We’ve all been there — you’ve arrived early at the station and you’re waiting for the train to arrive. Suddenly you find yourself noticing all of the adverts that usually pass you by. We don’t realise it, but it’s at this moment that we are caught by wait marketing.
Wait marketing is a powerful form of advertising where businesses target potential customers during periods when they are waiting, attentive and looking for instant gratification. An eye-catching advert will catch attention and could introduce a new product or service to someone who has a few minutes to spare.
Wait marketing is also used online by many businesses. We spend an average of nine minutes a day waiting for pages to load — while adverts are normally an annoyance, more positive forms of interaction are welcomed by web users.
Creating a landing page to display on your homepage while it loads is a great method of engaging with users. These can include a welcome note, key information, offers, images and prompts to follow on social media or sign up to your newsletter. This allows you to advertise products and encourage more interaction.
Similarly, creating an eye-catching ‘loading’ logo with a message providing information is a great way to engage with customers on your site as they wait for the page to appear. You could even include an advert underneath. Users appreciate the thought behind this gesture — the mark of your unique small business ethos can be very effective.
It’s essential to include alternative text on every image your site has in order to display some content in case the picture does not immediately show up on a customer’s screen. Informative text prevents frustration as users wait for the image to load. Inserting a link can also increase interactions — such as saying “if this photo does not display, click here” leading to your contact page. This demonstrates your professionalism and can set you apart.
When looking for stimulation, many of us turn to social media. This is a prime opportunity for wait marketing. Schedule a regular flow of interesting posts across social media to capture your followers’ attention. Responding to comments with website links is also key, as it establishes a relationship with the customer which will build brand affinity. Small businesses rely on a sense of community to grow, so use social media on a regular basis.
© Emma Thomas. Emma is content curator for Media Street in Exeter.