Getting someone’s attention is easy. Shout at someone and you probably have their attention. Keeping it is what separates good entrepreneurs from the rest.
The problem you face is multi-fold. First, there’s the shortened attention span. Many studies say that it’s been reduced to eight seconds from 12 over the past 15 years. Secondly, there’s the amount of noise competing for consumer attention. They may not be selling products, but they’re fighting for headspace, much like you are. How do you keep a customer’s attention?
1. Create a Buyer Persona
The first step in figuring out how to keep someone’s attention is to put yourself in their shoes. Your viewpoint is important, but secondary when figuring out another person’s context. To this end you should create a buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a made up person that consists of your ideal customer’s traits. You can build one using surveys and customer data. It should consist of age, demographic, needs, responsibilities — anything that shapes him or her as a person should be there.
Admittedly this is limited. Your ideal customer will represent a small percentage of the public. However, this gives you something important: direction. From this identity you can target content creation, retention and acquisition, and many more.
2. Emphasize Your Unique Selling Point
As an entrepreneur, you know what your unique selling point is. You know what makes your product stand out and how beneficial it’ll be to your target market. The problem is they may not know that. Your product or service’s unique selling proposition may not be immediately obvious, which causes them to tune out after eight seconds.
Emphasizing it requires strong branding and marketing. Every effort should be made to inform the public of your offer’s benefits. That alone can pique their interest enough to stay for the long pitch.
3. Understand Your Target Market’s World
Your primary job is to sell your product, that’s understood. Where many entrepreneurs fail is focus. While your offering is what you’re selling, the act of selling it puts it second to the customer. The customer or target market is the primary focus of any marketing campaign. It’s less about getting them to buy and more about getting them to understand the value of the offering.
That means understanding what they find interesting and what words they use to describe your product. That means angling your product to benefit them, first and foremost. It also means making sure that your marketing campaign is designed to speak to them rather than to simply shill your product.
4. Make Short Videos
One of the best things that ever happened to entrepreneurs around the world is the increased viability of videos. Facebook and Twitter allow for incredible reach. All that’s needed is to take advantage of it.
Videos are inherently more impactful than text and images. If they’re short enough, customers are often willing to sit through the entirety of it, guaranteeing message delivery. Make every video as short and as impactful as possible. 1 minute in length is ideal, 2 is pushing it.
The best part about videos is they can generate more videos just by being made. For every video you make you can create a behind-the-scenes video to share with your fans. Doing so humanizes your company and lets you connect to people on a more personal level.
5. Acknowledge Faults
Love and passion are powerful motivators. They’re likely responsible for your transformation into an entrepreneur. But for all their positive points, they can also be blinding. Your love and passion for your product and desire for success can blind you to its flaws. There is value in acknowledging flaws. That doesn’t mean you love the product less. It just means you’re looking at it realistically.
Why do that? Because that’s how your customers are going to look at it. They’re going to enjoy it, they may even love it, but they’re going to complain about every little problem. If you’re to get their attention and keep it, you must understand what they dislike about the product so you can improve the situation.
One sad truth you must face as an entrepreneur is even with your best effort you may have trouble keeping a customer’s attention. When that happens, check your assumptions. Do you have a clear idea of what the customers want? Are you looking at your product realistically? Do you understand your target market’s context? The answers may be hurtful, but you need to know them if you want to succeed.