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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

You Only Have 3 Seconds

Robert Stevenson Blog - How to grab their attention

I was asked to produce a keynote for a client on Maintaining Relationships in a Virtual Environment. Now is the time to connect with your customers like never before, not separate from them. Even in this pandemic environment, your business can still flourish if you are willing to try a new approach and not pull back on your marketing.

You can scroll through your emails, Facebook feeds, today’s news, tweets, and on-line videos, virtually drowning in a sea of soundbites, with page after page of information, until suddenly, YOU stop scrolling. You finally hit that headline that really speaks to YOU. But, how many great articles did you pass up? Think about it. There may have been 30 articles you scrolled by without a second thought. Why? Because nothing in particular stood out to you - nothing in particular spoke to you.

Imagine how much of YOUR company’s marketing and advertising content is lost out there, floating around aimlessly, completely missed by your customers because it didn't quickly grab anyone’s attention. Your content might be awesome! But if no one is engaging, it’s not doing you any good. The experts say - You likely have less than 3 seconds to really stand out and gain their attention.

There is much more pressure surrounding the headline than any other part of your content

Many marketers say it is considered the most critical part of every article, email, ad copy & sales page. If you don’t get the headline right, your target audience will not go any further. David Mackenzie Ogilvy was a British advertising tycoon, founder of Ogilvy & Mather, and known as the "Father of Advertising". According to Mr. Ogilvy, “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of the dollar.”

Tag lines that say "crisis" "financial disaster" "debt"

He recommended you talk to your customers and find out the #1 thing that attracted them to do business with you and come up with 25 ways to express that reason in a headline. Remember, you have only 3 seconds of time to grab their attention, so If you are to succeed at engaging them, the only way that you can do that is with your headline; that means it better be good!

To get the attention of your reader you need great content, but great content is nothing without a hook.

Here are 5 Ways to Get Attention—FAST

  1. Get Visual. Today, anything without an image is boooooring.

  2. Quick & Catchy Wins the Race. Write snappy headlines that are easy to read.

  3. It’s Personal. Personalize your content to really draw in your audience.

  4. Interactive Content is BIG Right Now. Seems like everyone loves a quick quiz.

  5. Be Trendy. Start with Google Trends to find out what people are talking about online.

It’s your job to grab their attention. Present the idea behind your product or article in a way that encourages the visitor to stay engaged. Remember, around 80% of clients JUST read headlines. And they don’t really read it … they scan it. The less they have to read the higher the chance of grabbing their attention. That’s why a good headline should be short & concise, highlighting the most relevant information. If your headline doesn’t hook them, catch their attention, or tickle their interest, everything else you produced is a TOTAL waste of time.

So, if you are going to Maintain Relationships in this Virtual Environment it is critical you get their attention … so make your “3 seconds count” with an eye-catching headline.


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