If you want to achieve business success, complexity is your deadly enemy.
You could have a complicated product with a galaxy of features, or you might be a world-leading expert with a head jammed full of knowledge. None of that matters if you can’t communicate your message simply, clearly and in a way that relates to customers.
Despite this, businesses often make the mistake of confusing potential customers. Instead of engaging them, they alienate them. But how can this be avoided? Here are some ways to craft streamlined, simple marketing campaigns that will engage your target demographic without turning them off.
Start With Your Value Proposition
If you are selling something, customers want to know the value of your products and they want to know this straight away. In your copy or product descriptions, be very clear about what your products or services do and how they can add value to the lives of people who buy them.
Lead customers through the benefits of using your products, so that they can see themselves consuming them. If your language can relate to customers’ everyday lives in a way that creates that kind of image in their minds, you are half way to a sale.
Target Key Marketing Segments With Clear Messages
Sometimes, complexity arises because companies try to communicate too many messages at one time. They might talk about the taste of a beverage, along with its youthful image, its sweetness, refreshing qualities, environmental sustainability or healthy ingredients – all in one advert.
This can sometimes work well, but it’s far better to target your ads as specific groups. Seniors might drink Coca-Cola, but they won’t drink it to provide the energy for playing sports. Similarly, if you are marketing wine, your pitch may well differ between college students and middle aged couples.
Most online advertising channels feature targeting tools. Facebook is a great example, allowing advertisers to focus on data like age, location, marital status, education, income – all vital metrics. Use them to target potential customers and deliver a simple message based around who they are and why they might need your products.
Do You Need So Many Social Media Channels?
With so many social media platforms around, it’s tempting to use them all at once. However, if you aren’t prepared to manage multiple accounts in a professional manner, this can lead to chaos. Before too long, your brand identity and marketing focus can be lost as your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram content diverges.
Think about simplifying your social media profile and focusing on what actually works. Most of the time, quality trumps quantity, so try to create smaller amounts of highly relevant, unique content on platforms that your customers use.
A great example is the way that restaurants use Pinterest. As a social media platform, Pinterest is ideally suited to posting images of gourmet food and showing off cooking techniques. Food lovers use it to find out what’s hot in their area, much more so than Twitter.
Try to find out how your audience uses social media. It may well be that you are wasting time and money on Facebook or Twitter, when Instagram is all you need.
Don’t Make Your Website Too Complex
Your company website is the hub of your marketing campaign. It’s where you promote your identity and products to the world. All of your Facebook ads, blog postings and Tweets should lead to landing pages that allow users to engage or make a purchase.
However, many businesses go overboard with their websites and cram too much content into their pages. In a way, that’s understandable. If you are proud of your products, you want to show them off. But there are right ways and wrong ways to do so.
Generally, a minimalist approach to website design pays off. If people come to your website from a voucher for pizza, don’t bombard them with offers on pasta. If they want printer cartridges, don’t list a whole range of graphics cards or wireless mice.
Limit your content to buttons and forms that actually have value for visitors. Try to draw their attention to payment pages by cutting out the background noise and leaving them with nothing else to be distracted by.
Keep Your E-Mail Marketing Simple
The same applies to e-mail marketing. All too often, companies manage to entice users to engage by signing up for regular newsletters. They send out their newsletters and expect pay-back in the form of conversions, but nothing materializes. Why? Because the content of the newsletter was all wrong.
Always keep newsletters to the point, relatively short and full of value. Include a clear table of contents so users can navigate to relevant sections and don’t add long sections of text. If you link to blog postings, add a summary, but don’t post the whole thing.
Include exclusive offers as well, and make sure that the reader knows that they are for newsletter subscribers only. Place them at the top of the document so that readers don’t need to hunt for them. Keep your title short as well. Something as stripped down as “Dave’s Newsletter: Exclusive Offers and News from The Store” will do just fine.
Always Keep Simplicity In Mind
Complexity is your enemy, and simplicity is your friend. Always tell yourself this. Whenever you write a blog, whenever you post an ad or design a landing page. If something occurs to you while you are working and you feel that you “might” need it, think again. You probably don’t, or you would have thought of it before.
Simplicity is a learned behavior. There’s nothing natural about it, but by following these ideas and always guarding against unnecessary complexity you can make your marketing material as clear and engaging as possible.