A 4-Step Plan for Cutting Through the Content Clutter

April 23, 2013

The signal-to-noise ratio in the media world is low and getting lower. There’s essentially no barrier to entry for publishing online content. Get a smartphone and you’re in.

You’re powerless to dial down the noise. However, it is conceivable you can cut through the clutter. But you don’t do it with power. Or volume. Or even big bucks. You do it by honing your listening skills, sharpening your focus and developing trust.

So refrain from immediately hitting the play button – again and again. Pause. Hear me out here. Here are four strategies for actually being heard:

1. Identify the questions.

I have a three-word definition for effective content: proactively answering questions. Why is this effective? Because you are then useful—and valuable—to the people seeking answers. The practice of gathering these questions is called “listening” and I suggest you accelerate this process by doing it online—utilizing some or all of the tools I list in this Want to Make Noise or Be Heard SlideShare presentation:

2. Gather contacts.

If ever there was a trick for cutting through the clutter, it’s called permission marketing or publishing—gathering a following that actively wants your content. In the new world of narrowcasting (not broadcasting), effective publishers speak expressly to those who want to hear what you have to say. If you want your message to really be heard by the right audience, ask for permission to deliver your content via email or a subscription-based feed.

3. Publish the answers.

Welcome to today’s world where we buck old-school advertising tactics. You don’t preach, you teach. And you don’t sell. You advise.  When you get permission into someone’s inbox, be a cordial netizen and concentrate on delivering helpful advice. Everyone wants to be smarter, so do what you’re able to do to increase your audience’s IQ.

4. Turn your fans into evangelists.

Word of mouth, or customer advocacy, always has been—and always will be—the most powerful form of advertising. Help yourself by helping your fans become your best marketers. Again, check out the slides I offer above for more ideas.

And there you have it: four effective tactics for being heard and cutting through the clutter. Today’s content consumers are becoming increasing immune to messages and are quick to tune out. So listen closely, be a trusted advisor and get your audience to tune in.

I’ve outlined a more in-depth set of practices I call “The Plan to Grow Your Business with Effective Online Marketing” and invite you to get a free copy. You’ll find it a fast, fun and informative overview. I like to practice what I preach.
Barry FeldmanAbout Barry Feldman: After making the rounds in the ad agency business for about a decade, Barry established a freelance copywriting business in 1995. Ever since, he's partnered with corporate marketing groups, small businesses, ad agencies, and design firms. Barry is a contributor to Social Media TodaySocial Media Examiner and is author of the eBook "The Plan to grow your business".
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