Throughout the last decade, communications professionals have had to adapt and evolve to ever-changing tech practices. With so many new ways to analyze and target your audience, there are a few easy steps you can take to modernize your company. It can be difficult to modernize efficiently, without wasting time and money, so we came up with three tips to help guide your modernization process.
- Optimize your audience: Get the most out of your (free) data
Improving outbound communications doesn’t have to be expensive if you utilize the resources you have at your disposal. Today we are bombarded with advertisements across every medium. The constant barrage of advertisements has caused a sharp level of user fatigue. How many times do we actually click on those banner ads or listen to the commercial before a YouTube video? Instead of blanketing ads to an audience using bought and sold data, use what you already know about your audience to reach them more effectively. Third party data lives in the realm of the assumed. Each year people are becoming less and less likely to interact with online advertisements. So, why waste money advertising to an audience that isn’t receptive?
Instead of buying third-party data that makes assumptions about users’ online behavior, take advantage of the opportunities to collect data on your own digital properties. In laymen’s terms, let people show interest in your content before advertising to them. Let us say Jane visits a shopping site and finds a dress that catches her eye. By interacting with that dress, Jane has shown interest in one of the company’s products, so she is now a target audience member. A savvy retail company will retarget ads of that same dress on the different websites Jane visits —and she will likely pay attention to the ads given her prior engagement with their site. Using this method, you can target audiences based on learned knowledge, not just assumptions and generalities.
- Show and tell
Humans are drawn to visuals. We start with reading picture books as toddlers and go on to show and tell in elementary school, and now our brains are trained to be attracted to visual elements. If you want your audience to better comprehend information, it’s much more effective to include an infographic, a chart, a graph, a video or another visual component. Not many people will stop and read a content-heavy article, but people will read and comprehend the information if it’s presented in a unique and creative way.
For instance, research shows that a Facebook post that includes a picture receives 104% more comments, 53% more likes and 84% more clicks than a post without an accompanying photo. Think about what you are drawn to when you’re reading on the Internet—chances are, a compelling visual will come to mind.
- Get ahead of the news cycles
If there’s a message that you want to share with the public, get it out there before the news cycle. A decade ago, communication professionals usually had at least a week to confront an issue; new media has decreased that window to one or two days. Rapid response is imperative if you want to succeed in properly disseminating your content. Social media and blogs encourage engagement more than ever before, which means false information and criticism can spread rapidly if you don’t get ahead of the news cycle. It’s much easier to be proactive with your messaging than reactive.