The art of IMMEDIACY

Art taps into human emotion & experiences through creative language, powerful visuals and original ideas.

Content for marketing purposes needs to do this too, but needs also to drive the audience to ‘act’.. to click, to purchase, to download.. etc. The content marketer therefore, needs to have a really good handle on what will ‘move’ the individuals that make up their target audience.

Moving people to the point where they will ‘act’ isn’t easy, but knowing the vast majority of decisions made are on some level emotional, it’s clear that the role of content is to evoke a reaction. If it doesn’t do that, it falls at the first hurdle.

People are discerning. They spend their lives consuming, rejecting or ignoring content. Content comes in many forms and is literally everywhere. People have had to become evermore adept at ‘scanning’ and making instantaneous decisions about whether content is of interest to them.

The platforms on which people now consume content provide unlimited choice, and marketers need to fight ever hard for the attention of their audience.

Therefore expert marketers are becoming masters of the art of immediacy.

Immediacy is often defined as ‘the quality of bringing one into direct and instant involvement with something, giving rise to a sense of urgency or excitement’.

So how do you do it? Well the key is in knowing you usually have between 0.1 and 4 seconds before your audience rejects your content and moves on.

Arguably however, that’s all you really need. Within 4 seconds, you can shock, surprise, inspire, inform, question, entertain, tempt, titilate, anger or even melt your audience.

In practice, doing this in under 4 seconds requires creativity and good execution. The brief becomes: What can you create that will be read or watched in under 4 seconds which induces a sense of urgency or excitement within your target audience?

Of course once you succeed in this crucial step and you genuinely have your audience’s attention, you can hopefully go on to inform, educate, entertain, inspire…. all the way to the point where your audience acts/clicks/converts/submits/follows/shares… etc.

This digital user journey simply doesn't begin unless you have audience attention in the first place.

How you do this depends on your channel and application. For email marketing it begins with the subject line. For paid Facebook video ads, it's in the first 4 seconds of the edit. For YouTube it's in the design of the thumbnail. For search it's the words and images embedded in the meta-data. And so on.

Knowing what is effective on each channel is as important as the design and copywriting skills needed to deliver this sense of immediacy.

by Dave Brewis, TEN80

Posted on Dec 12, 2019


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