Peter Watson: Make your audience stop and see your advertising

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The landscape of media and advertising is changing. TV adverts are now being ignored due to the ‘two screen phenomenon’ as viewers are switching off, and scrolling through Facebook on their phone instead.

Likewise, even outdoor advertising is less effective now, with passengers in cars and pedestrians being glued to their phones.

It is clear that we are now in a mobile-first era and more specifically, an era where the UK public spend on average an astounding 20 minutes a day on Facebook.

Bearing this in mind, we need to consider how we can market to this audience, and what can we do to grab their attention.

The best way to make social media work for your business is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and consider what you would want to see from a company.

This helps with understanding that value should be created for the end user. Boring, static adverts aren’t going to stop you in your tracks or interest you.

I’m going to share some easy ways you can interrupt your audience by adding value to your social media advertising campaign: your audience will love the value provided by your company, and you will love the returns as a result!


An eBook is one of the easiest ways you can provide value, and make social media advertising work for your business.

Squeeze your wealth of knowledge and expertise in your industry into an eBook which will demonstrate your company’s expertise, and help nurture individuals into becoming a client.

Ask for a downloader’s email address and details, add these to your CRM system, and then create an email sequence asking them how they have got on with your eBook, and if there’s anything you can help with.

This will interrupt your audience initially as they will be enticed with the free eBook that they can digest at their own pace, and will be continually interrupted and reminded over the course of your follow up communications.


Discounting works really well for those who you know are interested in your product but don’t seem to be making a move on it.

For example, a user has been to your website, added a product to their cart, but then left. You could then run an advert just to this individual user, sharing a 10% discount code which will push them over the finish line and make a purchase.

This interruption tactic works particularly well as the individuals are already aware of your company and had purchase intent, so they should take pleasure in interacting with a familiar brand.

With this method, you wouldn’t offer the discount to everyone, but just to those people who need a little nudge.

On average, 69.23% of online checkouts are abandoned (added to cart, but not completed purchase): wouldn’t it be fantastic to reach out to this huge number of people and get them to reconsider?


When it comes to high ticket items, people are hesitant to commit without sampling or having a preview of the service/product.

This is the same for both B2B and B2C markets across industries. Below are some examples of what companies could be offering on social media to interrupt users with the offer of ‘free’!

Estate agency: providing a free valuation of someone’s property is an opening to putting their house on the market.

Once an Estate Agent walks into your property to value it, they have a 52% chance of putting it on the market.

This is where the free value-add of the property valuation plays its part. It’s a small, simple offering which literally opens doors to new potential customers.

Bottle (packaging) manufacturer: with social media you could easily target fulfilment managers, or product line assistants and then offer them the chance to receive free samples in the post.

The company could promote that ‘Improving bottle quality, will increase customer lifetime value’, with a call to action (CTA) to sample some new high-quality bottles.

Once the sampler has received them, they can then be followed-up to see what they thought of them.


Video is the easiest way to stop people in their tracks on social media.

Giving your brand a friendly face, and adding subtitles for ease of viewing, will help you communicate your message to your audience in an authentic way.

As before, think about your audience. Most people will be browsing social media during their leisure time and most people are lazy, and therefore may not want to read your 1,232 word article.

Video would present the information in a more engaging, visually appealing and interrupting way.

Focusing on what your customers want, interrupting them, and providing value to them is the differentiating factor between brands that are growing, and those that are losing market share.

No matter what business you have, from estate agent to bottle manufacturer social media marketing, and more importantly interruption marketing can and will work for you.