It’s a common adage that less is more; it may sound like a cliche but, it has a lot of relevance in the world of marketing. The average human memory can process only four pieces of information at any one time. So imagine what happens to someone when they are presented with reams of new information in one go. That’s right - brain overload.
We’ve all been there - massive amounts of information are overwhelming. And in today’s age of micro attention spans, a wall of text is likely to send your audience running for the nearest meme.
So cutting down your content is vital to keeping people interested, and this applies to all aspects of your marketing, from digital to print to presentation.
Why it’s hard
Presenting complex ideas succinctly is an art, and a difficult one to learn. When you know all the complicated ins and outs of your industry intimately, it’s tempting to share all that knowledge with the world (and show off how knowledgeable you are). But it’s taken years, maybe decades, for you to accumulate all that information.
It’s impossible to impart decades of wisdom to someone with no knowledge whatsoever all in one go. Rather than impressing them with your know-how, it will simply intimidate, confuse or bore the average person.
You may believe that the technical information about that product is important. And it is important - to you, to your product designers, and maybe to the odd passerby. But to most people, it is not important.
In order to connect with a lay audience, you need to understand what is important to them. Approach your product from the point of view of the consumer, rather than the maker, designer or owner. What they need to know in order to understand your product is very different from what you need to know.
Your instinct is to communicate every miniscule detail of your product to your audience, in case they find it interesting. But in order to keep your audience interested, you need to let that go.
What to do
There are a number of tricks you can use to make your marketing more digestible.
Be economical with your copy
The most obvious - but also the most difficult - is to be really disciplined with your copy. Only include what’s absolutely necessary. Go through it word by word and cut out all the fluff and waffle. If you can’t do this yourself, hire a good (and ruthless) editor.
Spare us the details
What you believe to be vital technical information is just noise to the average person. Never include this kind of content at the top level (e.g., on your home page). This is where you need to grab your audience’s attention and make an emotional connection.
Blogs and downloads are good places to go into more detail, after the reader has bought into your brand and chooses to learn more.
Use video or animation
People are infinitely more interested in moving pictures than they are static text these days. If you’ve got something complicated to say, and you absolutely have to say it, try using video or animation instead of writing an essay.
In the interests of practising what you preach, I’m going to end this article here. If you need help keeping your marketing short and sweet, contact us today.