How To Conquer The Endless Scroll
In today’s culture, people have a SHORT attention span. On social media, this especially rings true. It used to be that people were forced to watch your TV commercial, people were stuck listening to your radio ad (yes, I realize it was possible to change the channel, but there was a good chance they were sticking around)... but in the social media world we live in now, people will scroll right past your ad if you don’t give them a reason to stay.
Think about your own behavior on social media. You scroll, you scroll, and you stop. Why? Because something caught your attention. And that’s the challenge for us marketers. You have roughly 3 seconds to get someone to stop and watch your content. Your story MUST be powerful enough to stop someone in 3 seconds. Yes, one... two... three... that’s all you have.
We live in a world with a seemingly infinite amount of media. It used to be you’d sit down at a specific time of day, watch your favorite show on one of three channels accessible to you, and that was it. Today, you have an infinite amount of choices on an unlimited amount of outlets, all accessible on your own time. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I have Netflix playing in the background. I don’t think there are enough minutes in my lifetime to consume every piece of content that is available just on Netflix. Throw in Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Facebook, and any other platform you can think of... the possibilities are endless. We are now, as consumers and marketers, accustomed to having everything completely on demand and it’s time we recognize that.
So why did I take the time to talk about all the media that exists today? Because in the world we live in, if your content is not good enough to make someone stop what they are doing and create a response, YOU WILL LOSE. No, I’m not trying to be dramatic (yes I realize I used bold capital letters), I absolutely mean it. Whether that’s an action or an emotion, the true test of storytelling is how you feel or what you do after you consume it.
What is storytelling?
One of the most important things we do at Porter Pro Media is tell stories.
Every video, every picture, every post, every ad... there’s a story to tell.
That is our job. And I, in my biased opinion, think we do a heck of a job at doing it!
Storytelling is how you make an impact on your audience. It’s how the audience relates to your brand. It’s what stops them in the middle of their mindless scroll. It’s what leaves an impact. But most people aren’t effective with storytelling– especially when advertising on social media. Why? Let’s dive into it.
Despite the constant gripes from your parents that “social media is a waste of time”, social media is going nowhere anytime soon. As a business, it’s one of the most effective platforms for you to truly connect with your audience. But in order to connect, you must become a storyteller.
Imagine you are sitting down telling a story to your close friends. Now imagine you are on a park bench with a couple of strangers telling the same story. Your story will probably sound a little different with the change of audience, right? Your presentation changes with the setting you’re in and the context in which it lives.
The same goes for the story you tell. You need to understand your setting, the setup, and delivery of that story in order to evoke emotion. Because those strangers on the park bench probably won’t respond the same way as your close friends if your delivery is the exact same.
To tell a great story, the number one thing you need to do is
You don’t need a Hollywood budget to tell your story. What you need is to understand your audience, understand your platform, understand the behavior of your audience on said platform, and how to tell your story in an evoking manner.
At Porter Pro Media, we are all about sales. We tell a story that not only evokes emotion, but turns your audience into a customer. So many businesses are wasting money on content that doesn’t convert. They don’t understand their audience, they don’t understand the platform, and they are surely not evoking any emotion. There’s no reason you or your business shouldn’t be telling your story in a way that makes sense and resonates with people around the world.
Your story you were telling 15 years ago is quite possibly the same story you are telling today. But behavior is different, attention spans are short, and the room in which you are telling your story surely has changed. Therefore, you need to be telling your story with different tools and in a different manner.
You should be posting valuable content on a regular basis. YouTube videos, Instagram stories, photos, tweets– the possibilities are endless.
You shouldn’t fear putting yourself out there. Show the world what is going on behind the curtains. Show people what makes you unique, tell your story. Through existing social platforms, you are able to reach hundreds of millions or billions of people every day. Social media is the modern platform for storytelling. It’s where people live, and it’s where people consume their media.
Be aware of how media consumption has changed over the years. With the change, there are now so many opportunities for you to tell your story. It used to be that you would have to have a large budget and a huge crew to tell your story, that’s just not the case anymore. People watch movies every day on their phone (think Instagram stories and YouTube... yes, those are movies). You don’t need to rely on just banner ads, billboards, or $2 million dollar commercials.
We believe every form of advertising has its place. What we are saying is– attention has changed. Tools have change. And the mediums in which we tell stories has changed and will continue do so. And you should be aware of these changes.
Every social platform is unique. You need to understand the difference between YouTube and Facebook. The difference between Twitter and Instagram. The difference between Snapchat and Pinterest. They are all social platforms, but audience behavior is different on each platform. If you don’t understand the differences, you will lose.
We are living through a major culture shift and the only thing we should care about is where the attention actually is. Stop focusing on awareness and start focusing on emotional attention. Is your content bringing value? It’s not about advertising, it’s about bringing value.
If you don’t figure out the art and the science of how to tell a story on these different platforms, you will lose.
Learn to tell your story to your audience, change your voice depending on the room you are in, and evoke emotion. By doing so, you will see a huge shift in your social media marketing. Don’t use all the same content on all social platforms. Because even though you are telling the same type of story, the room you tell that story in should dictate the way you tell that story.
Happy advertising, friends!