assorted billboards

Every day, thousands of brands compete for our attention through online adverts, emails, sponsorships, billboards and flyers. So many of them are shouting for attention that it often feels like a lot of ‘noise’ – and many of us have learned to tune out this noise. 

However, every now and then, an advert or email is able to break through this noise. This is the type of marketing that you should be aiming for – the type of marketing that makes you stand out from the crowd. But just how do you achieve this? Beyond thinking outside the box (which there is no instruction manual for), there are many things you can do to help your marketing cut through the noise. Below are just a few great tips.

Build a distinct brand

Many companies fail to stand out because they don’t have a distinct brand. Quite often, they try to imitate other brands by using similar logos, brand names and color schemes. Instead, you should be trying to set yourself apart. Choose a brand name that sticks out, a unique color scheme and a unique logo and you are more likely to get noticed.

Your brand needs to not just be unique, but consistent. If your social media pages, adverts and website all use different color schemes, it can make your brand appear messy and less memorable. Develop a unique brand and stick with it. If you decide to rebrand, make sure that this is universal so that no remnants of your old brand are left behind. 

Use unique images

Are you relying on the same imagery as everyone else? By far the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to images is to use generic stock images that everyone has seen before. You are much better off paying for unique photos. The same goes for cartoons and graphs.

It’s important to not just create your own images, but to try to make the subject of the image original. Don’t try to replicate stock images using your own models – especially for adverts. Instead, try to be creative with images to make them get noticed. 

Grab people straight away

With many forms of marketing, you only have a second or two to make an impression. Try to provide consumers with the most important or the most interesting information right off the bat.

For example, online video adverts need a strong start so that they’re less likely to be scrolled past or skipped. Email subject lines should open with engaging words like ‘win’ or ‘new’ or contain emojis to help them stick out. Strong unique imagery as discussed above will also help your marketing to stand out.

Target consumers with precision

Many companies make the mistake of trying to market to too large an audience at once. You’re better off focusing on small groups of consumers so that you can tailor your adverts and emails to their unique desires and needs.

For example, if you own an optician clinic and are promoting eye tests, you could consider creating different ads for different age groups. This allows you to target younger people and older people in different ways rather than using a blanket approach. The likes of social media allow you to set age as a parameter when targeting ads. When it comes to posters or flyers, you may be able to simply target locations where people of a certain age are more likely to be found. 

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Know when to personalize to individuals 

Sometimes it’s worth customizing your marketing not just to focus on a specific group of people but to target specific individuals. A good example is sending out sales emails to specific people – using their name and any information you know about them could grab their interest more than a generic sales email (and is less likely to be filtered into spam).

Personalization can be important for encouraging return customers. Nowadays, it’s possible to record data on past customers and send out automated emails based on this data – which include discounts or freebies on their birthday, or promotions based on previous products they’ve bought. Remembering a customer’s name is another simple way to personalize your marketing. 

Be controversial

Controversy can get people talking and can be an effective marketing strategy. However, you need to be careful of not offending or alienating key demographics within your audience – which can be the tricky part. 

In most cases, it’s best to avoid religion or politics unless they are a key part of your brand and cause. Focus on more trivial controversy – an example could be a tea company debating whether to put the milk in first or not. Questions and polls that encourage controversial answers can be a clever way to engage people without making any controversial statements yourself. 

Share genuinely interesting facts

Many of us are hooked by an interesting fact. Consider using stats and studies in your marketing to grab people.

Make sure these facts are genuinely interesting and not the types of facts people may have already heard. Consider doing your own research – including your own surveys or studies – in order to share original facts. How you present these facts can have a big impact too. Infographics can be one reliably fun way to present a range of stats, which involve using graphs and diagrams. 

Stay authentic

Try to maintain integrity when it comes to your beliefs and tone of voice. You don’t want to come across as fake by failing to use slang properly or talking about subjects you know nothing about. You should also avoid stealing other companies’ marketing ideas and passing them off as your own.

All in all, try to stay authentic. If you notice yourself trying to mimic the pesona of other brands, stop. You’re more likely to connect to customers by being genuine.

Invest in inbound marketing

Many companies spend so much time trying to grab attention from new consumers that they neglect the consumers who are already showing interest. Inbound marketing is a strategy that involves appealing to consumers who are already intently searching for your company – and it can be just as important as outbound marketing.

SEO is probably the most essential inbound marketing strategy. By hiring an SEO agency, you can make sure that your company appears in search engine results when certain keywords are searched. Creating educational content that people are likely to be searching for can also be an effective inbound strategy. For example, if you run a dog grooming business, consider creating blog posts and videos to answer your customers’ questions such as ‘what to look for in a dog grooming business’ or ‘what does dog grooming involve?’. 

Focus on quality not quantity

Finally, it’s important to focus on quality and not quantity. Sending out one well-written promotional email per week to your mailing list subscribers is better than several hurriedly written promotional emails per week. The same goes for social media posts.

All in all, take your time when composing emails or creating adverts. Unless you’re sending out urgent information, there is no reason to rush your message. This will keep your marketing high quality and will earn you the leads you deserve. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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