Reach Your Audience in a Noisy World

On Facebook, 99 percent of people scroll past your ad without clicking. More than 90 percent of all content (blog posts, videos, webpages, etc.) gets no traffic from Google. And the average email has an open rate of 21 percent.

In other words, the vast majority of marketing gets ignored by the people it’s intended for.

That’s not very encouraging. And unfortunately, that reality has driven a lot of brands and marketers to adopt spammy practices over the years. If most marketing gets ignored, then you need to do more marketing, right? You need to put your message in front of as many people as possible, right?

Wrong. If you’re struggling to gain traction with your marketing, the answer isn’t to do more marketing. It’s to do better marketing. You don’t have to be everywhere to get your audience’s attention. You just have to show up in the right places in the right ways.

Here are three tips to help your marketing stand out.

Create meaningful content

Most organizations create content. (That’s why the Internet is so noisy.) But producing truly great content requires a significant investment—one that fewer organizations are willing to make.

I don’t mean optimizing click-baity headlines. I mean writing, recording, and publishing content that actually matters to your audience. Videos that inspire them, or help them solve real problems. Blog posts that thoroughly explore topics without dishing out sales pitches every 200 words. Emails that make them glad they subscribed to your list.

When you create meaningful content, you build an audience. That audience engages with your content, trusts your brand, and recommends you to other people who would benefit from the things you say and do.

Meaningful content cuts through the noise by being relevant, inspiring, helpful, informative, entertaining, or interesting. If you can’t use any of those adjectives to describe your content, you’re just adding to the noise.

Find more relevant spaces

You don’t read your Facebook newsfeed the same way you read a magazine. It’s a totally different type of experience, and you scroll through your feed with different expectations and desires than when you settle down to read something longer.

This is why where you interact with your audience matters.

Every website is creating a specific kind of experience. And people approach every medium (print, TV, Internet, radio) and genre (fiction, nonfiction, news) a little differently.

With some types of advertising, you don’t know what your ad will show up next to or what kind of experience your ad will contribute to. One of the major advantages of print advertising (and some types of banner advertising) is that you’re selecting your audience based on what they’re interested in, when they’re interested in it. This makes your ads more relevant, which helps them contribute to the experience and cut through the noise.

Reach influencers

We’ve talked before about how even if pastors aren’t your ideal audience, they can help you reach your ideal audience. Their position as spiritual leaders gives them influence over their congregation, elder board, and other ministry leaders.

When you reach influencers in your space, they become advocates for your brand. And that means when people ask those influencers about a problem you solve or an aspiration you address, they’re going to tell those people about you.

Cut through the noise

If you’re struggling to reach your audience, it might be time to try some new tactics. Maybe you need to spend more time thinking about what your audience really wants to read, watch, or hear. Maybe you need to reevaluate where you’re spending your advertising dollars. Or maybe you need to pour some energy into reaching the people who can influence your ideal audience.

Are you adding to the noise, or cutting through it?