Once you understand how to get it, earned it, and keep it, you can market anything

Image: Wesson Wang Unsplash

Author: Nick Chai

Let’s keep marketing in its simplest form. It’s all about attention. Period. There’s nothing else that is as important as getting, earning, and keeping attention in marketing.

Sure, there are lots of factors when it comes to perfecting your marketing campaigns. I’m not denying any of that at all. What happens when you overcomplicate marketing is you become so obsessed with vanity metrics that you forget the important part of marketing — understanding your audience and how you can connect with them in the most efficient way.

With that being said, I want to bring your attention to the essence of marketing. Because once you understand these fundamentals, you can market anything. Great marketing thrives with simplification.

Value Does Not Grab Attention

Before you can get attention, you should know what attention is and how it works. It’s important that you know the basic psychology of our human mind.

Attention is what every human being exhibits when something or someone is deemed to be crucial for maintaining their overall well-being.

In other words, people pay attention to what’s important. You will get attention by stating the desires and motivation of your audience, not by providing value. Now hear me out before you overreact.

Getting attention happens in split seconds. You need to work your magic within seconds. And providing value to your audience requires more than just seconds, which is why most marketers are having a hard time getting it.

I know value is important in any marketing. But it won’t be unless you get people to read or watch your stuff. You need to change your mindset about value. It’s great for keeping attention, but not so much for getting attention.

Here’s are some things you should consider to get attention effectively:

What are the pain points of your audience and how you can best articulate them?

What are the core features of your product or services that could solve their problems instantly? (Not in the near future or in a few weeks’ time.)

How can you connect the main problem and its solution in your headlines, illustrations, or videos?

Once you combine these pieces together, you’ll get a very effective attention-grabber. Your costs will go down and your click-through rate will go up. One thing to keep in mind is to not let creativity get in the way. Professional design is good for first impressions, but try not to go overboard as it might affect your marketing performance.

If your audience wants to appreciate art, they would go somewhere else to do it. You’re here to solve their problems through your products and services. Remember, you’re not a museum. Keep your marketing clear and concise because you only have seconds to spare.

Image taken from author’s Facebook ads manager. Results are achieved through pain points research and persuasive copywriting.

What’s in It for Them?

After you capture their attention, you need to keep it. This is where giving value plays its role. The value you’re providing will keep them on the site. Don’t get me wrong — your audience might still leave. You will need to hold their attention for as long as you can so you can sell to them.

Your website copy is like your salesman in action. Every word persuades your audience on why your products or services are their best investment. This is where features and benefits coexist to present a valid sales argument to persuade your audience into a commitment.

Things to be included in your copy:

Features and benefits of your products or services (you need both because there will be no benefits without features).

Anticipate your audience’s objections and answer them through a dedicated page or a chatbot.

Strong and concise call-to-action so your audience feels confident once they’re ready to commit.

Benefit-driven marketing works best together with the value you provide. It’s persuasive and convincing. Here’s something you might not know. Keeping attention does not mean you have it forever. You’re simply extending your audience’s attention span by mere seconds when visiting your site.

You need an attention-grabber somewhere in between your website copy to keep your audience on the page. What most marketers do is simply spitting out long pages of copy without a break. That usually results in lower conversion because people are dropping out in between.

My advice is to simplify everything on your site, especially your call-to-action. It pays to keep the “eight seconds rule” (average human attention span) in mind. The simpler your site is, the quicker your prospect can make a decision to take action. Be very clear and concise with your copy.

Mini case study

I wrote an advertorial (with a dedicated quiz) for a campaign in the dog niche. The quiz is to find out how well the audience’s dog behaves. It’s situated far below the page after the content. A call-to-action button directed to the offer page is right under the quiz section.

The problem is it didn’t generate enough views on the offer page. I noticed people were clicking on the last line of the headline so I added a button to test it.

Image created by author in Canva

Most people didn’t really read or watch the content. They went straight to the quiz. Adding an anchor button to the quiz improves the offer page views significantly. Some of them still read the content, but I would say 80% of them went straight to the quiz.

What this means for you: Your prospect will look for what benefits them in the quickest way possible. In short, figure out ways to give them what they want without compromising the quality of your content.

Give Them Something They Can Apply

The difference between high conversion and low conversion is how well the features and benefits are illustrated in the audience’s mind through any medium. Decisions are made in the mind of your audience. That’s what you should focus on as a marketer.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the term ‘What’s in it for me.’ It’s an underrated term in my opinion. Marketers are smart enough to focus on the benefits of their offer, but they often miss out on something subtle yet impactful.

The features and benefits should have a direct connection with your audience’s pain points. Your audience wants to know if what they are about to buy can help them solve their problems. This is the part where all their attention is focused on.

Marketers tend to generalize the benefits of their offer. As a result, their audiences can’t see how the offer is beneficial enough to commit to a purchase. The problem is not the offer but the messaging about the offer.

The pain points, solution, and benefits must all converge at a point to harness its persuasive power. The best way to present the benefit of any offer is to make sure the offer solves that specific problem in a specific way and explain the long-term benefit. Clarity wins every time.

Quick tip: In the mini case study example, I gave them advice on how to solve their dog behavior problems. You can refer to the example.

Even if your audience is convinced that your products or services are the best options, they still need a guarantee. Giving them a free trial or money-back guarantee eliminates the doubt once and for all. These methods work especially well when you’re selling high tickets.

Your landing page sells the idea of the offer. Your guarantee or trial sells the actual product or services.

It’s never enough to just sell the idea. The results are what matters from your audience’s perspective. When describing your product or services, let your audience imagine what their lives will be like after they buy it. Then, back it up with a free trial to let them have a taste of what it feels like to have their problems solved.

The best way to sell anything is by letting your audience form their own conclusion about your product or services. In other words, if your products or services have complex working principles, your audience will only understand how their problems can be solved once they personally use them.

Sell the idea to get a micro-commitment, and they’ll commit once they find the value in your offer. No amount of high-quality content can ever replace a free trial. A micro-commitment is the first step toward converting your audience into paying customers.

Lastly, Repeat the Process

For any product or service you want to promote, this is the process — grab their attention, sell the features as well as benefits, and make them commit. Times have changed. Attention is the new marketing trend. You’ll have a competitive advantage once you learn how to get and keep attention.