In a world saturated with ads and content, attracting prospects’ attention is becoming increasingly difficult.
We’re all kind of lethargic, in zombie mode, so you have to work double hard on the copy and images of your content to break this lethargy.
You have to say, “Hey! Wake up, this interests you!” But using other words.
Very easy to say, eh? But how?
There are several ways.
And even if they aren’t 100% “content overload syndrome” and “scroll till your eyes hurt” proof, with these techniques you’ll have a much better chance of your ad getting the attention your business needs.
Let’s have a look at them.
Awake their curiosity
People want to know what’s going to happen next, especially if it’s something that interests them personally.
For example, I have little interest in sports, so if I read a headline like this one, I won’t be interested:
- Pipito Malesca’s stunning goal that only happens once in 50 years
I’m not going to click on it or spend a second of my brain mass reading it.
But someone who is interested in football will click on the link.
Screenwriters know curiosity is very powerful, so one thing they learn from day one is to always leave questions open and only give the answers at the end.
Curiosity is so strong that it even makes you keep watching bad films just to find out what happens at the end, even if you know you’re going to be disappointed.
The need we feel to fill our information gap outweighs our sense of wasting time.
You can use the same principle in your copy.
Ask those questions your buyer persona is interested in and reveal the answers little by little, always creating the impression that there is still more to find out.
This is the only way to get your prospects to read your copy till the end. When you answer the first question, present a second one and so on.
In this article, I talk about more techniques to increase the curiosity of your audience.
Surprise them with something totally unexpected.
The Heath brothers’ famous book Made to Stick talks about why some ideas survive over time and others die. Read it, it’ll help you to write better copy.
One of the most important elements of successful ideas is the element of surprise.
If an idea has a totally unexpected element it will make people give us their full attention because we break their pre-determined schemas.
Our brain and nervous system are programmed to pay full attention when something totally unexpected happens, and we owe this to our survival instinct.
So if you introduce something totally unexpected in your ad or post, you will get that elusive attention from your audience.
One of the examples in the book that explains this concept is the following. It has stuck with me because the 2 main characters in this story are 2 things I admire:
- Great journalism and the stories of writer Nora Ephron.
In one of her books, Nora Ephron tells the story of the day she decided to become a journalist. One day In high school, the teacher asked the students to come up with the lead for the next story.
“Kenneth L. Peters, the principal of Beverly Hills High School, announced today that all high school teachers will travel to Sacramento next Thursday for a colloquium on new teaching methods. Among the speakers are anthropologist Margaret Mead, high school principal Dr. Robert Maynard Hutchins and California Governor Edmun Brown.”
The students set about writing the first leads of their lives, all along the lines of “Governor Pat Brown, Margaret Mead and Robert Maynard Hutchins to address Beverly Hills High School teachers Thursday in Sacramento”.
The teacher picked up all the leads, read them quickly and paused.
“The lead of the story is: There will be no school next Thursday”.
All the students were dumbfounded, and it was at this very moment that Nora Ephron decided to pursue journalism as a career.
And after so many years she hasn’t forgotten that moment because it was something she didn’t expect.
The stories that surprise us always take an unexpected turn and break our mindsets.
Look for that twist in your copy to surprise your prospects.The 6 most effective ways to attract your prospects’ attention. #copywriting #contentmarketing #ads #SmallBiz Click To Tweet
Make them smile
Humour is always welcome. Well, not always, depending on the subject we are dealing with, obviously.
Although there are brands that have dared to make humour out of subjects that have always been very serious. And it’s worked.
Dead Happy is a life insurance company that has broken the insurance industry’s mould.
Dead Happy has decided to target a younger audience and get them to start thinking about what they want to do with their money when they die.
They use humour to take the drama out of a subject that has always been taboo and intrinsically linked to paperwork and bureaucracy.
Their copywriters have completely changed the meaning of the term Death Wish: no longer a will to auto annihilation but more what people want to happen when they die: all their money to go to a certain person, pay off the mortgage, have a Viking funeral… Anything is possible.
By breaking the mould of a gloomy and overly serious industry, they’ve managed to attract the attention of their target audience.
