I am sure that you have heard the phrase, ‘content is king,’ hundreds of times. We all know how important it is for brands to find appropriate language and message for their communication. But, even if we tick all the boxes, sometimes content we put through to the target audience, don’t seem to be remembered and are certainly not shared with others. So what is the secret behind all these viral messages that people share every day; which people talk about, and the stories they follow?
According to scientists, an average human uses only 10% of their memory. At the same time, our brain uses over 20% of the overall energy we store, to function. Our brains work extremely hard when they are exposed to something new and as autopilot when we recall particular emotions or actions. These are facts. Viral content usually appeals somehow to our subconscious mind and makes information stick for longer. Communication agencies all over the world, including Polish ethnic agencies like us, work exceptionally hard on creating contagious content that attracts specific audiences and which also sticks in their memory. So, what is the difference between a simple PR message and a perfectly tailored, contagious one that sticks with your target market?
The answer is – to follow SUCCES formula of stickiness when crafting a brand communication strategy.
SUCCES formula stands for:
These 6 key factors have been proved to work almost every time, taking into account that your chosen agency knows the target audience very well and follows at least a few rules at the same time. Therefore, choosing the right communication agency is the key when tailoring effective communication with your target audience. That is why many companies hire ethnic agencies, including Polish ethnic marketing agencies such as All 4 Comms, to craft a bespoke strategy for their brand to attract the ethnic minority targeted in their marketing plan.
A simple message means that your target audience should catch on, almost instantly. Overcomplicated language, specific jargon, too long copy, too many statistics are a big NO, NO, in communication strategy. Also, scientists have proved that one message at a time is a simple recipe for success. The more points you make, the less likely your content will be remembered. If you try to share 10 points at the same time, statistically only 1 will be remembered in most cases. Another piece of advice is: to use analogy as a tool when creating content to make people understand your point better. Using comparison, for example, works wonders when it comes to communicating about a new product or service that is unknown to the public. The most important message here would be: find a core message, 1- 3 ideas that have the potential to stick. To be able to understand your audience, put yourself in their shoes and then simplify your message so that they are able to walk away with at least one thing in their mind, but wanting more.
Break the pattern; create a curiosity gap in your audience’s mind. By disrupting their expectations, you win over your audience with the element of surprise and information is then imbedded in their memory. In All 4 Comms, we are very often asked to use a traditional approach, based on the perceived Polish stereotype. That’s what mainstream agencies tend to do when it comes to targeting ethnic minorities. On the contrary, ethnic marketing agencies usually know best what is expected from their target communities. In All 4 Comms we often propose something that breaks the pattern to catch a target audience’s attention. For example, combining traditional Polish values with humour. Don’t forget – surprise gains attention – but real success is achieved by holding your audience’s attention.
Show, don’t tell! Crafting a brand message is pure art. The product or service we are trying to introduce should be easy to visualise. If you can see the message, you can also remember it. For example, which sentence would you visualise better: the glass that was shattered everywhere, or the property that was damaged? Recently, we ran a campaign for the healthcare industry. Because of our research and expertise, we knew that a simple message containing statistics and facts wouldn’t work with a Polish audience. So we dug deeper into our audience’s concerns and prepared visual statements from a credible medical specialist who had dedicated 40 years of her life to medical studies. Her input was invaluable and helped us to get more media attention, thus putting our client’s message over without using a traditional, medical approach; we were prepared to respond effectively with facts, not myths or assumptions, to our audience’s issues and concerns.
This is a very important bit….. The messages we create should be credible, but word of warning – statistics don’t usually work. Let’s get back to our healthcare campaign. We used tailored market research to gain knowledge about the Polish audience’s perceptions to prepare statements addressing their concerns from the most credible expert in the field, a well-known Polish scientist. To gain credibility beyond numbers, sometimes it is easier to use the comparison method. In practise, it can look like this: one glass of Coca – Cola has more calories than a breakfast of bacon and eggs with plain coffee or, the size of the population of Poles in the UK corresponds to the population of one of the biggest Polish cities – Krakow. One of the greatest strategies for gaining credibility is engaging the audience in experiencing the product/service themselves, instead of saying that something would work. Taking action and engaging the conscious mind into the process usually results in greater attention to the message and makes the idea stick in the memory.
Every story we create has the potential to appeal to an audience’s emotions. Making people care about something creates an opportunity for a brand to be remembered. Keep asking yourself: why do people need this product; why do they need its benefits; why do they want to accomplish that thing? Ask until you get to the core of your message to create emotional, tailored content that is easy to remember and meets your audience’s emotional needs.
The sense of creating stories is linked to our emotional response. If we get the sense of doing something, we are very likely to follow the narration, and get involved in the process of finding out how the story will finish. For example, did you follow the story in the Polish Christmas ad that was highlighted in media all over the world? The narration was very engaging. A typical Polish granddad was learning English in different places – in the bath, living room, on a bus – and we all wanted to find out: why he was doing it, what was the reason behind such dedication. The ending was unexpected and very surprising. He was preparing himself for a trip to the UK to meet his granddaughter for the very first time and he wanted to impress her with his English skills. How many of us can relate? How many immigrants live all around the world? How many of us met someone who speaks a different language? In almost every Polish household there is at least one person who has experienced emotions related to the immigration of a close family member, or friend, or even a neighbour. This beautiful ad story is highly contagious because it engages us at a highly charged emotional level, with its unexpected twist at the end related to the current situation among Poles. It is linked to the values of the brand – a Polish auctioning website that is perceived as borderless, practical, and responsive to any needs. The ad has established brand values, while sending a very contagious message to the world. The story has been a great success, watched over 13 million times on YouTube, alone.
Margaret A. Szwed