Tension, apprehension and confusion is permeating the world of digital marketing. Consumers have grown more ad-averse, privacy-conscious and careful with how they use their data, and marketers are being forced to rethink their strategies and how they deliver value and get their messages out at the same time.
The pursuit of privacy is reaching a crescendo. Consumer trust has eroded, and ad blockers have grown to fill the void for ad-skipping users. At the same time, algorithms are becoming more prevalent and getting smarter at surfacing content users want to consume—and cutting out what they want to avoid. They don’t need to go to it.
This confluence of privacy, ad avoidance and content curation that’s both user- and algorithm-driven leaves marketers with some serious issues to contend with.
Be Among the Curated
Consumers don’t care about what brands have to say on a day-to-day basis. It’s not relevant, and it’s certainly not interesting compared to the wealth of content available at any given moment (sorry…).
What marketers need is focus. Focus on the messages that matter most—the messages that deserve attention and must be communicated. That focus dictates resources and efforts to make the communication of those messages as meaningful as possible.
Fewer messages, venues people pay attention to and stronger execution are more impactful than more messages, commodity channels and mundane execution. You say less with the former, but the message resonates so much more.
It’s the messages with focus and investment that win the day. They’re the messages that get curated and make their way into feeds. But it’s not just the messages that matter. The messengers are critical as well.
Influencers are Key
There’s been a lot said about influencers. There are pros and cons tow working with them, but perhaps the biggest pro is these influencers are among the users’ curated content sources. They’ve already earned the right to be seen because they're interesting and trusted sources. Marketers can’t completely hand the reigns over to these tastemakers, but they should work with them when it’s critical for a message to get out there (which, when isn’t that the case?).
Influencers get around the curation. They aren’t blocked or avoided. They’re sought-after and trusted.
Fewer Messages and Better Channels
Consumers are in ad-avoidance and data lockdown mode, which should, in turn, put marketers in targeted messaging and high-impact channel mode. Social channels and digital marketing have put marketers in a mode of ongoing communication through channels like display and organic social feeds. That content is quickly being hidden by algorithms and ad-blocking technology. While they won’t completely go away, marketers do need to shift their focus to communicating less often through more selective and high-impact channels.