Take out your phone and scroll through your Instagram page. How long does it take before you land on a business that’s advertising its products? No, really. Let’s do it practically. How many seconds or minutes before you come across a business page?

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It seems like nothing to write home about, seeing as the mass adoption of the internet into everyday life is the single biggest event that has affected marketing over the last three decades. But looking at the impact of digital marketing and its diversity in the world today, you realise that one of the biggest mistakes many businesses make on social media is always selling. That, to me, is the paradox of digital marketing. The more your marketing efforts are perceived as adverts, the less likely the impact. You need to try to sell a message, not a product.

It’s in the same vein that people will always choose to ‘skip ad’ on Youtube, or change the TV channel when it’s time for Ads. Influencers will tell you that the effect of Sponsored Ads is less impactful than when they genuinely speak about brands that they believe in. It boils down to one thing: The power of an advertisement is diminished when the consumer realizes it is an ad.

Think of it this way. When businesses first started to advertise themselves online, it would make sense that one or two businesses caught your eye and attention. However, nowadays it seems as though the internet is crowded with Call To Actions to buy this or that product, and as such, the message becomes diluted. The solution? Understand your brand, its theme and its values. Once you do that, try and sell those Unique Selling Points, and in doing so, you will retain and create more customers and potential customers.

Essentially, social media platforms are interactive platforms before they become shopping platforms.  It’s more effective when you interact with your Target Audience by encompassing your brand voice into your message. Don’t make it all about the sales. Give your online audience value. As has been said over and over again, the best kind of marketing does not feel like marketing.