At HoneyKome, our heartbeat is digital. Digital is at the core of everything we do and always has been. It’s not new to us, and we’re passionate about it. While strong messaging, well-thought-out strategy and sound consumer insights are important to any communication, Digital or not, there are some principles which apply differently in Digital than they would in “traditional” media.
A strong example of this lies in the fact that in Digital – unlike, say, billboards or radio ads – consumers can (and often will) simply and easily turn your communication off if it becomes invasive or insincere. Sure, someone could turn the radio down or off if an ad comes on, but most likely, they’ll just wait it out. They certainly won’t close their eyes on the freeway to avoid seeing a street-pole ad.
In Digital (and especially, Social Media), however, almost everything is an “opt in/opt out” channel. You need to be voluntarily followed or liked, and can just as easily be unfollowed or “unliked”. Constant punting of product details, generic branding, or retail specials will almost certainly have this effect sooner than later.
So, how to keep the channel open on the audience side? Well, start by speaking to – and about – the lifestyle that your brand and your audience have in common. From lightbulbs to lawnmowers, there’s a lifestyle and an emotive connection behind every brand’s purpose. The trick is to find it, tap into it, and start a conversation around it. If you’re talking (not “to” but “with”) your consumers about a passion you have in common, they’ll be more than happy for you to occasionally let them know about your latest product or 25%-off special. The key is understanding your brand’s human personality… and then giving more than you take.
American social-media expert Gary Vaynerchuck has written a good book on a similar principle. It’s called “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. It’s worth a read, but essentially, the principle is fairly simple and resonates with what we at HoneyKome have practiced for years… in every four pieces of communication, three should add value and/or entertainment to your audience, so that the fourth can push your business agenda without pushing the audience’s boundaries of tolerance.
Remember; in the Digisphere, you need flowers if you’re going to attract bees.
By Gordon Laws,
Executive Creative Strategist, HoneyKome