One of the first questions that businesses raise when when putting together a marketing strategy is how frequently they should communicate with their customers and prospects.
Too many updates, and they run the risk of irritating and alienating their desired audience; too few, and they risk leaving them feeling neglected, or ultimately distracted by other people's messages.
On the former risk, it's easy to see why people are turned off by brands and businesses that talk at them too much. Since the birth of the internet — and the development of broadband, and the explosion of mobile devices — we already all feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information.
How often do you find yourself scrolling through your emails and asking yourself: "When on earth did I subscribe to all this rubbish? And why?" So much of what describes itself as marketing is really the digital equivalent of junk mail, spam, and hard-sell.
Mary Meeker's annual internet trends report offers up a treasure trove of information about digital media and advertising; and this year, reported increasing signs of digital exhaustion amongst the general public.
People are switching off social media, seeking to spend less time online, and are increasingly concerned about the threats posed by spam, privacy invasion, and data tracking. Why would you, as a small business, want to add to this deluge of dodgy undifferentiated data?
The answer to that question is not so much in the frequency of your marketing and communication, but in the quality of the content. Too many firms think like marketers when they should be thinking like publishers. What does the audience want and when does it want it?
Not so long ago, newspapers were delivered to our homes each day. We would grow accustomed to that reassuring thud of the paper on the front porch, as a part of our morning routine. When the paper didn't appear is when we felt agitated.
Newspapers survived for so long as an information medium because they curated the world for us each day in a neat and self-contained format. We felt relatively confident in the quality of the information they imparted, and they arrived like clockwork.
Contrast with today when information is coming at us from a million different directions, 24/7. Much of it is unreliable or unmediated. Much of it is completely irrelevant to us. Much of it is trying to sell us something that we're never likely to want.
But think of what makes a successful business. A successful business understands who its market is, understands what that market needs, and seeks to make their lives easier in some way.
So, the key to good marketing in a world of information overload is not to market at all (or, at least, not in the traditional sense). The key is to provide compelling content to carefully targeted markets in a reliable and regular way that engages them and makes them want to tell others.
Think of yourself as a 1960s newspaper editor who knows their audience. They want the big political news on the front page, the community news in the middle and the weather and sport at the back. They're busy people, so they want you to get the point. And once you've delivered the message, they feel like they don't have to look anywhere else for the information.
What sells it is the feeling that the information is useful, self-contained, reliable, and regularly delivered. Eventually, your clients and prospects will make your regular communication part of their own daily or weekly habit.
Call it curation. Call it creation. Call it publishing. Just don't call it marketing.
If you're interested in learning more about how we can help you to develop persuasive, engaging video content for your business, why not get in touch?