With over 2 billion websites on the internet, it’s safe to say the competition is REAL. And while not all of those websites are your direct competitors, you’re gonna have to put some effort into content to compete with those who are.
Do you know how to generate awareness with your content? This post has resurfaced as pretty popular recently. It appears a lot of us want to grab people's attention.
Read on to discover seven ways to create attention-grabbing content that really competes and generates demand.*
1. Make it Relatable
You know why BuzzFeed has over 11 million followers on Facebook? Because their content is funny, shocking and oftentimes, relatable. People are drawn to content that they can relate to. How many times a day do you scroll through Instagram, see a meme and immediately think to yourself: “me AF”? If you’re like me, probably more times than you’re willing to admit.
Get to know your buyer personas and think of creative ways you can create content that resonates with your audience, all while connecting it back to your product or services.
Netflix does an exceptional job creating content that’s attention-grabbing and relatable. Take their tweet below for example. They created a meme that users can relate to, all while connecting the message back to a popular TV series on Netflix. Genius!
2. Make it Visual
Think about your own personal online user experience. Whether you’re scrolling through Facebook or reading a blog, you’re way more likely to pause and consume a piece of content if there is a visual attached to that message. Adding an image or video to your content not only helps grab a user’s attention, but also helps tell a story, which allows people to better understand what they’re consuming.
In fact, a study conducted by BrainRules found that people are only likely to remember 10% of information they hear three days later. Conversely, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. There’s no question that pairing your content with a visual is extremely effective.
3. Make it Concise
If you want to grab your audience’s attention, keep it short, sweet and to the point. The rule is simple: write less, say more. According to a study done by BBC, the average attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to eight seconds in 2017, which is less than the nine second attention span of your average goldfish. This means you’ve got about eight seconds to get your message across, and I can guarantee, trying to reach a specific word count with a bunch of jargon isn’t going to do the trick.
Another important factor to consider is the growth of mobile use. According to a study conducted by Search Engine Journal in 2016, mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3% of internet usage compared to 48.7% by desktop. Thus, it’s important to consider how your content will appear on a device small enough to fit in your pocket, since this is how the majority of users consume their content.
Try breaking up the text to make for a quick, easy read. If you were scrolling through Facebook and saw a post with one enormous paragraph, would you stop and take the time to read it? Most likely not. It’s easy to lose your spot [and your interest] when coming across this type of content.
4. Keep Up With the Trends
Pieces of content that are based around trending topics are way more likely to be discovered than content that is not. Take the “yanny” vs. “laurel” controversy for example. All day, the internet heavily debated over who heard what and Burger King decided to join in on the fun. This was the perfect way to join in on the conversation while promoting their product.
Do your research on trending topics (or just don’t live under a rock) and come up with ways you can join in on the fun while being relevant and up to brand standards. Read more about how you can jump on the real-time marketing bandwagon by clicking here.
5. Don’t Over-Promote
Here’s a big rule of thumb: Don’t make it all about you! Over-promoting your brand is a huge turn off. It’s like following that one narcissistic person on Instagram who posts selfies every single day. (No offense if that person is you. Just allow me to kindly unsubscribe).
Same goes for your brand! Making it all about you comes off as inauthentic, salesy and robotic. People aren’t going to engage with your brand if you’re constantly pushing spammy content. While your content should still be related to your product/services, find ways to have fun with it! Check out my blog, What a Great Social Media Content Plan Needs, to learn more about how you can get creative with your content.
What better way to grab someone’s attention than giving away free shit? I don’t actually mean shit. That would be gross. But if you’re into that, I’m totally not judging… (I totally am)... Anyways, people are pretty much always down to engage with content if there’s something in it for them.
Who remembers that time your Instagram feed was completely slammed with that photo of a girl in a red one piece bathing suit? (That day still haunts me). A little over a year ago, Sunny Co Clothing offered a free bathing suit (with the exception of shipping) to users who reposted the photo below. Sunny Co Clothing received an overwhelming amount participants to the point where they had to put a cap on the promotion.
While this promotion totally backfired due to the fact that they weren’t prepared to receive a viral amount of participants, it sure got our attention. Like I said. People love free shit. Just be prepared for anything before running a promotion.
7. Optimize the Crap Out of Your Content
How you gonna grab someone’s attention if you aren’t showing up on search engines? When creating content, especially for your website, it’s crucial to keep your keywords in mind and naturally incorporate those words and phrases into your text when possible.
Do your initial research to see what your ideal customers are searching for and find ways to fit those keywords into your website text, page titles, alt tags, and URLs. You’re never going to attract new customers if your website is undiscoverable. So get to optimizing so you can start ranking!
To learn more about the best SEO on-site practices, click here.
That’s a Wrap
To make it simple - don’t be boring! Create content that’s human, visual, concise and optimized, and you’ll be on your way to the road to success.
*This post originally appeared on the Impulse Creative blog July 23, 2018. In July 2020 we updated some information as the post became more popular once again.