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Your Marketing Approach May Be Obsolete – Grabbing Attention At All Costs, But What Is The Cost?

Your Marketing Approach May Be Obsolete – Grabbing Attention At All Costs, But What Is The Cost?

Grabbing attention at all costs is sleazy and cheap, but it still works even in this day and age. If you deny or doubt that fact, then take a look at a spam post on social media. Have you noticed how despite the fact it bothers people, it still has shares and likes? There are still people out there who are fooled by cheap and sleazy marketing, which means veering away from it may not suit your marketing campaign. There is a good chance that “Attention grabbing” may be the marketing approach that works the best for your company. Your current marketing approach of sensible, logical and conservative campaigning may be the reason why your sleazier competitors are winning on social media.

Am I suggesting that you run around grabbing attention at all costs? Of course I am not suggesting such a course of action, but I am also pointing out that grabbing attention at all costs seems to work for some people and some companies.

attention seeking on social media

The sort of attention-seeking post that you may see online. Except that this one is a professional parody of what you typically see on social media.

Sex, Money, Weight Loss, Easy Answers, Violence, Drugs, Alcohol, Cute, Guns, Danger And Alarmism – The Keys To Attention Grabbing

The sad fact is that posts with any combination of these elements is going to do well online. Think about the many viral posts that have on and on within social media networks because they featured one or more of these elements. There are still children dying from preventable diseases right now because their parents read ridiculous social media posts about childhood inoculations.

The Fappening shouldn’t have been as popular as it was, except for the fact that it featured sexually explicit images of celebrities and people couldn’t get enough of images of the Hunger games star Jennifer Lawrence with man stuff on her face. It is sad that people are so obsessed with such things, yet the sheer number of people who have seen those images is stunning.

Getting Under The Skin Of The Type Of Person Who Follows An Attention Grabbing Post Or Leaflet

Are there really that many dumb people on social media? A person’s wants, needs, and his or her personality changes as the day goes on. A person who is motivated at work may be lazy at home; a person who is passionate at home may be apathetic in public. You have to assume that at some point your target audience is going to be:

[o] Bored
[o] Lazy
[o] Tired
[o] Hungry
[o] Inebriated
[o] Sexually aroused
[o] Irritable
[o] Happy
[o] Giddy
[o] Depressed
[o] Amused

Look at your target audience and your market research, and it makes no sense as to why your target audience may react positively to a scare story, violence, and so forth. However, put them in one of the moods listed above, and suddenly the idea of such people enjoying easy answers, funny stuff and so forth, is no longer so improbable.

Is it so unlikely that a giddy person may enjoy watching guns being fired, or a depressed person may want easy weight loss advice?

Trying Too Hard To Convince People Of Your Intentions Is Ironically The Biggest Credibility Killer

The more that an attention-grabbing piece of propaganda tries to convince you it is genuine, then the more likely you are to believe them. If a kid walks in and says he found some money on the ground, then you may be a little skeptical, but there is little reason for you to suspect anything. However, if the kid starts describing the piece of ground, the circumstances, his/her reactions, and a bunch of other un-requested details, then the kid’s story becomes harder to believe.

Polygraph Workers

People who work with polygraph machines for a living will often tell stories of how easy it is to spot guilty people before they take the lie detector test. They tell stories of how people walk in and suddenly start talking about themselves in positive terms. They tell stories of how people have even brought in photos of their family and newspaper clippings featuring them working for charity.

Instantly, the polygraph tester is able to guess the results of the test because innocent people don’t feel the need to convince the lie detector person that he or she is a good person (because they have truth on their side). Innocent people are not all smiles and hand shakes. Innocent people are inconvenienced by lie detector tests.

When A Company Tries Too Hard

Companies, websites, direct mailers and social media influencers who try to convince people of their honorable intentions are usually the first ones that people are skeptical of.

A website trying too hard to be trustworthy

A man at a market stall was selling metal mini scooters in the mid 00s when they were in fashion. He had a big sign saying, “75% off retail price.” He sold very few scooters. The next day he changed his sign to “Up to 75% off if you don’t ask where they came from,” and he sold several scooters that day. He purposefully cast doubt over his own character, and counter-intuitively, people were more willing to trust him.

The moral of these stories is that if you are using attention-grabbing techniques, then do not try to justify yourself in any way. Do it without apology or explanation, and people will feel less inclined to mistrust you.

Are You Casting Pearls Before Swine?

Do not throw pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6). Do not offer your best content marketing material when you are only trying to grab attention.

I do not know how much I agree with this statement. If all you are doing is trying to get attention, then where is the harm in offering your best material. You just have to remember that being attention seeking is like throwing out raw meat…you will eventually attract flies.

You are going to attract a lot of people who are not looking to make a purchase. This goes for any type of attention grabbing technique being paired with any sort of business. For example, if you sell guns and you frequently post videos on YouTube of guns being fired, then you would expect a high conversion rate–but you won’t get one. You will get plenty of attention, and attention for your shop is good, but your conversion rate will remain lousy.

In other words, if you are going to use attention-grabbing methods, then it is a numbers game. You are not going to improve your conversion rate, in fact, it will probably get far worse, but you will attract so many more visitors/viewers that even a small conversion rate will still result in more sales than your previous marketing campaign.

You are going to attract flies if you use attention-grabbing methods. You will attract trolls, perverts, weirdoes, and just about any type of undesirable person you can think of. The fact you will attract undesirables to your website/profile/brand is one of the biggest downsides of using attention-grabbing methods.

Managing Your Less Desirable Followers And Visitors

Edit out their negative or harmful effects were possible. It may also be a good idea to disable comments on things such as Google+ and YouTube if you keep experiencing a nasty backlash. Do not allow the negative people and the trolls to get a foothold because once they start getting attention from other people, they will continue to visit to keep riling people up or grossing people out. Do not respond to negative comments, especially if you are able to delete them.

Conclusion – Grabbing Attention At All Costs Is Less Than Noble…But It Works From Time To Time

Attention-grabbing methods may be sleazy and cheap, but they may also be exactly what your next marketing campaign is looking for. Just keep in mind that you are using a marketing technique; it is not a branding exercise. Treat your attention-grabbing methods like any other marketing method by testing it, measuring, changing, building on what works and discarding what does not. Follow this advice, and your new marketing method stands a far better chance of a positive result.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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