how to capture consumer attention

Wake Up and Pay Attention: How to capture and Keep an Audience

In a world where brands have mere seconds to capture consumers’ attention, marketers need to find innovative ways to arrest and retain their target audience’s attention. Prior to the explosion of digital media, marketers only needed to create direct mailings, magazine and television ads to boost brand awareness and engagement. Now, with so much emphasis on multi-channel storytelling, the management of attention in marketing is crucial.

As much as we wish that consumers give our brands their undivided attention, the reality is that most consumers’ attention is severely fragmented. Brands need to face this challenge head-on, cut through the noise and make a memorable impact … all within less than 60 seconds.

Be Present in Attention in Marketing

Brands must be present everywhere to capture those fractional moments of complete attention. Native content that tells a story in all formats gives brands an opportunity to reach their target audience when they are ready to listen, on their time.

If they hang out on Instagram, you need to be there too. If they’re on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you also need to be there, creating content that suits that platform. Capturing attention in marketing is about being there when your audience is waiting for an Uber or in line at the supermarket. It’s about being present when they want you to be, not the other way around.

Learn to Add Value and Give Up Control

Marketers and brands alike no longer can control consumers. Consumers are far savvier than they were even 10 years ago. They take the time to research and compare brands, and they also know that they don’t have to settle.

For example, if you sell exclusively on Amazon and a customer makes a purchase from you, they’ve made the decision to do business specifically with you. They weren’t forced because they didn’t have any other choice. It’s with the knowledge that you can make their shopping experience one to remember, each and every time they return. As a business, you have the sole responsibility to serve customers on their terms and on their preferred platform.

Keep Your Marketing Messages Simple

To streamline engagement with both current customers and prospects, keep things simple. If you’re trying to reach your target audience on mobile devices, they’re not going to waste time trying to fill out sign-up forms and or have to navigate multiple windows. You need to make their experience worthwhile on every type of device.

When you create opportunities for quick interaction, you also create signal intent, which gives customers the control they want. Keep in mind that not every interaction has to convert into a new customer, nor is it even possible. The idea is that even if they don’t convert now, that engagement, even on a micro-level, is creating a feeling of community. To maximize attention and marketing resources, you need to look at the whole picture.

Be Consistent to Gain Attention in Marketing

Regardless of whether you’ve been in marketing 10 years or 10 days, consumers need to be exposed to your message at least five times to make it memorable. Marketing historical folk knowledge – from the early 19th century, in fact – said that it was at least 26 times. Unfortunately, in the age of fragmented attention spans, it can take many times over that before someone recalls your product or service.

Brands now need to ensure that their voice, design and message style match across all platforms and that they are persistently present.

One way to accomplish this is through the use of personas. Once you have a precise and ultra-sharp image of your target customer groups, you will be able to easily envision how to be present at the right moments to surprise and delight them.

Use Visuals to Capture Attention in Marketing

Since it only takes 0.25 seconds for consumers to process visual content, as a brand, you need to create content that captivates. Compelling graphics and video snippets bridge the distraction gap and tell your story in the shortest time possible.

Website visitors spend over 100 percent more time on sites with videos and are 85 percent more likely to make a purchase. And video and streaming media consumption are one of the hottest trends on mobile right now.

Maximize the Value of Your Website

Nothing kills your brand’s identity faster than a website that doesn’t load. This may seem like common knowledge, but your website load time can negatively impact conversion rates. Even a second delay in load time can equate to a 7% loss in conversions.

Think of this: each second of page load time costs Amazon over $1 BILLION dollars!

Remember to pay attention to images. Huge images that aren’t optimized can slow down page load times. So take your time to optimize image prior to loading them to your site. All parts matter.

Final Thoughts on Attention and Marketing

Even with shortened consumer attention spans, brands still have a tremendous opportunity to speak to their target audience on multiple platforms and devices. Maintaining attention in marketing is no longer just a Tweet or an Instagram post. How you approach your audience needs to change according to context and platform. Although your message is the same, the way you tell your story needs to suit both the platform and time in which you tell it. Once you master this, you not only offer value but also interact with your audience on their terms without distraction.