Scrolling…we spend a hell of a lot of personal time doing it and a hell of a lot of our professional time hoping our content will make potential customers stop doing it!
Greek American engineer and physician Peter Diamandis once famously said that if you’re holding a smartphone in your hand today, you have more access to information than the president of the United States did in the late 1990s.
Whether it’s TikToks, tweets, ads, memes, stories, Snapchat, news – we’re constantly bombarded with snippets of content (some experts estimate we see anything between 4,000 and 10,000 messages a day) so it’s no wonder we have developed an in-built screening process that allows us to filter and scroll at lightning speed.
That’s great for us personally, it means our brains aren’t going into overdrive trying to collect and collate all the information that’s thrown our way. As marketers though, it’s not so great because it means we have to really do something jaw-dropping to make the scrolling stops.
Impact Starts with Intent
The simple truth is that you have no longer than 3 seconds to grab someone’s attention…to really stand out among the crowd and make an impact.
What that impact is could be anything from making them laugh, to making them hit the read more button to clicking through to your site and becoming part of your nurturing process.
That’s why the first thing you need to consider when you’re creating content of any kind is to consider what your intent is for this piece.
Your intent will determine the language you use, the tone you take, the imagery you add, the music that plays, and the platform you deliver it on.
And, whichever platform you choose, you have to put your ego aside and understand that you’re just one of many fighting for clicks, laughs, and engagement.
It’s not a case of generating a whole stack of content and chucking it about hoping that something will stick, you need to curate GREAT content in order to achieve awareness. And awareness is the first step to generating more clicks, saves, and paying customers.
Build It and They Will Come – Or Not!
A thoroughly overused saying and one that really gets my goat because how will people know what you’ve built and where to find it if you don’t shout about it!
This is where awareness comes in, and the importance of building a consistent brand that can increase revenue by up to 23%.
If you’re starting out on a brand awareness campaign then make sure you do a lot of the basics before you even begin generating content.
Map out exactly what you aim to achieve, who you want to target and how you’ll reach them. It’s also handy to consider what you deem successful…do you want more likes or followers? Do you want more people to click through to your website? Do you want more people to sign up for your mailing list?
Once you’ve worked this all out then it’s time to put the pedal to the metal and crack on with some clickable content.
The 3 Second Rule
From awareness to attention, and this takes us back to those magical 3 seconds!
Given how much information we digest on a daily basis you really need to work hard to create something that wows and makes people stop in their tracks.
It’s not (like we’ve been led to believe) that consumers of content have attention spans shorter than that of a goldfish, we’re just being pickier about who and what we give our attention to.
So how do you go about it? Well, a quirky take on a news story (just look at the content that was generated off the back of Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘Meta’ unveiling), an unpopular or startling opinion, a funny hack or a hilarious TikTok – it’s more about appealing to your consumers’ emotions than their logical brain.
However you choose to go about it, the first 3 seconds of your content needs to hook someone in, tell them what’s to come and why it matters to them.
These critical seconds can win you a legion of new fans or condemn to live in the internet wilderness, just hoping for someone to pass by and stop in a game of chance.
Handy Hacks to Hook Them In
So now you’re chomping at the bit to get cracking and hook those people in but just in case you’re still sitting staring at a blank notebook waiting for inspiration to strike… here are a few tips to help you out!
In a world where you can be anything, be instagrammable! Sorry to the copywriters among us (I feel your pain) but visually appealing posts are more clickable. Spend time (and money if you can) in creating unique, eye-catching and engaging images that showcase what you’re all about. Don’t use the same stock images as everyone else, work out what you can do differently.
Headlines That Hit Hard.
Copywriters rejoice…as David Ogilvy once said:
On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.
Write short, catchy headlines that make people want to read on BUT avoid clickbait type headlines as they will only cause readers to lose faith in you and your content.
It’s Business but It’s Personal.
By taking the time to segment your audience you can personalize the content you send out – not just in terms of offers but the language that you use when hitting up different audiences and the time that you send your content out depending on where they are and when they will be more likely to engage with you.
If you’re a wedding planner you’re less likely to get engagement posting an offer at 10 am on a Monday morning when your dream client is at work than you are at 8 on a Saturday night when they’re sat down with a glass of wine and are scrolling through Pinterest for inspiration.
Pop Quiz Hot Shot.
Going all interactive is totally on point right now. Whether you’re a lover of Linkedin or an Insta Addict, you’ll see hundreds of polls, quizzes, Q&A stories, etc every day.
You’ll probably know what your strippers’ name is, what you’d look like as a cat, or whether you’ll be on Santa’s naughty or nice list this Christmas…we just can’t help ourselves!
If you get hooked into these interactive posts then so will your followers so get on it!
Get on Trend.
Researching what’s trending can take time, the time you just don’t have so hop on the Google Trends bandwagon and find out what people are talking about and hijack the conversation with your own content.
Use imagery, headlines, interactive polls, etc to cut through the custard, and away you go!
Get their attention now and begin nurturing an ongoing relationship that keeps people coming back for more, time and time again!