Gary Vaynerchuck (Gary Vee) is one of the most well-known marketing experts in the world today, and the talks he gives to other marketers get hundreds of thousands of views on social media. Not everybody loves his style of communication, but no one can ignore his success as an entrepreneur.
The key to his continued success is his understanding of consumer behavior and his knowledge of how to use digital marketing to gain more audience attention. If you want more attention from potential and current customers, this post is for you. In the Game Changers Summit speech from 2019, he talks about how content strategists and digital marketers can grab a bigger share of audience attention. Here, we break down this talk by Gary Vee.
Marketing Hacks 2020: Seven Rules for Getting Audience Attention
Rule one: Chase the attention.
“I believe that attention is the singular important asset for anybody trying to achieve anything … to create anything.” —Gary Vaynerchuck
The most important thing for marketers to understand today is that you can’t count on current marketing trends to bring you lasting results. Too many businesses develop their content strategy around platforms, which is a mistake. What matters primarily is not the platform where you distribute content; what matters fundamentally—and will always continue to matter—is where the attention of your audience lies.
Put simply, your content strategy should be shaped to maximize audience attention. You should only care about the end consumer and their behavior. Where are they looking? What are they saying in the comments? With this knowledge, you can develop a content strategy that chases attention and steadily builds your reputation.
Rule two: Give, give, give, then ask.
“Too many marketers…when they give, they have an expectation to get in return, which means they’re not giving—they’re manipulating.” —Gary Vaynerchuck
So many consumers are seeking out helpful content, but there’s still not enough valuable content out there. This presents a huge opportunity for any brand that wants to connect more meaningfully with potential customers. But this involves providing value, which means giving out more than you are asking for in return. As Gary Vee says: “You have to make content that brings people value, and not mix in a sales call.”
For any business, the more sustainable, effective marketing strategy is to put all your unique knowledge into content to educate, inform, and entertain readers, without asking for anything in return. This is when people will start to talk about you and share your content. Only when you’ve provided this value can you start to ask for something in return. It may feel instinctively wrong, but by building your reputation with content—by giving more and taking less—your content will naturally become a powerful networking and lead generation tool.
Rule three: Value wins, not vanity.
“Ninety-nine percent of the businesses in this room are in the sales business, not in the brand and marketing business…if you’re not putting out content at scale, and relying on Google Ads and traditional media, your strategy is vulnerable.” —Gary Vaynerchuck
The most effective way to provide value is to constantly create helpful and insightful content, which is where content creation services like Constant Content come into play. Experienced content providers can connect clients with numerous freelance writing professionals to help brands deliver the best possible content to their audience.
Many businesses focus on sales-driven content to attract attention from search queries, or spend thousands of dollars on Google Ads. But when you have a sales mindset, you give too much importance to short-term ROI, which is only a vanity metric. If you only focus on acquiring leads and sales in the short term, you will be in a weak position in the future.
For long-term success, what really matters is building your reputation and your brand. Gaining the top spot with search engines or voice-assisted devices is too costly and too difficult; with so many other brands competing for attention, any brand is vulnerable with this strategy. What you want people to remember is the name of your brand, so that they search for you first. It takes more time to build your personal brand and reputation by delivering truly valuable content to your audience, but this is how you win in the long run.
Rule four: Communicate authentically.
“If your brand doesn’t understand contemporary communication, it is far more vulnerable than you think.” —Gary Vaynerchuck
Consumers are constantly bombarded with messages from brands, and they have become really good at deciding who they can trust the most. Brands that are inauthentic—the ones that speak in a way that they think will impress the most people—will quickly get found out. You have to find a voice that is true to your brand and its values, and always be self-aware about how you are communicating online.
When you find your real personality, you’ll find it easier to create content at scale. So figure out what your communication strengths are and stay true to your unique voice—it’s the best way to create a strong, lasting, authentic brand.
Rule five: Your content strategy has to be flexible.
“Just because a tool or platform did not work for you does not mean that platform does not work; it just means it didn’t work with your strategy.” —Gary Vaynerchuck
According to Gary Vee, marketing strategies are abandoned too soon by many businesses. They give up because a certain strategy doesn’t immediately work, or a certain platform isn’t getting enough audience attention.
However, you have to fail in order to see what doesn’t work. Then you can try new approaches that succeed. You can use Constant Content to get a range of content that you can test on different platforms. Through trial and error, you’ll find your sweet spot.
Rule six: Context is key.
“You have to get more specific…pick the target and make the content for them.” —Gary Vaynerchuck
A final word about context: Context is crucial when it comes to getting more audience attention. To give every piece of content more power, you need to make it contextual. This means you have to think about who exactly you’re trying to reach and make the content about them. Get specific, immediately. If you’re trying to reach fifty-year-olds in Tampa, Florida, say so right away. This is how you get their attention. Your next piece of content can target another group, and so on.
The businesses that are winning at content marketing are the ones that constantly deliver valuable content to their audience, on the platforms that have their attention.
It doesn’t matter if you don’t like a certain platform. It doesn’t matter what trends other marketers are following. What matters is this: Where is your audience now, and what do they want from you? When you understand this, you can deliver more valuable content and get more attention. As Gary Vee says: “Whoever provides the most value always wins.”
Going forward, think about the end consumer, and give more than you take. Focus on delivering value. Be authentic. Be specific. And be flexible. Pay attention to your audience, listen, and respond. Then you’ll get the attention you deserve.