Learn
Learn
Close

They Ask, You Answer

A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and today’s digital consumer.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Coaching & Implementation Services
Coaching & Implementation Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Coach
Become a Coach
Close

How to Write Compelling Content That Demands Attention

How to Write Compelling Content That Demands Attention Blog Feature

November 17th, 2014 min read

compelling content that demands attentionThink about the last time you read an article, watched a commerical, or saw a tweet that demanded your attention. 

What was it about that piece of content that you simply couldn't resist?

Did it solve a problem you've been facing? Use language that appealed to you? Empathized? 

To convince your ideal customers to take action, you need content that does more than just contribute to the clutter.

Make it memorable. 

Now this doesn't mean you should sit down and wait for a Shakespearean sonnet to flow from your fingertips, but think a lot about the person you're trying to reach. What are their interests? How can you focus your writing so that it appeals to them?

Content that takes shape with their interests and behaviors in mind will capture their attention more naturally. Here's what to consider before you get started.

Give reason

"It's time for bed." 

"Why?"

"Because I said so"

Pretty much everyone can relate to that scenario.

Whether you remember your mom and dad saying it like it was yesterday, or you actually said it to your kid yesterday, we've all heard it. And for whatever reason, we listened (most of the time.)

Why? Because "because" is a ridiculously powerful word when it comes to persuasion. 

The power of "because"

In Robert Cialdini's book, Influence, he details a Harvard study in which a participant was asked to attempt to cut in front of a line of people waiting to use a copy machine. 

First, the participant tried to make their way in by simply asking, "Excuse me. I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?" As a result, 60% of people allowed them to cut the line.

Next, the participant tried to make their way in by asking, "Excuse me. I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I'm in a rush?" This time 94% of people let them go first. 

Finally, the participant tried to cut in by asking, "Excuse me. I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make copies?" The result? 93% of people agreed.

Serving as a trigger for compliance, the word "because" increased the success rate by over 30%. 

What this means for your marketing:

Let's say you're working on a landing page for an ebook about the benefits of chicken noodle soup. The first line of your landing page goes as follows:

"Chicken soup is good for you."

Okay. Why?

"Chicken soup is good for you because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent the side effects of the common cold."

More persuasive, right?

Make it scannable

Do you remember the scene in I Love Lucy where Lucy and Ethel go to work in the candy factory?

Responsible for wrapping chocolates on a conveyor belt, Lucy and Ethel struggle to keep pace with the production, ultimately resulting in utter chaos.

The human brain functions much like this scene. When the amount of information you attempt to input surpasses the brain's processing power, things begin to malfunction. Details are missed, information isn't stored, and overall performance suffers.

The power of scanable content

According to Nielsen Norman Group, 79% of web users scan website content. 

To further explore the way in which people interact with web content, they conducted a study involved five different versions of the same site. They asked participants to carry out the same tasks across the different websites to turn up usability insights. 

The five variations were classified as follows:

  • Promotional writing (control)
  • Concise text
  • Scannable layout
  • Objective language
  • Combined version

The results revealed that usability was high for both the concise (58% better) and scannable (47% better) versions. However, the combined version (concise, scannable, and objective) rose above all variations boasting a 124% better usability than the control.

What this means for your marketing:

Cut your copy in half. 

We've found that overly wordy content is often a result of poor planning. To help you cut to the chase, don't neglect the outlining process. (For tips on effective outline, check this out.

Spacing will also help to ease the readability of your content. Rather than presenting a website visitor with a large block of text, look for a logical place where you can insert a space. A good rule of thumb is to read your post out loud and insert a space whenever you naturally pause to take a breath. 

Not only does it help to offset lengthy areas of text, but it also helps the reader's eye flow throughout the post.

Make it customer-centric

With new tools enabling us to provide more personalized online experiences comes an inevitable rise in consumer expectations. 

Quite simply, the more relevant the communication, the more likely a prospect will be to remain engaged. 

The power of "you"

A study from Dennis P. Carmody and Michael Lewis was conducted to explore the way the brain reacts to hearing our own name in contrast with the names of others. 

The researchers employed four English-speaking, right-handed adult males to participate in a series of auditory tests where they listened to a proctor read off blocks of names, including their own. 

According to their finding, hearing one's own name resulted in a unique brain functioning activation that was unique to the responses elicited by other people's names. 

What this means for your marketing:

Personalization eliminates the need to appeal to everyone by providing you with an opportunity to tailor content to address specific people. 

Aware that people are responsive to their own name, consider using personalization in email subject lines or on website pages to capture their attention and engage them. 

However, keep in mind that personalization doesn't have to be limited to plugging in potential (or existing) customer's names every chance that you get. 

Personalization can also extend into lead status, location, gender, age, etc. 

Consider the benefits of using website personalization to map out an experience that adapts to different stages of the buying process. 

As your visitor evolves from a stranger to a lead to a customer, personalization can be used to adjust website content so that it evolves with them in order to remain relevant.

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE