Last month I explained the Open Spaces Marketing concept. Basically, it is about getting your customer’s attention by avoiding noise and going where competitors aren’t.
I also shared a tip that should be especially effective for those who work in the tech sector. It is about communicating clearly and powerfully. Here is an excerpt:
“… impenetrable prose leaves an open space for those who can relate more clearly and powerfully. How can you fill the space? Replace [jargon] with words that actually mean something – and sentences and phrases that connect with the intended audiences…
Do it well and you will not only hit the bulls eye when it comes to getting on the radars of prospects – you will also likely reach a wider audience via approachable language. My Words that Work in Tech PR series goes into more detail about this tactic.”
In this post, I list two additional tactics.
Time your Communications
When considering the timing for a campaign, most seek to avoid bigger noise and find the times when people are more likely to tune in. For example, conventional wisdom says not to issue press releases on a Monday or Friday, unless you are trying to bury your news. Attention tends to trail off on days surrounding the weekend or holidays. Don’t announce your tech product when others (especially Apple) might be stealing thunder with their big news.
The latest technology and research opens the door to a more nuanced approach. Dan Zarrella, an authority on data-driven marketing, has written extensively on this topic. In his book Hierarchy of Contagiousness, he writes about “contra-competitive timing”, essentially an open spaces approach to social media. Zarrella’s research reveals non-intuitive findings such as:
- Friday at 4pm is the most retweetable time
- Weekend stories get shared more
- Blog early for links, on the weekend for comments
There are also tools that claim to help identify the best time to tweet, e.g. see this features list for SocialBro.
Content types and Networks
Good marketers like to tap the latest methods for reaching customers. These days, this often involves using social media, and tempting buyers with informative and entertaining content.
But the most popular social networks can be crowded and noisy places. There’s a herd mentality in marketing, and if something works well, you can be sure that others will quickly jump in. Take visual content, which has become popular in the last few years. Infographics used to be a novel idea; now they are passé; there are so many, and most are not that impressive, making them easier to ignore.
Open spaces marketing means zigging when others zag. It also means keeping your eyes on emerging vehicles, getting good at picking the likely winners, jumping on board and mastering them before the competition does.
This works especially well for brands that want to be edgy, and are interested in early adopters (whether it’s the youth crowd in consumer or business buyers). Newer social networks and content types might not have the mass appeal or audience as the mainstream – but you will be among the first to stake a claim and build audience – one that can grow as the network grows.
What other networks and communications vehicles are emerging? There’s been some buzz about Ello, an ad-free social network that has a minimalist design and promises not to sell personal data. The New York Times recently wrote about the rise of messaging apps.
To read about great examples of innovation in content marketing, see the Moz blog.
There you have it – the same idea applied to disparate areas of timing, language and networks. Open spaces marketing can be a versatile and powerful approach – do you have thoughts on other applications?