Captivation includes the concept that everyone and everything is both interesting and relevant. But there's an additional component to be considered. Not everyone and everything is always engaging. The reason for this is simple: relevance and interest combine to become engagement. The two, when separated, are far less potent than when together.
Captivation is More than Targeting a Niche Audience
Captivation occurs when lots of specific triggers combine to generate an authentic response. In today's culture, the only responses rewarded with consumer engagement are those that combine relevance and interest. Whether phrase, meme, or soundbite, communications must be received in proper context. Is
the information helpful or exciting in a given time or space?
Context is vital. We may categorize consumers into niche audiences, but that doesn't mean they will always respond to niche advertisements. Content must always be relevant and interesting. Someone interested in buying a mattress may not necessarily respond to every mattress ad. But what if that person wants something convenient, affordable, or innovative? Proximity to home, special deals, and discounts
or product features are all examples of messaging that may pique consumers' interest.
Geico is an excellent example of a brand using interest and relevance to generate engagement. Insurance services are not top of mind, but saving money is. The brand uses pop culture references to generate buzz. Images of Tag Team singing about ice cream and Dikembe Mutombo blocking cereal boxes in the grocery aisles evoke humor, nostalgia, and interest. The message of saving money gives the consumer a reason for relevancy. A call to action to spend fifteen minutes and save provides a reason to engage.
Whether mattress-maker or insurance provider, brands must understand the behaviors that motivate their consumers. Brands that offer timely, interesting, and relevant information will captivate their audiences.
Captivation Means Engaging Your Audience in Interesting and Relevant Places
Your audience can access the most exciting topics in the world in various ways. There may be a general overlap like a show everyone watches or an app everyone's using. However, depending on a consumer's location, age, gender, class, etc., interests, and the way those interests are accessed, can vary wildly.
Despite our differences, there is always a niche where interest and relevance meet. It's a brand's job to discover that intersection. Perhaps three people are captivated by a single show but want to enjoy it in different ways: one via smartphone, another via laptop, and a third on television before bed. Brands
must be ready and willing to supply content to audiences in the channels that are most relevant and interesting to them.
How a brand conveys its ideas is just as important as the idea itself. Using the media that we have control over today and understanding how the technology landscape can shift is paramount. Marketing depended on endorsements a decade ago, but today influencers rule the roost. Social media is supplanting television as the platform of choice. And new platforms continue to emerge every year. Successful brands will not only speak to consumers in relevant and interesting ways, but they will also operate in platforms that are relevant and interesting to consumers.
At Orbital Socket, we believe every brand is interesting and relevant. It's just a matter of discovering the messaging and placement that will help consumers see your brand's relevance and interest in their own lives and engage with it in meaningful ways. This journey is called captivation. And we're ready to set sail whenever you are!
The term “multicultural consumers” was defined by the US Census Bureau to encompass Black, Latino, American-Indian, Asian, and Pacific Islander populations. Multicultural populations contributed to 92% of total US population growth from 2000 to 2014, and projections are that these populations will become the US majority by 2044.
What is the Multicultural Consumer?
Multicultural consumers represent much more than just diverse populations. Multicultural consumers arise because cultures share their experiences, resulting in more varied interests and creating a diversity of thought and diversity of race and culture. Multicultural consumers also have lots of micro-consumer groups. Despite the titles we give them, such as African-American or Hispanics, they are a very diverse group within the larger groups. These micro-consumer groups are interested in the same things regardless of nationality, gender, sexuality, race, culture, etc. Thus, one approach to connecting with multicultural consumers is to understand them through the lens of micro-consumer groups. Looking at them through this lens allows you to acknowledge the overall group and the commonalities among them. It also allows you to recognize and speak to the micro-consumer groups' unique compositions, behavioral patterns, and preferences.
These micro-communities hold tremendous buying power and have enormous marketing potential and monetary value for today’s brands, products, and services.
