Not to be confused with the opera, or the popular musical, A.I.D.A. is an acronym for the basics of customer engagement – Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Otherwise known as the staples of good copywriting.
This week, we'll focus on the first letter of the acronym – Attention. Without your prospects' attention, why even bother marketing? You can create all of the pieces, funnels, and content you want, but if no one is looking at them, they're worthless.
The good news is you can do a lot to make sure your efforts are noticed. All it takes is implementing a few powerful secrets.
Today, I'll show you what it takes to truly get someone's attention…
Why the quality of your headlines is the difference between failure and success…
And the one thing that will give you a leg up on your competition…
How People Remember
Believe it or not, it takes a lot for people to remember things.
Now, you may disagree, thinking back to a time when a parent or other loved one was angry and perhaps hasn't let it go yet… but when it comes to most day-to-day things, people don't remember that well.
Many times you have to hear and see something over and over again before it really sticks in your mind. That's why musicians have to rehearse and athletes have to practice to perform. If they don't, they may very well forget what to do during the moment of truth.
The same goes for your marketing.
You see, it usually takes seeing something around five times before someone remembers what it is. Especially when it comes to advertising, as we are bombarded with new messages every day.
This is why I always encourage a multi-channel approach to your campaigns. Just running a blog or sending out emails isn't enough. People need to see you over and over again in different media for your name and message to stick in their head.
So when you create your CRM campaigns, you need to consider your blog, social media, email marketing, etc… to ensure your prospects are getting your message front and center. You also have to consider how they prefer to consume your information – podcasts, videos, ebooks, etc…
Remember last month when I discussed how to incorporate Direct Mail into your marketing system? This is why.
When someone receives an email from you, they may just glance through it and move on. But, following up with a postcard in two days will give them even more of a nudge. Then you send them a link to a free video after that. Finally, you could leave a voicemail on their phone.
The constant slow drip of these materials will keep them in tune with who you are and what your message is. And that way, even if they don't directly take action after seeing your materials, they will think of you down the road.
I know that I am inclined to buy from companies whose names come to mind first. I didn't always subscribe to Glazer-Kennedy Inner Circle, but between word-of-mouth (which is also a marketing channel!), in addition to the large dose of direct mail and emails I was receiving (all with a lot of value and minimal obligation), I found myself thinking of them first when I wanted to attend a live event in a similar field to my own.
(Remember, you always want to plug into the competitions' funnels and events to learn about how they are communicating with their audience. You will learn a lot about what works and what doesn't with the same audience you are reaching out to.)
Anyway, the fact is, you never know when your efforts will pay off.
But there is another element at play. Remember when I mentioned how people tend to remember things they are angry about? Well, that applies to any strong emotional reaction they have, both positive and negative.
And if your marketing can play into those strong, memorable emotions – you will become front and center in their minds right away. But to do so, you need one key ingredient.
What Do You Look at First?
The headline (or in some cases, the title), is the most important element of anything you ever create. Without a good headline, no one will read your piece! People are busy and don't want to be bothered – but if you draw them in with the right hook…they will give you their time.
Just think about the last article you read online. Chances are it had a headline that drew your attention.
To use an example, a real trend has been with “link-bait” sites posting videos or articles with very intriguing headlines encouraging you to read. Think Upworthy or Viralnova. A good example is, “Watch a Teenager Bring His Class to Tears Just by Saying a Few Words.”
Reading that piques my interest – I'm certainly curious about what he said.
You see, this headline touches on a lot of things without being totally overt. It's relatable – we've all been in a classroom, so we know what that dynamic is like. Someone bringing a classroom to tears is very rare, so he must have said something pretty special.
This also plays off of many memories we have of our school days. This could spark any number of emotions, making us want to find out more.
On top of that, there is a social element here; without even watching the video, we know we will want to share it with others. Especially if it's really good (or really bad!).
The best part is, there is a formula to this. I won't go too deep into it, as headlines deserve their own article, but here are a few things people like to read:
- Top # Lists – There is no more successful formula than “the list.” Guaranteed click-throughs.
- What Everybody Ought to Know About ______ – This not only entices the reader, but encourages them to “test” their knowledge about something.
- Get Rid of (problem) Once and For All – We all have had a problem with something. If you can offer a solution to eliminate it, that's very exciting!
Now, the websites I mentioned are trying to appeal to a very broad demographic, which makes choosing a headline much harder. Hence the very vague headline; it manipulates your general curiosity to click.
Thankfully, you don't have to do that.
You know who you are targeting if you’ve been following my teachings. And your headline should touch on an existing emotion within that ideal prospect: their deepest needs, wants, hopes, dreams fears, and frustrations. Something you've come to understand about them through research and communication.
When you resonate with a specific emotion, people will respond right away. If it's in a blog post, they'll read it (and perhaps comment on it). If your lead magnet piece has an intriguing and useful title, they'll give you their email to download it, and so on.
So how do you find this information? If you've been following me for a while, you may know the answer. Following this next step could turn your entire business around.
Getting Inside Your Prospects' Heads
Do you know where they live? What they do for a living? Their wishes? What they've been dealing with lately? Their fears, problems and frustrations? Their dreams, desires and aspirations?
There are ideal customers for the product or service you provide, but you need to know who they are, where they are, and how to reach them. Without this information, your marketing is just a shot in the dark.
You can find all of this out by spending time on forums, talking with commenters on your blog posts, and having discussions on social media. You can create polls and surveys. Even host Q&A sessions.
Basically, you need to communicate as best as you can.
Now, let's say you did your research, and your target demographic is middle-aged women hoping to start a new career. They chose to stay at home with their children, and now those kids are off to college.
They are probably facing a lot of fears at this point – they've spent 18 years or so not working a regular job. Do they have the right skills? Will they be forced to work a thankless job with teenagers? Will it be hard to adjust?
If you are a career coach focusing on this demographic, you need to be ready with answers to those questions. And your marketing has to address those fears.
So, combining the headline formulas from above with this example, you may use “5 Things You Should Know About Starting A Career at 50” as a blog post. Perhaps even on a postcard.
It will be pretty jarring (in a good way) for someone to read something that addresses their innermost thoughts. But, that's why it will grab their attention and stick in their mind.
And once you start doing that, your engagement will improve, and your profits will soar.
Getting Attention the Right Way
As I've said many times in the past, everything should be congruent with your image and your message.
You need to do your research and testing to make sure you're attracting the right crowd. And when you are developing your materials, you must keep them in line with your values and those of your ideal customers.
Take the time to go through these steps when creating your marketing materials, and you will be amazed at how successful your campaigns will be. It may take some trial and error, but you will be miles ahead of your competition.
And next week, I'll dive into arguably the trickiest step of all – getting your customers to read or watch your entire message. Stay tuned!