By Brianne Miller, LCI
My first job out of college (back in the Paleolithic Age) was at a venerable Madison Avenue ad agency. On day one, the agency president told me, “All you need to remember is reach plus frequency.” I was a nervous wreck that day, and with a shaky hand, I wrote that in my little notebook in ALL CAPS.
I still write things down longhand (it’s called haptic memory) and every once in a while harken back to that piece of advice. Reach and frequency have changed in the digital world. Reach can now be strategized with a laser focus on audience personas, demographics, geolocation, etc. But frequency? That’s retained a lot of its Don Draper significance.
Putting aside the old “see it three times in a purchasing cycle” rule, cadence is now an important part of overall brand awareness in all of communications’ shapes and forms, including public relations and content creation. Reaching fractured audiences who consume multiple forms of media geared to their specific interests relies as much on gaming a news feed as it does on creating clear and concise messaging. I might be very interested in vegan cooking, but I’m more likely to remember a funny Olympics meme than to remember that brand of tofu advertising on my Instagram feed.
What’s a brand to do? Pay attention to cadence. Keeping your name in the marketplace regularly builds volume, which helps the odds that you’ll be seen by your audience. How to do that? Create content and news output on a schedule, post about new partners and customers, blog about events and ideas and distribute press releases on new hires and initiatives. You’re pushing content out to pull in your audience. Keep this activity going with a steady drumbeat and awareness will build exponentially over time.