In an age of seemingly endless distractions getting the attention of your audience can seem daunting.
The challenges faced are already being addressed by other industries and it occurred to me that we could learn a few things from the game of cricket.
Play the short game
Test cricket has historically been viewed as the pinnacle of the sport with momentum swinging back and forth over five days of action before the victor takes the spoils. It had held this reputation from the very first test match between Australia and England in 1877.
Today however things are very different with shorter, limited over forms of the game taking centre stage as people look for more immediate gratification.
That sounds pretty similar to marketing to customers. Instead of going hunting for the details themselves they’re looking for the answers in a more digestible format - and this is where social media can add real value.
On Twitter you’ve got just 140 characters to get your message across so you have to keep things clear and simple; distilling complicated concepts into just a few short sentences. Reducing the amount of space you have to express yourself throws up its own challenges in terms of how do you make yourself stand out.
An easy way of making the most of the space available to you is to make use of images to capture a user’s eye and draw them to your message. Another way to get their attention is to highlight a key statistic or quote with a link to where they can find out more should they wish to delve deeper.
Pick your shots
Swinging at everything that comes your way isn’t usually a recipe for success. Concentrate your efforts on the channels that your clients or potential clients use.
Similarly there’s no need to try and comment on every trend or topic or jump on every hashtag. You should instead focus on areas where you feel you have a viewpoint that adds real value to the conversation rather than repeating what others have said.
Night and day
Another innovation that the cricketing world has introduced to spice things up is the introduction of day/night tests. The first men’s day/night test cricket match was played in 2015 and more are planned for the coming years.
The lesson we can take from this is that sometimes the best way of making sure that somebody sees a message is simply to send it to them at a different time. There is no single best time to post on social media – it’ll depend on your audience but trying different times may deliver some surprising results.
Don’t just send messages during working hours. How often have you been on a train and realised everybody around you is staring at their phones? Try scheduling your posts for first thing in the morning or when your potential clients could be commuting home.
Of course adopting these new channels doesn’t take away from the value and richer experience of longer, more traditional formats.
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