For the first time in decades, people aren’t paying very much attention to their televisions. The TV has been replaced by smartphones and tablets, and some people are replacing their cable subscriptions with Netflix and Hulu. If you’re only advertising on tv, magazines, and papers, then you’re already falling way behind as a business.
People are on social media all day. While psychologists say that it’s a problem, it is nonetheless a perfect way to advertise to them. On the toilet, train, breakfast table, bed, and even while driving, humans stare at their tiny screens scrolling through endless pages of media, cheap entertainment, and the distant adventures of their friends.
They’re looking for entertainment, and anything that sufficiently distracts them from the outside world, their boredom, and problems they’ll appreciate. If you can make a good social media commercial, people will not only enjoy it themselves, but they’ll share it with their friends and family. You can never go wrong with free advertisement.
Besides the simplicity and ease of spreading your brand, you’ll also be able to target specific demographics which means less money wasted putting your product in front of people who would never consider it in the first place. Almost all social media platforms allow you to choose exactly who you want to advertise to based on location, religion, interests, language spoken, and more. This allows for far more targeted advertisement than a television ad and is also far cheaper.
Grab Their Attention And Hold It
Social media commercials are a lot different than the traditional TV ads that you’re used to seeing. The first thing to understand is that your ads are going to be far more targeted. An advertisement that you see on football gameday is designed to be a broad-spectrum ad that appeals to men and women of all ages and demographics based on the singular shared interest of football.
Aside from large companies such as Intel, Apple, Windows, etc. most social media ads and commercials are specifically directed at smaller demographics. Men’s bodywash is directed towards males between the ages of 15 and 30, for example.
Advertising to smaller demographics not only allows you to be more creative, but requires it. If you want somebody to actually watch your advertisement, you’re going to need to create something that really grabs their attention and holds it. Always keep in mind that you are one thumb swipe away from people skipping by your commercial and moving onto the next one.
In an age defined by short attention spans and the demand for constant entertainment, we’re going to be talking about just how to accomplish this.
You know the reason why you never pay attention to those advertisements for new prescription drugs? It’s because they’re all the same. Some of them are quite literally exact copies of each other. They feature a person who feels under the weather, and how awful their life is. They start popping some pills and suddenly the sun comes out, they’re smiling, and riding bikes down the middle of the street at a relaxed pace.
The first time somebody saw one of these ads, they were probably interested. However, after decades of repeating the same commercials and themes, people simply don’t care anymore. They’ve seen it all before, and it does very little to grab their attention.
If you want to grab your viewers’ attention, then you have to be original. This can be accomplished many different ways. Some ads utilize unique camera lenses and angles, interesting locales, visually-shocking effects, hilarious scripts, or enticing stories.
Spend some time researching your target demographic, what they’re interested in, and what grabs their attention. Then take this knowledge and create a social media commercial that’s both original and attention-grabbing.
Tell A Story
One of the best ways to hold your viewers’ attention is to tell a story. This is where creativity and originality really come in. Often, you won’t be advertising your product until the very end. A great example of this is one of Apple’s most recent iPhone commercials. It shows two sisters who live together, go through everything together, and are trying their best to pay bills and live their best lives (sounds like the perfect target demographic). Throughout the commercial, the older sister is saving her tip money in an old jar, and at the end, she uses it to buy her younger sister a brand new iPhone, and now they’re even happier than they were before.
Sure, it’s a bit of a cheesy story, but people watch it, remember it, and pay attention to it. They created characters who are relatable and that viewers’ will appreciate. You don’t even know it’s an apple commercial until the very end when the sister purchases the iPhone. All you know is that you’re watching a heart-warming story of two sisters with an ideal sibling relationship, and then BAM- product placement.
If your story is memorable, then so is your brand.
People appreciate comedy today more than they ever have. With a constant stream of depressing news fed to us through our social media timelines, a good laugh and a ridiculous ad is sometimes all that it takes to give people a better outlook on life. Making your viewers laugh is a great way to ensure positive brand association, and get them interested in what you have to sell them.
A Note On Attention Spans
Finally, it’s worth noting that people’s attention spans are shorter now than they’ve ever been, and that with most forms of social media, they have the option to completely skip it. This means that you need to pay attention to the total length of your commercial. Chances are that if it’s longer than 1.5 to 2 minutes, people are going to stop it halfway through. Keep it simple and sweet.
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