5 Reasons Ads Just Aren’t Enough Anymore (and what to do about it)
Marketing is changing.
But you already knew that.
In the past few years, digital technology has grown exponentially and social media has exploded with popularity. The platforms on which we advertise have either been created from scratch or shifted in practice. But this post isn’t about “going digital” or why you need a Facebook page, because that’s old news. I’m talking about how the whole practice of marketing has changed as a result of them. Marketing is a completely different ball game than it was just ten years ago, and ads just aren’t enough anymore. Here’s why you need to focus on more than ads alone in your marketing strategy:
1) Platforms—and people—are saturated with ads. You can barely go anywhere—digitally or physically—without seeing display ads, Facebook ads, mobile ads, television commercials, billboards, subway ads, etc. According to this TintUp article, consumers have developed “banner blindness”—as in, we’re not even looking at banner ads anymore and won’t remember them if we do—because we’ve just seen too many. This “blindness” is bound to happen towards any sort of ad once it’s been around long enough. This saturation means it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to stand out among your competitors, and you need to stand out from the sea of competitors to catch and keep your audience’s attention.
2) Too many repetitive ads will drive viewers away. I’m sure we’ve all experienced this with ads we see a few too many times. You don’t want your brand to become synonymous with “annoying”—but with the saturation of ads, that’s a real possibility. Repetition can work to retain brand recognition, but if done poorly, it can also drive potential customers away.
3) Audiences are increasingly less trusting of companies and their claims. According to this study, brands have to overcome enormous levels of skepticism from consumers, who often don’t believe that marketing reflects reality. Your audience is surrounded by brands making claims and promising results, and people learn quickly—which is why your brand needs to prove its legitimacy and build trust with potential clients and customers. You need to show your legitimacy with your content and prove that you, and your products, are worth their time.
4) Your audience will notice if you aren’t engaged. We have the technology to interact and get to know our audience. Use it—people will notice if you don’t. Hubspot points out that marketers need to communicate with potential consumers in the way their audiences prefer. With the rise of digital social media, marketing is becoming more and more consumer-driven. That means that the more individually focused and authentic your communication can be, the better off your brand.
The stakes for customer service and brand engagement are higher than ever with the ability to interact with customers, clients, and fans being so easily accessible. The brands that thrive are the ones who are taking advantage of these opportunities and personally engaging with individuals.
These examples (and more) can be found here.
5) It’s harder than ever to be noticed. Because of all of this—the saturation of ads, the growing mistrust of businesses and the added platforms, data crunching, brand management, and customer service steps businesses must take—it takes a lot of work to simply be noticed. Fortunately, these changes have also made it easier to do that work: we can now serve ads to targeted audiences, use readily available data and numbers to see what works and what doesn’t with specific audiences, and even interact with individuals instantly, from anywhere. There’s a lot of information available about how to succeed, stand out, and advertise well in the ever-changing world of media & marketing, if you know what to do.
So, how can you adjust and succeed?
It’s because of these reasons that content marketing is incredibly important. In order to build legitimacy, it’s increasingly important to share content (not just try to sell products) that shows you’re invested in your potential customers, that you know what you’re talking about, and that you are an expert in your field. This will build trust with consumers, which makes them more likely to engage with, hire, and/or buy from you later on.
This new idea of content marketing is the motivation beyond corporate blogging (like the one you’re on right now), the new abundance of how-to videos and articles, and sponsored content on sites like Buzzfeed. Here’s an example of our own helpful content that we’ve promoted online:
Secondly, look into what it takes to get noticed in ways outside of your ads. For example, optimize your website for SEO to make it easier for users to find you via search; and make your Facebook posts as good (read: user- and Facebook-friendly) as possible for a better chance at being seen by more users.
Was this helpful? What strategies have you used to increase audience engagement and catch viewers’ attention online? Leave a comment and let us know — we’d love to hear from you!
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Amy Libka is CMG’s Crafter of Strategic Communication. Amy combines strategy and creativity to help clients communicate as effectively as possible. She is passionate about clear, effective communication, and enjoys crafting messages that help individuals and groups achieve their goals. She specializes in creating content and managing digital advertising campaigns for a diverse group of clients.