Simplicity

The challenge of marketing is to find the power in simplicity.  In our always-evolving digital world, marketers feel pressure to pioneer every new technology, product, or ‘next big thing’, causing strategies to become more and more complex. Brands are often getting buried in digital clutter, losing sight of simple Marketing 101 — It’s time we find that simplicity again.

So, where do we start? Our message.

We’re surrounded by hundreds of obvious and covert messages daily. These messages are popping up natively as we scroll through mobile news headlines during our morning Starbucks run. They’re appearing when we’re skipping through Spotify playlists during a quick yoga session. And, they’re following us as we’re anxiously Googling train times while navigating crowded city streets on the evening commute.

With digital consumption now a way of life, we’ve trained ourselves to scan content and, within a matter of seconds, determine whether to engage, ‘like’, avoid, or delete. Your message defines your digital content. And, if that content doesn’t quickly answer, “What’s the point?”, then at the touch of a screen, we’re on to the next.

Here are a few considerations when simplifying messages for content to be better noticed, consumed and remembered:

Lead with your ‘wow’ factor

The digital era has become better known as the ‘skim era’. We’re in sensory overload, and we’ve lost focus. Consider this: 24% of people unsubscribe to email and 21% unfollow on social media because of ”repetitive and boring” content. You have a limited window of time for your message to catch the interest of your audience. Capture attention early.  Be provocative or surprising to stand out above the clutter.

Trim the fat

By 2017, it’s estimated that more than 63% of consumers will consume content on mobile. Smaller screens are effectively forcing us to condense our messages in order to be seen without scrolling. What if I asked you to tell me your message in 10 seconds, or less? You’d be amazed how difficult it is. Emphasize the copy that you definitely need and confidently cut the rest.

Visually transform it

By nature, visual messages are easier to digest and more memorable. In fact, 30% of our brains are actively engaged in processing visual information. Creating a visual journey pushes us to hone in on the point we’re trying to get across, organically simplifying the message.  Take extra care to ensure your visuals are underscoring the written word.  Be consistent to the point where you are internally bored with the lack of variation in the story and theme!

Work within a framework

Any product or new solution area needs a creative platform.   This platform sets the tone and provides the foundation for telling your story in a way that is differentiating, consistent and memorable.   If boiled down to one sentence, what is the story?    You can see a powerful example of this in our US political campaigns.  Every man, women and child in America could likely recite the campaign message of the two U.S. Presidential candidates!

Embrace feedback

Create an arsenal of trusted sources to bounce your message off of—marketers, and non-marketers alike. Fully understand how the content is being received and perceived, then pivot to get the result you’re looking for.  Good digital work is in a constant state of testing and optimization.

Refining your message is at the heart of simplifying your digital strategy.  Next time you’re crafting a campaign, ask yourself: “What’s the ultimate story I’m telling?,” and “Have I differentiated it enough to be memorable?”

This post originally appeared on Digital Age of Marketing.