Attention is one of the most valuable assets in business. Without attention, gaining new business is difficult and cash flow is no longer a flow, but a trickle or can completely dry up. Attention, by definition, is directing the mind to observe or consider something. It can be extremely hard to achieve and even harder to sustain. In business there are three primary ways to achieve and maintain attention: advertising, marketing and sales. In this post we are going to focus on advertising and how the game has changed and how well-thought out advertising can grab your audience’s attention and sustain the attention through the sales process.
Mad Men was a wildly popular show on AMC that gave viewers a peek inside the crazy, wild-life of a 1960’s advertising agency on Madison Avenue. If you owned a business in the 60’s and you were ready to take your product or service to market you would more than likely hire a Madison Avenue ad agency to grab the attention you needed. During that time you had three primary channels to distribute your message: television, print and radio. The creative department would come up with a catchy tagline or story and send it out through these distribution channels. This was the basis for standard advertising in that time.
Now in 2016, where grabbing someone’s attention is much harder, businesses have to diligently stay in front of their audience through the infinite communication channels that are available. Although this is a challenge, companies are able to narrow their focus and allocate their advertising dollars to specific communication channels with their distinct demographics. This allows companies to essentially advertising to a needle in a haystack. It’s crazy! You can get lost in the data and lose your shirt hiring an agency that gives you “thorough and comprehensive” advertising/marketing plan, but you may never see sales increase and you don’t get the attention you thought you were purchasing. It can be a scary and daunting task to many business owners, leaving them filled with uncertainty and an ambiguous hope.
CONTENT & DISTRIBUTION
Here’s what we know and still holds true, great creative content, distributed through the proper channels will grab attention and achieve organizational objectives. You can basically sum up advertising into two buckets: CONTENT and DISTRIBUTION. Each one are equal in value and importance. Furthermore you don’t necessarily need a high-powered ad agency. Social media has brought advertising DISTRIBUTION down to the consumer level and allows small business owners to control their own advertising, all the while producing massive results. This has changed the advertising landscape FOREVER.
Social media has brought advertising DISTRIBUTION down to the consumer level and allows small business owners to control their own advertising, all the while producing massive results.
The caveat to controlling your own advertising destiny is TIME. However technology has helped make this challenge more easily attainable. There is more than likely a 9 in 10 chance that if you are reading this you own an iPhone. This is one piece of technology gives you as a business owner the power to create content and distribute it immediately, right from the palm of your hand.
DISCIPLINE, CREATIVITY & VALUE
Creating captivating content is a process in DISCIPLINE, CREATIVITY and VALUE. What do we mean? Discipline is essential to creating content. Allocating time and energy on a consistent basis is critical, without maintaining a disciplined approach your effort will be sporadic and the meager attention you may have gained will not hold. Allotting 2 hours a week to thinking through and creating valuable content is essential to sustaining your audience's attention.
Creativity. Some of us have it and some us don’t, but it is necessary to get someone’s attention. If you’re not creative find a friend or a family member to help you think through aspects of your business and how you can creatively communicate it. Collaboration can produce powerful creative ideas that don’t have a chance in the vacuum of our own mind.
Collaboration can produce powerful creative ideas that don’t have a chance in the vacuum of our own mind.
The value of creativity can not go overlooked. Anyone can hold their iPhone up and talk to it or put together a simple meme, but true creativity that captures the mind and hearts of your audience is something that takes effort, thought and intentional design. Some keys to great, creative content include:
- Use stunning photography.
- Take eye-catching video that makes some do a double take.
- Use sub-titles on your social videos (people rarely listen to sound on their news feed).
- Make your content fun and entertaining, something worth sharing.
Value. This is the most underrated tool in your pocket. Like creativity, Value is a necessity. Can you provide value to your audience before they even consider purchasing your product or service? The answer must be yes and needs to be deeply rooted into your marketing process. People pay attention to organizations, businesses and people that give them value, especially if some of that value is free of charge. This value can be a variety of thing, the following are just few to consider using:
- Statistics and data that keeps you audience informed on your industry.
- A story that relates to your audience and builds an emotional connection.
- Upcoming advancements and new developments in your industry.
DISCIPLINE, mixed with CREATIVITY and VALUE is a dangerous combination and leads to an extreme amount of success if implemented. Even more than discipline this equation must become a priority if you want to see real results. So many business owners say they don’t have time, but we would say that you don’t have time NOT to make this a priority.
There has been no better time in history for business owners to succeed in marketing and advertising their business. You have no excuse. If time is an issue, make time, 10PM till 2AM is still available… Netflix can wait, your success in business can’t. Leverage the power of the internet and the technology that is right in front of you to change your future and the future of your company. It’s yours for the taking.