The Attention Economy: Your Audience's Attention Is Worth More Than Their Clicks

Goal of this post: You will learn that attention is a currency and why it’s vital to your brand. You need to start paying attention to well, attention.

 

 

In today’s crowded world there are so many messages competing for our attention at all times that we have started to filter what we pay attention to.

 

As brands we can pay to have our message shown to people and can at times get our message across extremely cheaply (I’m looking at you Facebook Ads). We can design this message to be extremely focused and targeted to get the attention of our audiences but only if that message is so good that it sets you apart from every competing message in that moment.

 

Want to know what’s more impressive though? When a person chooses to visit you. Chooses to listen to you and chooses to share your message with their friends.

 

They are openly recommending you to their relationships. Do you know how insanely valuable that is? Yes, word-of-mouth marketing has been around since the beginning of time but in the digital age we can track it and put an ROI to it.

 

Think attention isn’t a form of currency now?

 

It’s so much easier to pay for a user to visit us. Yes, paid ads can be a great tactic to use (I love executing these!) to generate traffic but the end goal shouldn’t just be clicks - it needs to be attention.

 

Because here’s the thing - people are smart.

 

They know when they are getting click-baited, they now recognize Google Ads (and are scrolling past more often) and at the end of the day people just don’t want to get sold to. Plain and simple.

What do people want - especially millennials?

 

We want to identify with a brand. We want to know the meaning behind the product/cause/service,

 

Once someone has clicked to your website, your social profiles, your product, etc. there needs to be more than a solution. There needs to be a connection.

 

What will get them to come back on their own free will?

 

What will make them think of you on a random Wednesday when they suddenly have a problem only your product/service can solve?

 

This friends is the result we want to achieve.

 

This is taking our thought process from “how can we make a sale now?”  to “how can we build a relationship that creates 10 sales in a year?”. How can we keep the attention of “the sneezers” as Seth Godin calls them. A relationship with one sneezer can generate 10x the amount of business for you than 20 one-time click sales.

What's causing us as brands to lose focus?

Too many marketers, businesses and brands get caught up in the immediate results.

 

“What’s the ROI?” we ask.

 

While I value quantitative data I’m a big fan of qualitative. I would rather build 10 relationships than just 50 one time visits because in the long run those 10 relationships will create more results, however your business specifically defines results.

So how do we gain attention?

Put your customer/audience first.

 

It really is that simple. When you are creating content, crafting marketing plans or executing anything in your business first get into the mind of your audience.

 

  • What do they need?
  • What will help them achieve success?
  • How can you make their life easier?
  • How can I make them feel something? 
    • hint: this is when virality happens.

 

If you answer these questions before ever thinking about your own business you will build the relationship and gain their attention now and in the future. Make your brand resonate with them so much that they want to recommend you and come back to you when they need you.

 

But Jenny, how does one actually get attention? What do I need to do?

This is where the strategy comes into play!

 

I’m not one to make big blanket statements because they aren’t applicable to every situation. I can only give you the tools and questions you need to ask in order to apply them to your specific situation (but if you do want my help with your specific situation contact me here!).

Typically amplification is the answer.


You need to get in front of your customer. Look out for my next blog post later this week on why obscurity is the number one hurdle businesses need to overcome.