audience category, the complexity of the product or message, the cost structure of the product, the saturation level of the market, and more.

brain, advertising, theory of effective frequencyLater research (including some done by Krugman) suggested the number was more than 3 . For example, Canadian Grant Hicks  decided it was five touches, based on his research on financial advisors and their clients. Nielsen media guru Erwin Ephron’s work lead him to conclude it was three to five touches. More recently, a Nielsen study claims ten social media touches are needed to effect a behavior change.

Whether the number is 3 or 5 or more, the point here is that you’ve got to get your product in front of your customers multiple times in order for them to take the action you want.

Surprisingly, this isn’t always obvious to all businesses – I worked with a CEO once who wondered why the ONE direct mail campaign he approved didn’t bring in the results he wanted. And his product was fairly complex and new to the market – it would have benefitted from multiple advertising touches. Instead, he concluded that marketing wasn’t working for his product.

The great thing about digital marketing today is that there are many cost-effective ways to achieve your multiple marketing touches: email, social media, display advertising, websites, microsites, sponsorships, content marketing, etc. And you can test each channel in order to find the right combination for your customers and brand, with much less cost and effort than Herb Krugman could back in 1969 when TV, radio, and print were the primary advertising channels.

Sources for more information:

  • Herbert E. Krugman. “The Impact of Television Advertising: Learning Without Involvement” Public Opinion Quarterly, volume 29, page 349, 1965.
  • Herbert E. Krugman. “Why Three Exposures May Be Enough.” Journal of Advertising Research 12, 6 (1972): 11-14
  • Batra, Rajeev, Donald R. Lehmann, Joanne Burke, and Jae Pae. “When Advertising Have An Impact? A Study of Tracking Data.” Journal of Advertising Research 35, 5 (1995): 19-32

Image Attribution: 

  • 1952 Burma-Shave streetcar sign, now at the Minnesota Historical Society
  • “Thinking”, designed by Timothy Dilich, Evanston, Illinois
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