Believe it or not, your target audience is not sitting around waiting to hear from you. When they are done with their busy day, they just want to get home in time to watch the latest Real House Wives of Atlanta or watch the talent crooning away on The Voice, while munching on leftovers from last night’s dinner. It’s tough enough in B2B to get someone’s attention momentarily in this media-saturated, message-fragmented world. But it’s much harder to hold it over minutes and hours or long enough to get your message across. What’s a marketer to do?
Looks like a job for an attention structure
Attention structures are used to keep involvement in information over extended periods of time. Which means more than a few minutes a day. They’re also used to move the decision maker’s attention from one topic to another – all related to your brand in some way.
Linear or not so linear
Most traditional attention structures are linear. They start at the beginning, go to the middle and end with the ending. What a concept.
Linear structures work because once they’ve gained your attention it requires some degree of effort to stop paying attention to them. The problem with linear structures in a world of over-saturated communications is that they typically require a high level of initial attention building.
Put them in control
Non-linear structures such as hypertext, highly interactive websites or microsites, online games, mobile apps, print and online catalogs, blogs and highly scannable magazine and literature formats, as well as the use of factoids and sidebars make it easier for your customers and prospects to enter the information stream and leave. They create a sense of control and familiarity because it’s so easy to access them whenever you need to.
Tell a story
A powerful way to maintain attention over time or create more powerful brand involvement is by giving your audience brand stories. If it’s a story about someone like them, they’ll pay more attention to it than anything else around. If it’s about someone they would like to be (a professional icon, industry leader or someone who has the kind of status they’d like to have) then they will still give you their rapt attention.
Getting your target audience to pay attention to you takes planning and creativity. They aren’t always in the need for what you offer. But staying top-of-mind with them gives you a better shot at a sale when they are ready to buy.
Read more about engaging your customers and prospects by downloading the Mobium e-book, The Age of Engagement.
Photo: Flickr: SFB579:)