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Customer attention is fleeting and ever waning, and it is getting harder and harder to capture. The amount of time that brands have to capture attention in an advertisement only comes down to a matter of seconds. In their desperation, a lot of brands resort to forcing themselves upon their audience with a bevy of unskippable ads or even sending out unnecessary notifications on mobile apps. But all that intrusive advertising accomplishes is to push your viewers even further away. They can simply delete your app, block your number, or develop what we call “banner blindness.
In the age of fractured attention, your primary goal in writing a sales or marketing message is to distill your business’s pitch into a single, clear marketing message that articulates a brand’s story and narrates it compellingly in the blink of an eye. Remember that all you need is to grab 2 seconds of their attention to increase recall, raise brand awareness, and inspire purchase intent; all with the help of a message that can inspire and draw consumers in a flash. Here’s how you can get your audience to devote a few moments of attention to your message.
Marketers are beginning to comprehend the importance of emotions in marketing and how associating a positive feeling and emotion with your brand helps with the conversion and retention process. According to Harvard Business Review, these emotionally connected customers are much more important for brands than customers who are simply satisfied with their purchase. Today’s consumer is already overwhelmed with choices and it is more vital than ever to gain an edge over your competitor and make sure your audience pays attention to your sales and marketing message in this era of information overload.
A plethora of emotion-induced engagement studies have found out that Surprise and joy are two feelings that effectively grab attention and keep your viewers hooked. Creating one of these emotions keeps a viewer hooked to your ad, especially when you create a sense of surprise, quickly followed by a feeling of joy. Remember that with the decreasing attention span of viewers, seconds matter! Delivering joy quickly is vital to drive the digital sharing that will generate eyeballs and increase brand engagement. People are more willing to pay attention to the brand with which they feel a positive connection. Mobile channels can leverage GIFs for creating succinct, yet emotional messages.
Another way to get people to pay attention to your marketing and sales message is to leverage the power of words. Good copywriting works well to grab a reader’s attention. You can play around with words to narrate your story, or even get people to complete a purchase or sign up for your newsletter. As Leo Burnett said, “Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” You can use copywriting as a selling tool on multiple online channels such as email, website, and social media. Impactful copy, especially one infused with simple and emotional language, helps you resonate with your audience and offer them a solution to some of their persisting pain points.
Another way to get your audience to pay attention to catch their eye with an irresistible headline. A good title sets the expectations for the reader and starts building an emotional connection with them. If you want to generate a measurable response to your Web page or ad, a compelling headline can go a long way towards ensuring success. For instance, some popular headline styles include:
Don’t just tell people how your brand can help them at the moment; also offer something to make them come back for more. For instance, loyalty programs not only keep current customers coming back, but they can also bring in new customers. Most importantly, these programs encourage people to promote the brand via word of mouth and even share their personal data with the company, which in turn helps brands build more accurate customer profiles and offer more targeted marketing. The data received from customers can help you improve the quality of ads and keep the conversation rolling.
With the help of infrared eye-tracking technology, a group of marketing specialists has revealed that people don’t take well to being persuaded. A viewer’s first instinct is to step away from brands with overly prominent branding. In fact, people tend to lose interest in a video ad, the moment they see a brand logo appear on the screen. Brands that highlight their logos in their video ads also scare away viewers. According to branding specialists, this aversion to persuasion seems to be deeply ingrained into people’s subconscious and brands need to be aware of this effect if they wish to get their marketing message across to their audience.
Remember that your primary goal in writing a sales or marketing message is to grab a few seconds of your viewer’s attention. One way that brands can successfully showcase their sales message and increase viewership by as much as 20%, is to unobtrusively weave brand images throughout an ad. Just look at Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Factory” ad to see how they have subtly displayed the brand images well over a dozen times without overwhelming the audience. This strategy can also be applied to your mobile marketing campaign by devoting a bigger chunk of your marketing message to the value you’re offering to the customer and reserving a smaller part of your marketing real estate to promotional stuff. Maintain a 5-to-1 ratio—5 pieces of value-based content to every 1 ask. Similarly, when you are sending push notifications, there is no need to repeat your brand name in your message since the brand’s logo already helps people know where it is from.
Since your primary goal in writing a sales or marketing message is to grab attention and pique the interest of your audience, incorporating a touch of humor in your content will inevitably surely get your marketing message noticed. Remember that people are more prone to share content that’s laughed at than “straight” messaging. Laughter is a reaction, reactions lead to engagement, and engagement lifts the awareness of a brand and typically gets it talked about and remembered. Adding humor will not only grab the attention of your audience but also helps you stay on the top of their mind long after.
We are mostly exhausted these days and can all use an extra chuckle. Hook your audience with something “out-of-the-box” and make them laugh. For instance, Southwest Airlines uses humor all the time to get people to pay attention to safety protocols, instead of using run-of-the-mill presentations that people ignore. For instance, they put out safety instructions like “If the cupcake-looking plastic things drop down in front of you, stop screaming, let go of your neighbor, and put it over your mouth.” Or “If you smoke in this airplane, the FAA will fine you $2,000 [pause], and at those prices, you might as well fly Delta!” Keep in mind that a little imagination and effective use of humor effectively will surely get you noticed!
You have a lot to say, and I am sure your brand deserves a few words, but remember the waning attention span of your audience. The harsh reality is that most consumers don’t have the right disposition to read or hear lengthy, text-intensive ads, and you may lose their attention after a couple of lines at best. Campaigns that confuse consumers or drone on endlessly, do nothing more than convolute your message and quickly push your viewers away. Keep in mind that your advertising efforts boil down to the first five seconds. You have to grab attention and keep your audience hooked in those first five seconds. In these critical seconds, consumers decide whether they’ll buy into your brand or check out completely. After that, engagement drops drastically.
When you are writing your sales or marketing message, remember to stay purposeful with your words, use short, catchy phrases, and try bundling your content ideas into a video or infographic that is a treat for the eyes. Cut out the fluff and get straight down to the key takeaways. Answer their question of “what’s in it for me?” In the age of information overload, a clean, simple, visually aesthetic campaign will be much more appealing and stimulating for your consumers. Send them content that will pique their interest and curiosity enough to give you their undivided attention.