Grab Viewer’s Attention Right Now

Mark asks: Clients are asking for more attention grabbing videos. Any advice on how to properly and effectively grab the attention of the the people they market to?

Answer: We’re going to use the Mr. Clean commercial as an example for this answer, Mark. This commercial is the company’s successful attempt to make an impact on their audience.

In any form of advertising–billboards, yellow pages, commercials, web sites…you usually have 3 seconds or less to get the attention of your visitor. In any situation the most successful advertising is memorable, informative, entertaining, intriguing, and profitable, all at the same time.

Anatomy of a Successful Ad

There is a process that every consumer goes through when they see a piece of advertising. They see so much advertising every day that they have developed ways to filter information. These filters look like this:

The First 3 Seconds

This is your chance to get the interest of your potential customer. If what you say isn’t entertaining, interesting, or intriguing enough in under 3 seconds, you’re out. People don’t have time to pay attention to things that don’t interest them. Even if they would love your product or service, if you can’t communicate something to catch their attention quickly they won’t listen.

For this reason, the first 3 seconds can’t include details. The potential customer doesn’t want details at this point. If you try to front-load as much information as you possibly can in your initial attempt to get attention, your potential customer will reject it. As far as they’re concerned, you haven’t earned the right to put information in their brain at this point.

You really only have time to present one idea, which should be related to the main benefit you can offer a consumer. To be memorable this idea has to be emotionally engaging. To be effective it has to be informative. To be both memorable and effective is your goal.

If you do catch their attention in those critical first few seconds, they will stop and pay attention to see if you continue to interest them. This means you have their permission to draw them farther into your message.

The Next 10 Seconds

If you’ve passed the first 3 seconds, you have a longer period of time to get your message across. Depending on how you worked the first 3 seconds, this period of time can be 10 to 30 seconds long. At this point your potential customers are evaluating whether they want to dedicate a few minutes or more to your message (a significant amount of time for the average busy person). Your message still has to speak to them in terms of entertainment, interest, or intrigue.

In the next 10 seconds or so you can include another benefit or two. Here is where you can make promises that if they take time to learn more about what you offer, they will receive something that is beneficial to them. This usually takes the form of beneficial information, or something they can receive for free. You are not trying to make the sale here. You’re trying to give them a reason to investigate your offer.

If what you say in 10 seconds sounds good to them, you now have the opportunity to give them details. These people are now prepared to allocate significant time to your message. They are interested and want to learn more. You now have a few minutes or more to present the facts, line up the range of benefits you offer, give them the information they want, and allow them to buy from you.

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