While it would be nice to send a single marketing message that consumers respond to, most people don't buy the first time they come across an offer.
The Rule of 7 is a determination of the average number of impressions a brand must make on a member of their target market before making a sale. Below are seven ways you can increase the chances of your audience seeing an offer multiple times.
Expand Your Marketing Channels
Use multiple channels to reach the broadest audience possible. When you create a business plan, identify your ideal target market as well as the best methods for reaching it. For example, 68% of Americans ages 50 to 64 have their own Facebook pages and are increasingly more active on the platform than younger generations. Knowing where every demographic within your target market "hangs out" should influence your marketing strategy and how you choose to communicate your value.
There are a variety of channels you can use to get your sales pitch in front of the right people:
- Ads on blogs, websites, and print publications
- Engagement with social media platforms
- Email and mobile marketing campaigns
- Trade shows and conventions
- Podcasts and local, public radio.
- Online marketplaces
Use Multiple Forms of Content
Gary Vaynerchuk suggests that marketers create 100 pieces of content a day.
“If you're not producing 100 pieces of content…every single day you're leaving the greatest opportunity in the world on the table.”
Creating 100 pieces of content might feel like an unrealistic goal, but you can repurpose past content, break out one piece of content into smaller bits, and plan future content with the idea of getting on a variety of channels.
Content marketing is highly effective but extremely time-consuming. One way to save time is to first consider the multiple platforms you'll post on when you conceptualize your content, and then how you can repurpose that content. For example, if you want to publish a video, your script should feature areas you can cut and use a snippet on Instagram or Facebook. You can have the video transcribed and post as text on your website or pull quotes to share on blog posts or social media. You can resize your quote graphics to post on Pinterest.
The More Content the Better
Even if you're only posting a couple pieces of content per day, the goal is to be consistent. If a potential buyer comes to your Facebook page or blog and sees that it hasn't been updated for weeks, they won't come back.
There are many tools to help you streamline and automate the content campaigning process. Both Hootsuite and Buffer can help you schedule social media posts in advance and on a regular timeline. A service like Scribie or Rev will transcribe your video or audio content to use as a blog post or to create quote graphics.
The easiest way to stay consistent and frequent is to have a content editorial calendar that you update each month.
Build an Email List
People will casually click "follow" on social media, but generally don't give their email away unless they're interested in what you're selling. Your advertising messages are five to six times more likely to be seen through email than social media. Email is perfect for reaching out to the same people with greater frequency, making the Rule of 7 easier to implement.
Like your content marketing plan, your email marketing plan should have a strategy that includes regular consistent messages that offers something useful to your readers.
Contribute to Media Publications
The wider you can expand your reach, the more likely you'll get your brand in front of new leads. You can do this by contributing content to media publications that target your audience. You can write articles and blog posts for other websites. You can use a resource such as HARO to find media looking for experts to interview or provide expert tips. You can pitch podcasts and video-logs as an expert guest.
Expand your comfort zone and personal reach through public speaking, sitting on panels, or volunteering for workshops. When communicated authentically, developing your personal expertise and passion will boost your overall credibility with others.
Embrace Social Media
Approximately 70% of Americans use social media. It goes far beyond Facebook and Twitter, and if you want to reach a certain target market, you need to learn the platforms your audience uses in its free time. Below are 2019 stats that can help you determine where your message will find traction:
- Instagram and Snapchat are used by 67% and 62% of 18- to 29-year-olds, respectively.
- Facebook use is relatively common across a range of age groups, with 68% of those ages 50 to 64 and nearly half of those 65 and older saying they use the site.
- Women are nearly three times as likely as men to use Pinterest (42% vs. 15%).
- Around half of college graduates and those who live in high-income households use LinkedIn, compared with 10% or fewer of those who have not attended at least some college or those in lower-income households.
- WhatsApp continues to be popular among Hispanics: 42% use the messaging app, compared with 24% of Blacks, and 13% of whites.
- 11% of U.S. adults use Reddit while 72% use YouTube.
Leverage Trending Technology
Push notifications, in which visitors to your site can be notified when you post something new, are easy and affordable to add to your website. Segmenting your marketing efforts can help you target subsets of your ideal market.
It's a persistent challenge to keep up with emerging resources for your business, and to know if a technology will contribute to (or detract from) your earnings. Whenever possible, your business should research your target market to see where they are coalescing.
The Bottom Line
Marketing prepares your brand for managing the Rule of 7, and ultimately it's as important to the longevity of your business as the products or services you sell.
The Rule of 7 dictates that consumers usually don't buy on their initial exposures to a brand—but when you know your market and can reach them with multiple impressions—you radically increase your chances of making a sale.