Information is everywhere, but only a small proportion of it has any effect on your target audience. Would you like to excite, educate, and engage your customers with information?
Last-century advertising, boring PowerPoint presentations, and dull websites won’t energize or inspire your audience. Making the right people aware and getting them interested enough to take action is harder every day. However, there are proven methods of delivering your message in a way that intrigues and creates a buzz.
Plan your communication
A key question when planning communication is what kind of information will create the desired effect in your audience. There are four scenarios, based on the newness of the thing you’re communicating about (“the idea”) and your audience’s familiarity with you and your offering.
Scenario 1: Existing idea, familiar audience
- The audience wants reassurance that they’ve made the right choice and that it’s still valid.
- You should communicate the growth in the popularity of the idea and demonstrate new ways of getting value from the original idea.
Scenario 2: Existing idea, unfamiliar audience
- The audience wants to understand if the idea applies to their situation.
- You should communicate how the audience’s situation is similar to that of the existing users or customers and how they got value from it.
Scenario 3: New idea, familiar audience
- The audience wants to understand the idea and whether it’s worth changing their behavior or making the investment it requires.
- You should educate the audience, and once they’ve adopted the idea you should create a vision of the future and show them that you know how to make the change successfully.
Scenario 4: New idea, unfamiliar audience
- The audience wants to know if you are the authority to trust, what the idea is all about, and if it is valuable for them.
- You should first demonstrate that you know your audience’s business and that you are trustworthy; then you can educate them and show them the path to success.
The most effective way to persuade people is to meet them face-to-face, and deliver your message in a way that touches their hearts. Great presenters don’t necessarily need any props at all. They have created a great storyline with interesting content, and deliver it using verbal and non-verbal communication. If you are able to do this, you are way ahead of most of the competition.
Even great presenters can benefit from informational aids. Steve Jobs and Al Gore are famous for combining masterful spoken presentations with superb visuals. TED conferences are another example of exciting the audience with information. Successful presentations foster feelings that lead to a change in beliefs and behavior.
Use digital media
Most of the time, you are not able to speak to your audience face-to-face. You have to rely on digital or physical media to deliver your message. To do this effectively, you need to know how to create value for the recipients and you at the same time.
In the digital world you have a plethora of choices for conveying your message. To reach your audience, you can use social media outlets, traditional media, or email. Search engines must be an essential part of your strategy if you want to expand your reach. Special interest groups, like associations, offer access to a very targeted audience.
When you plan your online communication, remember that mobile devices are the dominant channel for internet access. According to a study by comScore from January 2017, mobile devices dominate in total minutes spent online: USA 71%, Canada 62%, UK 61%, China 71%, and so on.
You should use a combination of channels to reach your audience. For example, you can have a presentation on your website, but use social media to create a buzz linked to the presentation. Here are some communication formats you can use
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- Digital prototypes
- E-books and magazines
- Explainer videos
- Infographics (visual presentations of information and data)
- Interactive online or mobile presentations
- Mobile apps
- Online or email courses
- SlideShare presentations