We’ve all seen it. Some of us might even be guilty of it. But we all know what it looks like.
You’re scrolling through your social media feed when you see a post from a brand you follow. Between a funny video your friend posted and an interesting article you’re thinking about reading, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s screaming, “Hey! Buy this!”
But even though it’s a brand you follow, you don’t want to buy this right now. Maybe it’s something you’d like to buy at some point. It’s just… there’s a funny cat in that video. And now you’re checking out that article. Next thing you know, you’re scrolling through your feed again.
When a brand tries to promote something, whether it’s a product, a service, an event, or even a sale, marketers are walking on a very thin line when it comes to what their audience will tolerate. We live in a world where people are actively going out of their way to avoid advertising, any way they can help it. If you want to cut past the noise, your promotions need to work.
Here’s three easy ways to make your promotions feel a little bit less promotional.
Exercise a little restraint. To kick things off, let’s talk about the 80/20 rule as it relates to social media marketing. If you’re not familiar with this rule, it states that only 20% of your social media content should function as direct promotional material. The remaining 80% should serve to inform, educate, or entertain your audience.
It should be noted that the 80/20 rule is more like a guideline than a hard rule, depending on a variety of factors. There’s an article from Inc. (click here to check it out) that details how your factors like your brand and industry will directly influence what ratio is going to work best for you. The author points out that “everything on social media is promotional, in some form or another.” If your audience is following your social media page, they understand that.
So, what does that mean for you? At the most basic level, it means don’t flood your social media page with blatant promotion. There needs to be a healthy balance.
Create quality content. Here’s more advice that’s not strictly about the promotions themselves. Instead, we’re going to keep focusing on what’s in the 80% instead of the 20%.
When it comes to informing, educating, and entertaining your audience, content is one of the most versatile tools in your box. There’s a reason that 70% of marketers are investing in content marketing. (HubSpot) Content has proven, time and time again, to be an effective way to drive business. In 2020, if you’re not investing in content, you’re not standing out against the competition.
Having higher quality content actively improves the effectiveness of your promotions. Not only does it fuel more engagement with your customers, it builds trust and establishes authority. It demonstrates that your brand knows what it’s talking about. So when a customer sees a promotion, they take it far more seriously.
Demonstrate value. Whether your promotion is on social media, email, text, or somewhere else entirely, you need to demonstrate value in order to encourage your audience to take action. A good promotion is more than just a deal. A good promotion showcases how your product or service is going to be useful. It gives the customer a reason to take action.
And again, this goes beyond just a single promotion. Demonstrating value is a job for your entire brand. It’s like a symphony. Every instrument has its part to play. And when every piece is working effectively, you’re going to get results.
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What strategies do you use to keep your promotions less promotional? Sound off in the comments!