Every campaign or content direction needs a brainstorm, a solid number of hours and sometimes days to be able to explore, interpret, understand, articulate and then express what we observe. We lock ourselves in a room and eventually find ourselves staring at a conclusion – the perfect payoff line and the ultimate hashtag.
Many hours go into being able to eloquently articulate and justify our strategies, but we sometimes find ourselves explaining the intricacies of our work to our audiences instead of letting our work speak for itself.
On social media, this is what you experience when you see a campaign packed to the rafters with the language of creatives and art directors. It isn’t at all that the content or execution is untrue, but rather that it isn’t in the words of the audience it’s meant to move. Sometimes we see this in copy and very often in images that are starkly unrepresentative of the target audience.
Sometimes we feel compelled to express the nuances of our strategy by chronicling them extensively in our execution, but lose sight of the responsibility we have to edit our thinking down to the absolute best to convey our message.
At one end of the spectrum, we find campaign messaging that gets lost in creative wordsmithing, but at the other end, we find messaging explained so thoroughly that it ends up feeling condescending.
As marketers, should we be confusing our audience with whirlwind poetry cooked up on a bean bag, or explaining what our audience already knows and talks about?
If not, how do we say what we need to in the right words?
Understanding your consumer is something that cannot be done from the outside looking in. You need to live, breathe and intimately experience the life of your audience in order to know exactly what you should be saying as well as how you should be saying it.
Social media is varied enough to accommodate rhetoric about almost anything, and listening to the conversations taking place about a topic won’t just help you understand how to express your positioning as a brand, but also what terms you should say it in.
Your copy may be spectacular, but the impact and impression that an effective image has on the viewer is far more crucial. Don’t just consider the image you’re using, but how to use copy that tells a story in addition to your creative. Most importantly, though, consider whether the image you’re choosing to use resonates with your consumer.
Keep it simple
There’s no need to spell out what your audience already knows. In an age where a meme or GIF can more effectively convey a response, you certainly don’t need to talk around your idea or proposition unless you’re setting the scene.
Lastly, think about those hours or days that you spent reaching that final profound conclusion and then think of a way to say it in 10 words or less.
Remember, if you need to spell it out, it probably needs to make more sense for your audience.
Atiyya Karodia (@TheAttaMonster) is social media manager at NATIVE
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.