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How to win in the Attention Economy

Because we’re picky.

And the more choice we get the pickier we are.

We pay more attention to content when it’s coming from a source that we find:

  • trustworthy,
  • appropriate and
  • objective.

But just because someone notices you doesn’t mean they’re paying attention.

Given my interest in you reading my newsletter, I should be the last person to say this.

But written-text is so 1762.

And don’t get me wrong, I love reading!

Written-text is great for explaining things.

But for grabbing your attention?

Especially when you’re scrolling faster than you think?

A text wall is the last thing you need.

Because you process images 60 000x faster than text.

93% of all communication is visual.

Visual stimulation grabs your attention, affects your attitude and enhances your emotions.

Complex information is even easier for you to process if it’s visual.

You’ll also remember the important details better later on.

That’s why interactive content performs better.

Yet most content produced today is static.

But things are changing.

A recent benchmark report on ABM programs noted that 44% of marketers are already using interactive content that’s tailored to the industry or role of their prospects. 

And interactive content isn’t limited to online.

Data visualisations and infographics are just a start.

When it comes to getting – and holding – your attention, brands are pulling out all the stops offline.

Amazon delighted customers receiving deliveries around Halloween with an interactive AR pumpkin.

And Cadilac launched a virtual showroom for luxury car buyers.

But Fortnite is the undisputed king of attention.

Disney, Netflix and other streaming services see the game as their biggest threat.

Because Fortnite has the potential to captivate millions.

Their latest season finale had 3.4 million viewers on YouTube.

And a whopping 15.3 million participants.

As a comparison, the Game of Thrones season finale had 13.6 million viewers.

And all they could do was sit and watch.

The success of Fortnite reveals a fascinating truth.

Fortnite isn’t just a game.

It’s a destination.

With a myriad of immersive entertainment experiences and social interactions.

And in a world full of distractions, attention is the real currency.

Email is broken

TechCrunch spoke to Basecamp’s CEO Jason Fried about their plans to revitalise email the same way Gmail all those years ago. With 125 000 users already, will Hey! take us to the promised land of Inbox Zero?

Hubspot asked 400 consumers why the subscribe and unsubscribe from email marketing campaigns. The results are definitely insightful especially if you’re planning to launch or optimise your email marketing campaign.

B2B buyers may not trust your website, but they won’t make a purchase decision without it

Making a sale can be challenging but making a purchase decision, it seems, more challenging still. According to Garner, the quality of your content can make all the difference.

A new report discovered that B2B buyers, on average, consume 13 different pieces of content before making a purchase decision – out of which eight are from the vendor’s website.

That’s a pretty big number don’t you think?

Especially when B2B buyers claim that they don’t have much faith in the trustworthiness of the claims made on those websites.

What in tarnation is going on here?

Take adtech for example; there are literally tens of thousands of vendors out there.

Picking the right tool can seem like finding the right needle in a haystack if the haystack was made out of other, almost identical needles.

It’s no wonder then that product specification and comparison pages on a vendor’s website are considered the most influential to purchase decision making.

Far more influential than ads, industry blogs or email marketing.

Context is king

People often start searching for a solution when they encounter a problem.

Depending on how urgent the problem is, their aim is to start exploring solutions as quickly as possible.

Completing a B2B purchase cycle can take anything from a few weeks to a few months.

In light of this research, what can you do?

First, create content targeting long-tail keywords. This will help you drive traffic during the problem identification phase.

Then, treat your website as a service with product description pages and comparison tools designed with the user in mind.

Do this and you’ll be a part of the conversation from the very beginning of the purchase journey (and more likely to end up on the final top 3 list of your potential clients).

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Is it time for you to follow Netflix’s example?

Do you remember watching the mind-twisting, choose-your-own-adventure style Black Mirror: Bandersnatch on Netflix?

As if Black Mirror wasn’t twisted enough already now you can watch the horror, sci-fi and 80’s nostalgia captured in a captivating movie with 5 possible endings.

Bandersnatch was Netflix’s first major success with interactive content. Which beyond tying them up in a lawsuit is also seen as their secret marketing weapon for years to come. 

Netflix has long been a data company and with interactive content, Netflix can now get a deeper understanding of our product preferences, tastes, beliefs and attitudes.

Does this mean you need to pitch a new series to Netflix?

Look, interactive content – being any content that you can interact with –  has been around for some time. Already in 2016, 53% of marketers were using it. And chances are that you’ve come across it in its many, many forms.

But guy it’s 2020 and many content marketers still haven’t gone beyond vanilla metrics, maybe it’s time to give interactive content a shot.

What type of data are we talking about?

With interactive content, we can start collecting psychographic data or data that uncovers people’s tastes and opinions. While this isn’t a replacement for customer research, it’s a smart way to start gathering aggregate data to complement larger research or study.

Using quizzes, graders, product hunts, puzzles and memory games you’re not only engaging people but also learning more about their preferences. And before you worry about data science, these days there are tools that do the heavy lifting for you.

What’s in it for my customers?

According to Gartner, enterprise buyers spend up to 27% of their time researching independently online and 77% of enterprise buyers find making enterprise purchases difficult. But they agree that the quality of information not only increases their likelihood to buy but also makes them more likely to buy a bigger deal with less regret.

Interactive content can be fun and entertaining and it can also be used to help experts make more informed decisions.

What are you going to do next?

Is there room for you to improve how you engage your customers? If the answer is yes then you’re a Google search away from hundreds of tools for everything from making interactive infographics to gamified landing pages that generate conversions. I’ve worked with both LeadFamily and Cheetah Digital and can vouch for their tools.

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