Using online marketing to engage audiences

We live and work in a world where digital marketing opportunities are constantly emerging. New trends continue to dominate the marketing communications agenda. So, how can these opportunities be maximised using online marketing to engage audiences?

Let’s start by looking at a typical day in the life of marketers who are trying to get their messages heard and make an impact…

Marketing on the move

As consumers, throughout the day, we’re presented with e-commerce on the go, multi-channel entertainment and media, geolocation technology, digital out-of-home advertising and in-store promotions, not to mention social media and influencer marketing. We’ll start our days reviewing, liking and sharing various newsfeeds before checking on our Whatsapp groups, and then we’ll leave the house. Meetings are arranged and take place remotely. Lunch is consumed on the run whilst absorbing more social content, using it to research everything from new shoes to next year’s holiday. A podcast will provide entertainment during the homeward-bound commute.

Engaging with audiences

So, creating consistent, engaging digital content that connects with your audience on different levels is essential to helping your organisation cut through the noise of others. What’s more, this content needs to be authentic and transparent. For example, people are savvy and recognise when social media posts are paid-for content.

Of course, there isn’t one-size-fits-all, and it is important to remember that different audiences react differently. Younger audiences have a reputation for having shorter attention spans. They may quickly identify content that interests them—scrolling past a video if it doesn’t catch their attention instantly, yet spending an hour listening to a podcast if it engages them.

Making a visual impact

Visually, the design of your content is as important as the content itself. For example, animations can be developed in a style that complements your messaging and resonates with your audience. In a project we worked on for The University of London Venues, we created animation and a range of social media assets to promote their sustainable event spaces. We used a cut-out photomontage style, using a bee to take the viewer on a journey highlighting the venue’s sustainable practices, such as using solar panels to create electricity, recycling, improving biodiversity – and keeping bees!

Senate House with lights on in Sustainability animation

In another project, we created films for Liverpool Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) designed to initiate conversations during mental health training with professionals—social workers, teachers, etc. Scripted by mental health professionals after in-depth consultation with young people who have faced the problems depicted, the young people voiced the animations to add to the authentic feel. The animations are now a hugely effective marketing tool used to open discussions and describe the mental health problems young people experience.

Angry child questioned about her uncle in kinship children animation

So, getting your message across isn’t necessarily about the technology available. It’s about identifying who your audience is and creating the right content to be shared via these multiple channels.