Come all you digital marketing followers of fashion and think from a distance. What do I mean? I mean stop following, stop creating and accessing digital marketing campaigns in isolation.
So, there you are planning another merciless content campaign, throw in some PPC advertising and a few emails and bingo! What do you have? Something everyone else has and that’s not ‘atmosphere.’
When you connect all the avenues (channels) you have a whole. Events (campaigns) can work in isolation, but you are always working on them in sequence instead of seeing your audience as people who want to understand the benefits and be entertained.
Digital Marketing as a Performance
I trained in physical theatre & mime, did stand-up and done a fair amount of theatre work. Any performer will tell you that once the atmosphere is set, you have engagement and half your job / desire is done. Now you entertain.
Audiences and Segmentation
I go on about and I use segmentation to personalise approaches to the different people who make up the overall audience. This works. You match your categories of content to them and create content (information / entertainment) for each but what is more powerful? The segment approach or creating an atmosphere for an audience?
I don’t know…yet. But this hypothesis is worth pursuing for my clients because it makes them stand out in a holistic natural way.
Storytelling, Transmedia and the Senses
Tell me a story. I’m listening. Storytelling wins out over isolated narrative, over lists of benefits, over that influencer holding the product package upside down.
Transmedia is the telling of a story or better still a collection of stories over multiple digital platforms and using different formats. That’s powerful if you have the story idea and the ability to put that story across as a whole that comes together from different sources (channels).
How can you use the senses in a more intense manner? Combining senses with a story and you are on your way to creating an atmosphere using imagination.
Smell and Taste in Digital Marketing
How are you going to do that Jim? Invent a digital smelly-vision? Nope.
It might not always work. But if you set a scene:
‘Before they walked up the path to the cottage, she turned to him and said “My parents are vegetarians and keep four dogs. Please don’t mention the smell.” He nodded, accepting the scene he was about to enter.’
The same ‘trick’ can work with taste. In writing terms this is ‘Show not tell’ and relies on the audience using their imagination.
Atmosphere in Performance
This is something a team works towards in the theatre. Atmosphere leads to anticipation, which hooks the audience. Perhaps we could call this the theatre company’s backend development and User Experience.
The backend crew in theatre, will work on the set, the sound, costumes, props and lighting. In a dark auditorium this will be the foundation layer.
The performers, well, they have many elements at their disposal, how they move, how they speak, the use of ‘white space’ that is the leaving of ‘beats or short silences, sometimes called timing.
That’s just a few of the elements that make ‘atmosphere’ in performance.
How to Make Digital Marketing Atmosphere?
I’m not sure. I will experiment. I’ll start with this premise and a few elements I know will work.
- The Story
- The Audience
- The Imagery
- The Senses
- The Words
You have to have a story. I loathe the term ‘brand story’ it’s so cliched and misses the point of story over business. What is the story? What is the theme / vibe you’re going for?
The Audience, so we create persona or buying avatars, these can be addressed or they can become characters in the story.
The imagery, well, you need pictures. You need video. Once you have the story and theme then these, with the help of a designer and or video person, will take shape.
Involve the senses and you have it made.
Words, I love them. The ability to make people feel, to laugh is very dear to me. Writing well doesn’t come over night. Writing is about graft and trial and error.
You are the showrunner. You hold the flame. You are the one that is true to the story and the vision. You decide on what works and take the plaudits.
I’m looking forward to putting ‘atmosphere’ into play in a digital way. Digital marketing is about people and not just the tech.
And Really Finally
Don’t think about an orange. Don’t mention the orange to anyone. There is no orange.
What are you thinking about now?
Thank you to Rob Sayles
I met Rob for the first time and we had an involved chat and he used the word ‘atmosphere’ which made me think and hence this post. Thank you, Rob.
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