Promising an improvement in their lives they consider important
Who doesn’t want to improve their life?
We all have aspects of our lives that we are dissatisfied with and if someone offers us a chance to improve them we’ll be all ears.
For example, making more money, having more time or a healthier relationship with oneself.
But to attract people’s attention you need to be very concrete. Abstract messages don’t have as much power of attraction as concrete ones.
For example, a headline that says Do you want to earn more money? It won’t be as attractive as one saying Do you want to earn 1000 euros more per month in just 6 months?
Being hyper-specific in your copy will make your prospects pay attention to your ad or landing page.
A concrete message is much more memorable than one that is abstract or too general.
There are a lot of masterful examples of this in the history of advertising and copywriting. Like this one written by David Ogilvy for Rolls-Royce in the late 1950s.
“At 60 miles per hour, the only noise you’ll hear in the new Rolls-Royce is the electric clock”.
A hyper-specific headline tells us that the car is quiet, something revolutionary at a time when you couldn’t hold a conversation in a car without shouting at each other.
This headline promised a very concrete improvement in prospects’ lives.
Another way to demonstrate how you will improve your prospects’ lives is by assuring them that they will spend less effort on a task.
Like this App for coaching whose headline reads:
“Deliver better programmes, to more clients, with less work. “
If your headline encompasses a promise of improvement your prospects are looking for, they’ll pay attention.The 6 most effective ways to attract your prospects’ attention. #copywriting #contentmarketing #ads #SmallBiz Click To Tweet
Solving a problem they are currently experiencing
Another way to get your prospects’ attention is to offer them a solution to a specific problem.
In this case, your prospects know they’ve got a problem and they want to solve it because it’s causing discomfort.
As in the previous section, here you should also be very specific when defining the problem and the solution.
Let’s look at an example of a headline from a post I saw some time ago, which makes me laugh because it’s something I often suffer from.
“How to solve your parents’ IT problems without murdering them”.
This headline caught my attention immediately because I’m their target customer and also because I found it very funny.
My father often calls me because he can’t remember how to print a document or because he can’t send a video via WhatsApp and wants me to help him over the phone.
If you know what I’m talking about, maybe you also lose your patience and sometimes you speak badly to them without meaning to.
When I hang up after having spent half an hour explaining to him how to go to the deleted folder, I feel terrible for having lost my patience at times.
That’s why this article caught my attention.
Let’s look at another example this time of Lemonpie
On their homepage they say:
“Reach future customers on podcasts they love.
We’re a Podcast PR agency for tech companies. We’ll secure guest interviews on your audience’s favourite podcasts and help you make the biggest impact possible on them. “
Notice how specific this headline and sub-headline are, both in terms of who they are targeting (tech companies looking for more customers) and what problem they’re solving and how (not having enough customers and getting more by being guests on podcasts their audience listens to).
Being concrete will help you reach the right customer and convince them that what you offer interests them.The 6 most effective ways to attract your prospects’ attention. #copywriting #contentmarketing #ads #SmallBiz Click To Tweet
Protecting them from danger
Our brain needs a lot of energy to function so as a cost-saving measure, it only attends to what seems important.
Our survival instinct is still very much alive, so our brains respond immediately when it feels under threat.
If your copy highlights a danger affecting your prospects, you’ll attract the attention of their reptilian brain, which is responsible for making almost all our decisions.
This record-breaking click-through headline speaks directly to a latent danger for any entrepreneur:
“Will your website survive the penalties of Google’s new algorithm?”
If you have a website and you depend on it to attract customers, you’ll click on that link for sure because you’ll be afraid the new algorithm will penalise your website and lower your ranking.
This other one appeals to a very common concern:
“Money will no longer be a worry – if you follow this simple plan”.
To sum up
With so much content and so many ads out there getting the attention of your prospects is becoming the BIG challenge.
But if you know what will interest, surprise, amaze, make them laugh, worry or scare them, you’ll have a much better chance of people stopping whatever they’re doing and read your ad, article or home page.
Get inside their minds and touch that key that will make them focus all their attention on what you have to say.The 6 most effective ways to attract your prospects’ attention. #copywriting #contentmarketing #ads #SmallBiz Click To Tweet