Why Should Companies Cater to the Multicultural Consumer?
Let’s talk about the facts before we talk about the various ways in which marketing to micro-communities can work. A 2019 report by the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) reports that 5.2% of marketing spend caters to multicultural efforts. Minimizing the importance of this ever-growing segment is bad business.
Multicultural consumers make up 40% of the US population. According to the Multicultural Economic Report from the University of Georgia, they have a buying power of $3.9 trillion. In addition, the World Bank estimates that the LGBTQ+ community has a collective buying power of $1 trillion. That’s more than the GDPs of several countries combined! Together, both these figures are nearly $5 trillion - a third of the current US GDP. Too often, businesses ignore this massive and influential market.
Why Should Businesses Care About Marketing to Micro Communities
In the past, companies have used social media tools and messenger apps to cater to micro-consumer groups. Popular avenues for micro-consumer groups include Facebook Groups, Slack, Discord, Private Instagram Accounts, and Facebook Messenger. These avenues become places where people can talk about specific topics, contribute to discussions, and feel accepted and safe. These communities can talk about everything from video game memorabilia to history to obscure anime, etc. Very few brands have taken it upon themselves to improve engagement in these communities. While a few are trying to foster and nurture micro-consumer groups, there is ample room for improvement. Here are a few examples that other companies ought to follow:
The Korean makeup manufacturer Glow Recipe launched a digital sampling program in April 2020. Co-founder and co-chief executive Sarah Lee has said that the community has been the source of many great insights.
Ludovic de Saint Sernin
The French fashion designer Ludovic de Saint Sernin has over 94,000 followers on Instagram. However, he has a private account that has nearly 35,000 followers. There, he engages with a more serious, more niche community.
Micro-consumer groups can be beneficial for both consumers and businesses alike. These engagements allow participating companies to cater to niche consumers personally, resulting in more meaningful interactions and creating relevant, interesting, and engaging communications.
What do Millie Bobby Brown, Rick Astley, and policymaking in the EU have in common? The answer is relevance to your brand. You may not see it, but seemingly disparate subjects can significantly impact how people see your brand and connect it to their lives. That includes their interests and their hobbies.
Millie Bobby Brown fans may love 80s clothing and listen to 80s music, including Rick Astley songs. EU policies can affect everything from local supply chains to product development to environmental health. That also affects different brands and businesses. It’s a brand’s job to see all this connective tissue and insert itself into the mix. That’s why everything is relevant in captivation.
Captivation Means Communicating Relevance
With no shortage of access to interesting and relevant topics on the Internet, new niche audiences are emerging every day. Social media has allowed billions of virtual enthusiasts to gather on a single platform and share their interests. And while you may not see them, their influence is massive, and their relevance is apparent.
Reddit has been an innovator in connecting and giving voice to niche audiences. With its Button Experiment, Reddit’s homepage employed a single Button that would keep changing color. When users clicked on the Button, they were assigned a color. Soon hundreds of thousands of users were split into different groups separated by color, creating a sort of civilization. While the Button simply disappeared one day, it showed how easily something could induce tribalism amongst people, even on the Internet. And in just the past few months, the world has been introduced to the power of Reddit community members who were able to influence the stock price of GameStop.
Perhaps at this very moment, Millie Bobby Brown and Rick Astley enthusiasts are creating a seismic cultural shift in their social forums! Wouldn’t it be great if your brand had an impact on their journey?!?
For brands to be relevant, they must do the work to discover the topics and platforms relevant to their consumers. That’s where we come in. At Orbital Socket, we’re ready to help your consumers recognize your brand’s relevance (and interest!) to their daily lives.
There are loads of things which interest people all around the world. You and I may be interested in the latest trending web series, but the person next to us may enjoy reading instead. Someone sitting behind you in class may enjoy playing on one gaming console, but you may enjoy collecting retro games.
