We try to remind our clients that you’re not just competing for attention and market share against your competitors, you’re competing against every other voice in your audience’s newsfeed. For anyone trying to get their brand noticed, this constant battle to stand out can feel overwhelming and exhausting.

In our efforts to secure an audience, many of us feel like we need to be bigger and louder in order to achieve cut through, so we max out our distribution options in an effort to get noticed. But often the result is the marketing equivalent of shouting as loud as you can in  crowded room – people will probably notice you, but they’re going to be annoyed.

So how can you get on your audience’s radar and engage with them in a way that is not only meaningful and provides value to them, but achieves the kind of engagement you need to succeed?

Avoid random acts of content, stop shouting, and say something that’s meaningful

If your product or service has genuine value, you shouldn’t need to beat people around the head to get them to see the benefits. But you also can’t assume that the value you offer will be the same for all of your audience segments. We all know this – it’s why we spend a long time developing personas and tailoring our strategies to each segment.

The problem comes when we try to speak effectively to all these groups simultaneously.

Social media and programmatic marketing allow us to deliver our messages to an almost infinite number of audience configurations. But when you have the option to speak to so many people, you run the risk of not giving each of them the kind of personalised messaging that you need to be effective. And when our efforts don’t work, it is often tempting to simply increase our range of distribution and amplification, where in fact the better option might be to narrow our focus.

Sorry, I can’t hear you??

Imagine you’re at a big party – the kind that everyone wants an invite to. It’s loud, the music is pumping, the drinks are flowing and you’re standing in a large group of people trying to tell a story. But the music is so loud that people are straining to hear, and you’re raising your voice to be heard above the din. Someone came up and pulled one of your acquaintances away just as you were getting to the good bit, and when you deliver your punchline only half the people laugh. Weren’t they paying attention to your excellent tale? Did they not get it, or did they simply not hear it?

Tell the story again, over drinks with a few of your close friends at home. You know these people really well because you’ve been hanging out in each other’s lives for so long that you retell your story in a way you know will make them laugh. That dicey joke you held backfrom slipping in at the party for fear of offending anyone absolutely kills with these guys. They’re hanging on your every word, and you’re rewarded with the kind of kudos your well-crafted and delivered story deserves. And you didn’t need to shout once.

Speak softly, and carry a big stick

As marketers, often we can fall into the trap of believing that a bigger audience is always better, and we succumb to the pressure to constantly be aiming for growth. But an audience that is constantly expanding can be difficult to speak to effectively, and once yourmessaging becomes irrelevant to them they will tune out.

How can you combat this? By frequency re-evaluating who your audience is made up of, how they need to be spoken to, and whether your messaging is evolving to meet their needs. At a minimum, this should be done quarterly, but also after you experience any significant period of audience growth. Just because you ran a campaign that intrigued people enough to follow you, doesn’t mean that the rest of your messaging will work with them.

Take the time to get to know who is coming to your table. Figure out who they are, what matters to them and make sure you are dishing something up that everyone at the table can enjoy. You might need to cook a feast, but you’ll be more likely to end up with a feeding frenzy.

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