Information overload is the one thing that all of us in media and communications can relate to. Given the evolving nature of the industry these days, we can’t just expect it to stop there though. Enter its successor – audience fatigue. Translation – it quite simply means the audience is getting tired. Tired of what exactly? Being overwhelmed by the plethora of options, being constantly bombarded with Tweets and Facebook postings, emails and the endless news cycles – we can’t seem to catch a break from the media any where we look.
Don’t blame yourself too much though. With unparalleled diversity, digression and the vast availability of choice, the audience retention rate is naturally harder to maintain.
And so it begins – an endless pursuit to capture (or re-capture) your audience and inherently, a higher probability of inducing audience fatigue. Here are some ways to stay clear of the danger zone.
Shake it up
Despite exciting and original ideas, we often are forced to follow a tried and tested formula. This could be due to a lack of budget, deadlines or insufficient resources. Whatever the case and as hard as it may be, you just have to inject a fresh dose of creativity and get yourself out of that darned rut. While you may want to offer a unified, thematic look in the portrayal of your company, it doesn’t have to mean monotony and dishing out the same things. Don’t be lazy – look at things from a different perspective, get as creative as you can and give yourself a facelift ever so often to stay relevant and enticing.
Spread it out
This is an extension of the previous point. Think about all the options available to you and work them to your advantage. Switch around and meddle with new formats and technologies to see which option provides the best fit. As much as it may seem daunting, strategize wisely and there’s nothing you should be afraid of. A new platform presents a new audience to possibly engage with. In addition, the more places the audience can find your message and you, the higher the chance of response and engagement!
Remembering not to forget
The importance of having an emotional connection with the audience has been emphasized upon more than enough, but we forget them sometimes in our rush to meet deadlines, targets, objectives, quotas and other “more important stuff”. Strike different chords with stories, illustrations, prose, or maybe even with music and motion graphics. Don’t be afraid to try new ways to keep the emotional engagement alive. With every media or communication plan set in place, take a step back and ask yourself if you’d be moved by what has been done. It is important to be honest; otherwise, you’d only be lying to yourself.
Hold up, wait a minute
However, admittedly sometimes taking a break is the best thing that can be done. This is especially true if your company is doing something with scheduled regularity, like a daily or weekly program. Sometimes, being under the radar actually generates buzz so don’t immediately disregard a break. Take time out to regenerate and when you do intend to make a comeback, have something eye popping and wonderful up your sleeves – titillate your audience with your reappearance and win them over once more. And perhaps this time, with more spontaneity and less structure and rigour because most times quality trumps quantity!
All in all, the most crucial thing to keep in mind is that when the audience wants to engage, they are less liable to feel the fatigue.
By Yasmin Md Basir, PR Associate @ Corporate Media Services