Interests can vary as wildly as our DNA. They develop over decades and subtly influence our behavior beyond what can be gleaned from a conversation. However, gauging these interests is exactly what is needed to captivate someone today.
On the flip side, having specific interests is precisely what makes everyone so unique and appealing. That’s where the value is for a company; recognizing the particular interests of their audience. That’s the central concept behind everyone, and everything is interesting.
Captivation Means Everything is Interesting
There are groups, subgroups, forums, pages, and chat rooms about every topic under the sun today. And the activity in these groups is evidence of the fact that these are exciting topics. That’s what gives weight to the concept that everything is interesting.
The topics are made interesting by virtue of the people interested in them. The number of hits, likes, views, impressions, shares, etc., all come under the umbrella of engagement. It’s just a matter of delivering or conveying those interests in a digestible and engaging manner.
The fact is that it’s only a matter of getting those people to notice what they’ve been missing. Whether a company targets one niche or the other is not important. What’s essential is reeling in their audience. That’s why captivation is so vital. It funnels audiences to businesses and helps them realize their true value.
Everyone is Interesting in the Digital Era
Today, nearly every person has a digital device, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Even a feature phone, a pager, or a gaming console is a data point, and every data point is a hub of activity. They are communicating with the Internet and pulling and pushing information for the majority of the day.
The best use of this activity is captivation. All businesses have a particular inherent value. It’s bringing it out in the digital era that turns the value into something tangible. Today, there are hundreds of ways to attract niche customers to your brand and your services. There are hundreds of marketing tools and campaign strategies that can get you to the top. However, all of them involve recognizing that our customers or audience also has an inherent value.
Approaching an audience in a way that they are made aware of your interest in their lives makes your company’s value real. And that’s where we come in. While the literal interpretation of everyone and everything is interesting may not have seemed possible before, it is now.
What is Captivation?
When you think about businesses marketing to an audience, the words engagement and relevance always come to mind. However, you would rarely think of captivation. That’s because captivation typically refers to something that catches your attention and doesn’t let go.
Captivation is a way to understand your audience deeply. It involves the compound effect of relevance, interest, and engagement.
Knowing Your Audience Inside Out (Relevance)
You don’t just need to know your audience's gender, class, age, or race. You need to know how they behave as well. This metric indicates what your audience will like, what they will choose, and how they are willing to spend their money. It includes mapping out their beliefs, likes, dislikes, inhibitions, and passions. Everything from what they use to commute to work to what they order for lunch is essential. What your audience listens to while they work out is just as important as what they choose to drink at parties. Which app they use to talk to their friends is just as important as which phone they use. All these small choices make an amalgam of what a human being is. To appeal to your audience, you need to understand your audience to the core. It’s the only way you’ll be relevant in their eyes.
Giving Them a Reason to Look Further (Interest)
When you understand your audience, you need to give them a reason to look at you. There are millions of brands and businesses out there. Our attention spans are diminishing, and gigabytes worth of information is coming at us every minute. To captivate someone, you need to appeal to them in a way they would prefer, to really interest them. This could be a story that they like, or a statistic that convinces them to give you a try. Some people prefer a long-winded pitch, while others would like you to get to the point. The way you present yourself to a customer is critical. Otherwise, you may lose their attention after a few seconds.
Involve Them in the Process (Engagement)
After you’ve captured the interest of potential customers, you need to engage them. That means you need to give them a way to participate in your world. Whether that’s an app, a discount, a contest, or a social media poll, it is up to you. All you need to know is that engaging someone in your business, even in the tiniest way, means success. However, you need to do it in a way that they prefer. All the knowledge you’ve gained from relevance and interest will help you tremendously here. With all that said and done, it seems like a pretty simple process. However,
the thought that goes into it is anything but simple.
At Orbital Socket, we’ve engaged millions of people for hundreds of businesses around the world. Let us show the world what you have to offer. Let Orbital Socket captivate your audience for you.
Greg Johnson, Managing Director-Orbital Socket