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Writing and Winning in the Attention Economy

Michael McNichols
Senior Content Manager

They call it the “Attention Economy,” because attention has become a scarce commodity. All day, every day, people are besieged with a multitude of marketing messages. Their email inboxes fill up. They get text after text. Ads show up in any Google search they do and on their social media. You can’t watch TV or listen to the radio without dealing with advertisements. It can all become white noise to a person, and it can be difficult to stand out from the rest and capture their attention.

As a marketer, you have to ask yourself what you can do to distinguish yourself. What can you do to pique someone’s interest and hold their attention with your content marketing strategies and the writing it requires? 

It doesn’t take an intricate stunt or anything fancy. It still all depends on your content and how it’s written. Any piece of writing needs to be clear and easy to understand and digest. Something that is simply well written or better written than the rest can make a strong impression. But you need to go further than that.

Your content must engage the reader. It has to interest and intrigue them. And remember that you do not have a huge amount of space to work with. Many people read emails, texts, conduct business, and more on their phones and other mobile devices. You must write and design your content with mobile in mind.

This means you understand that you:

  • Need to be concise and get to the point right away
  • Must make your content as mobile and reader-friendly as possible
  • Can make the most of the space you have to drive home your point

Even if someone is viewing an email or site on the web, you still have only a brief window of opportunity to interest them. If you fail, your email will be deleted, or they’ll move onto another site.

Obviously, you must optimize your landing pages, emails, texts, and all marketing materials to offer a pleasing experience with easy navigation and eye-catching designs. But what about your copy?

How does it stand out?

The answer is relevance.

Your content should be offering your audience something, a tidbit of information, a how-to tip, or news on products and services that they are interested in. Your audience is looking for content that helps them solve their business problems, and you have to deliver it.

How well do you know your prospects? Do you have an idea of what keeps them up at night? What are their pain points and what can you do to help?

You need to bear all that in mind when writing your content. That said, how can you get to know your audience better?


Numbers tell the story. What emails are people clicking on? What blog posts are getting the most views? Which landing pages are getting people to convert? The results are there for you to analyze.

Social Media

What are your customers saying on social media? What topics are intriguing people the most on the social media platforms?

Your Competitors

Pay attention to what concerns your competitors and what topics they are showing interest in. You’re trying to win over the same audience, and a competitor might have hit upon a topic you can tweak and make your own.


Your marketing, sales, and customer service teams are in constant contact with your customer base. You see what your audience is responding to and talking about on social media. You can read the reviews they put up of you online. Sometimes, you hear directly from them on what your experience with you was like. Such feedback is a valuable tool in putting your finger on the pulse of what your customers want and expect.

Remember that content marketing means you are having a conversation with your audience. What can you say to capture their attention and make them want to keep talking further? What can you offer them no one else can?

You have the solution to their problems, and you just have to let them know, albeit in as concise and clear a way as possible. You don’t want to waste their time, not even a few precious seconds or minutes. 

Find out more about how content generation can aid your lead generation with “Do More with Content Marketing.”

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