“Facebook has two billion users! Let’s start advertising.”
“Shouldn’t I be on Twitter? That’s where we can be witty.”
“My competitor is on LinkedIn. I go where they go.”
Knowing where you should be advertising is a common concern amongst marketers - and when I say marketers, I mean anyone who promotes a product or service to an audience - that doesn’t necessarily have a clear-cut answer.
The truth is, you should advertise wherever your audience is.
A lot of people and marketers tend to overly romanticize certain platforms. There is an abundance of trendy articles, content experts, bloggers and “gurus” who tell you that a certain platform will yield a great return on your investment, that you should act now and hop on the train before it leaves the station. Being aware of the app of the day is important, but providing genuine value should be the top priority. Remember, these platforms, while they are important and critical to marketing as we know it today, are only as powerful as the audiences that follow them and use them today.
Twenty years ago, major television networks like ABC, NBC and CBS were vitally important to advertisers.
Today, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube are vitally important to advertisers.
Times will change. What is important today might be an afterthought in five years. Maybe in 20 years, we will think Tumblr was the best-kept secret of the internet. Who knows? The point is we don’t know, and that is okay. We should use what works today, but we shouldn’t let our media choices dictate our output. I know, I know; this isn’t a revolutionary concept (“the times, they are a-changin’”), but with so many brands aimlessly following the popular platforms, it’s worth thinking about.
Create, share and engage on the platforms that have the attention of your audience. Attention is more important than platform. Platforms live and die by the amount of attention they are given. As a marketer, it's your responsibility to efficiently and effectively harness that attention. We have no loyalties to the platforms themselves, but with the audiences they serve.
We should not forget that the term “medium” has a definition beyond the buzzword. It is “an agency or means of doing something.” It is simply a vehicle through which something passes. Despite what some say, the medium is not the message. A brand’s duty is to craft the right message for the right person.
As you plan out your content for the next month, quarter or year, let’s focus more on making a delicious pizza and less on who delivers it.
Toucan is a New Orleans-based advertising firm.