Attention recession. Digital fatigue. Social media obsession. We’ve heard the stories and seen the statistics. The truth is multi-tasking has become the norm, with everyone in an accelerated pace in every aspect of their lives — from the screens and platforms they engage with to attention split among work, family, and social life.
A recent study
from Team Lewis and GWI revealed that 27% and 23% of global consumers worry about the how much time they spend on their smartphones and on social media respectively. But screen time isn’t the only concern they have — only 22% believe social media is good for society and 41% are declining cookies to maintain control of their personal information.
The same study also showed that UK and US consumers want marketing to be informational, educational, and practical, indicating a potential sense of impatience or desire to separate marketing content from content meant for personal consumption.
The uncertainty and instability of the last few years has triggered a new movement of common humanity, with consumers’ expectations for brands to do better for their communities, societies, and environment.
All this has led to a culture of self-regulation, marketing immunity, and a newfound consciousness. The way brands can overcome these challenges is to break monotony, be sensitive to mood, and understand what motivates their audiences.
How monotony, mood and motivators influence audiences today
Audiences today are spoiled for choice. It also doesn’t help that they hold greater autonomy over how, where, what, and when they consume. If you’re trying to get their attention, repetition and routine simply won’t work. A good dose of creativity is essential. It’s important to do away with the idea that creativity can only come from naturally creative minds. In truth, it’s a practiced skill — a muscle that you can train and build up. It’s all about arming yourself with the right data points and giving yourself the permission to begin thinking without boundaries.
With the pandemic putting the whole world in flux, it’s completely understandable that audience emotions may be in a delicate state. And since we know that how an audience feels when they interact with a brand greatly affects the decisions they make, it’s important that brands take extra effort to ensure they meet consumers in their mood. Relatability and timing are two considerations to take to ensure content fits the current state of the minds and emotions of your audience.
It’s human nature to look for common ground with others, those that share similar qualities or views that reflect our identity. The digital world has given a platform for online communities and fringe cultures to thrive, with many using their collective voices to stand up for causes and advocate for change. Finding out what motivates audiences today is an important way for brands to build connections on a deeper level.
Ways to create scroll-stopping content
Technology has opened new outlets for creativity. Emerging areas like AR and VR can help brands break away from the status quo and help merge the digital world with the real one. Now is the time for brands to relinquish control and democratise creativity. There are lots that brands can learn from creative communities and creators who have the edge when it comes to influence, credibility and authenticity.
Keep tabs on mood
Audiences are keen to give their eyes a break from the screen. By creating auditory experiences through sonic branding, marketers can create more visceral engagements for the consumer and help brands that are looking to build strong touch points in less expected spaces. Consumers today want less fluff, more ‘real.’ Survey data from GWI
Core Q2 2021 shows that the top-ranking brand traits are ‘reliable’, ‘authentic’ and ‘innovative.’ So instead of trying to find ways to be trendy and funny, stick to delivering your underlying key message and benefits.
Learn and understand motivators
Globally, consumers are sceptical about social media’s role in society. Whether it’s cyberbullying, body image or doxing, think about how your content can make a positive difference on social platforms. There is demand for brands to be eco-friendly, socially responsible and show support for local communities. It is crucial for brands to actively communicate their ESG goals and provide an avenue for two-way communication. Brands should also explore ways for content to empower socially conscious audiences to take action on what matters to them.
The foundations of good content marketing
With all these insights, the basics of good content marketing remain the same.
Storytelling still matters
The truth is, humans love stories. Data shows how communications with storytelling are 35% more persuasive than those without. Stories can excite, intrigue, inform, and entertain us so we should adopt a storytelling mindset in the way we create our content to build more mental touch points with audiences. It’s also a great way to enhance brand recall.
Consistency, not repetition
Let’s face it, audiences today are beyond overwhelmed by content. Instead of adopting a rinse-and-repeat content strategy, keep the messaging and style consistent, but find more creative ways to communicate your message.
Exploration and experimentation
Consumers’ preferences and behaviours are always evolving and so are technologies and marketing channels. Brands should embrace the new and maintain a sense of curiosity. This applies not just for content, but broader marketing strategies.
To discover more insights on the audience of tomorrow, download a complimentary copy of Team Lewis and GWI’s Multi-Moment Audience study here