Today’s advertising professionals have their work cut out for them when it comes to capturing the modern consumer’s attention.
Not only are people incredibly busy these days, but they have a lot vying for their time and attention. This includes the thousands of digital marketing messages they’re exposed to each day.
Plus, the average person’s attention span is getting shorter, so capturing and holding theirs is no easy feat, especially online.
However, the ability to make a consumer stop what they’re doing, sit up, and take notice is crucial in today’s marketing world.
Attention marketing is the key to building an audience, fostering loyalty, and cultivating a healthy bottom line.
Here is what you need to know to become a master of this topic.
What is Attention Marketing?
The general public’s attention span is much narrower than it used to be.
As people have grown increasingly used to a personalized world where instant gratification is the order of the day, their expectations have also changed.
Besides that, when a person is presented with as much information and as many different marketing messages as they are every day, it’s simply not possible to pay attention to everything and everyone.
A marketer’s job is to get through to people in a way that convinces them this message is worth listening to and ultimately acting on.
Attention marketing is an approach to advertising that acknowledges attention capture and engagement as the primary objectives of a given campaign.
In the digital age, this is most often accomplished via non-invasive (but effective) means, like social media and savvy content marketing.
Social media further gives marketers the option of customizing messages and marketing to consumers as individuals.
How Important is it to Capture Customers’ Attention?
Not only is your customers’ attention span relatively short these days, but it’s likely even shorter than you think it is.
During a Microsoft study conducted several years ago, the average human’s attention span was found to be about eight seconds, down from twelve seconds in the year 2000.
And there’s a lot of evidence out there to suggest that we’ve only become less attentive in the ensuing years.
Your would-be loyal customers are out there, endlessly scrolling through an abundance of marketing messages from your competition.
That means you have mere seconds to not only attract their attention but hold it long enough to deliver your message.
Otherwise, your target will be on to the next thing without even realizing that they just missed out on a potentially life-changing product or service.
That said, attention marketing isn’t just important here in the digital age.
Learning how to do it right could mean the difference between a robust bottom line supported by numerous loyal customers and marketing campaigns that simply fall flat.
Because if you can’t successfully capture your customers’ attention, you can rest assured that one of your competitors eventually will.
How to Catch Busy Customers’ Attention
The good news is that while it’s a lot more challenging to get a busy consumer’s attention than it used to be years ago, it’s not impossible. You just need to know how it’s done.
Here are some expert tips for doing precisely that and building the loyal clientele base you know you deserve.
1. Identify your target’s pain points
When you’re in digital marketing, your target audience is most likely to stumble across your marketing content when they’re already somewhat busy, under stress, or otherwise engaged.
And when that’s the case for a person, they’re much more focused on their immediate needs than they are on the rest of their surroundings.
Getting into your customer’s heads and speaking to the issues on their minds at that moment is crucial to getting their attention.
What problems and concerns are your products designed to address?
Consider how you can frame your message to appeal to people with exactly those problems on their minds.
2. Focus on what makes you unique
The digital world is a noisy place, and it’s full of companies that seem the same as every other out there.
Plus, they’re all offering the same old products or services your customers have seen for years. If you’re serious about getting your next customer’s attention, you need to stand out, so your marketing messages should highlight the ways you do.
Keep in mind that your prospective customers have probably had their problems, worries, goals, and dreams for a very long time.
They’re also likely still open to new or better solutions to addressing those aspects of their lives.
So get to the meat of how your company is different, why your product is the solution your customer has been looking for, and what makes you a better choice than your competition.
3. Make your target feel something
Think about the last time a piece of web content or a marketing message really made you feel something.
You likely stopped what you were doing long enough to give it a few moments of your full attention because it struck you as important or especially relevant to you. You probably also remembered it for some time afterward.
Your customers are the same way.
Emotion is more than just a powerful motivator. It’s also the key to helping people remember your message long after they’ve consumed your content and moved on with their lives.
Tapping into people’s capacity for emotion also raises the likelihood that they’ll recall your company when they’re ready to make a purchase.
So make your customers laugh, cry, think, or believe. It’s a great way to engage people and establish lasting relationships.
4. Embrace the power of video
Although there’s still plenty to be said for written web content and eye-catching photos when it comes to world-class marketing, videos are red hot right now and getting hotter by the day.
They also tend to capture people’s attention as they scroll through their various timelines, which is no easy feat these days.
Once you’ve got your customers’ attention, make sure you hold it by keeping your videos short, sweet, compelling, and to the point.
Nix the old-school hard-sell approach in favor of entertaining or informing, especially when putting together video content for social media.
5. Make your written content easy to scan
Although there will always be a demand for intelligent, snappy, well-written web content, it’s crucial to craft yours with the modern consumer’s limited attention span in mind.
Avoid long-winded explanations when you can make your point in just a few words.
When possible, let visuals, pictures, charts, and graphics do the talking for you. And create interactive content to increase engagement.
Always break web content up into chewable sections that make it easy for a reader to skim your piece for what they’re looking for.
Use headings, subheadings, bolded fonts, and bulleted lists whenever and wherever it makes sense.
6. Respect your audience’s valuable time
In today’s busy, fast-paced world, no one likes having their time wasted, and your target audience is no exception.
This is especially the case if you’re marketing to other busy professionals like yourself. That said, don’t waste your customers’ time once you’ve convinced them to give it to you.
Always offer value in everything you put out there, whether that’s a quick Instagram reel or a well-researched informative article.
Nix the fluff. Stick to the point, and keep things as brief as possible to increase the chances of holding the target’s attention to the end.
Support what you’re saying with imagery, research, and other valuable details. The goal is to leave that person feeling glad they stopped and gave you their time.
7. Know your audience
Personalized, customized communication is the order of the day, so it’s crucial that marketers thoroughly research their targets before making contact.
Never treat a given solution like a one-size-fits-all option. Instead, find out for sure whether that’s the case and finetune your sales pitches to fit each demographic you want to reach.
Otherwise, you risk coming across as cold and generic.
Modern consumers don’t want to be just one more name on your contact list. They need to know you did your homework first and approached them with a purpose, so always give context when contacting a potential customer.
You stand a much higher chance of getting their attention and converting them one day.
8. Work on your brand identity
Although being in the right place at the right time with the right message is a large part of what successful marketing is all about, it’s not the whole picture.
If you’re serious about standing apart from your competitors, you need a cohesive brand identity that aligns with your target audience’s interests and core values.
Yes, recognizable elements like logos, taglines, color schemes, and so forth are a large part of your brand identity.
But so is everything else that can shape a consumer’s perception of your brand and products.
It’s also about your story, how you tell it, and how well you care for your relationships with your customers once you’ve established them.
Wrap Up: Hold Your Customers’ Attention by Delivering Value Every Time
Successful digital marketing is about so much more than just closing sales and keeping your profits in the black.
Great marketing content doesn’t feel like marketing content when correctly done.
From your customer’s point of view, it simply scans as an engaging, enjoyable experience they’d happily repeat.
Embracing the magic of interactive content is the key to not only capturing and holding your customers’ attention but keeping them coming back time and time again.
Check out our comprehensive guide to doing interactive content right, and take your content campaign to the next level!