Fighting for Attention

20121227-130117.jpgThe Web is a noisy place of 24/7 conversation. It’s at once exciting, inspiring, emotional and sometimes quite confusing. It’s never silent. And if you’re in the middle of the noise, it can be extremely challenging to not only get, but to maintain attention. Many companies and individuals are attempting to use digital marketing strategies to try and increase business, but getting lost in all that noise can cause a sense of desperation. And that desperation can make people feel like they have to really fight to get noticed.

Every day I see people mixed up in the desperation. They are fighting for attention, using any way they can think of to coerce (or even dupe) others into clicking a link. And once that link is clicked, it’s nothing but “me, me, me” and “sell, sell, sell”. I see blog post after blog post with a catchy headline like “5 Ways to Solve All Your Problems Today” that contains nothing but poorly written fluff and meaningless drivel. These bloggers and companies honestly believe that they are doing “content marketing” right. But in actual fact, they are doing nothing more than producing junk food. They are the bad reality TV of the Internet, and while they might be getting clicks, their acts of desperation are not likely getting a lot of business in the door.

No More Fighting

Here are a few truths about that buzzword of the moment, “content marketing”. It’s not a quick fix, easy solution that you can just spend a half hour a week on and expect instant results. It takes a lot of time and effort, but most importantly, it takes careful consideration. Consideration of the kind of story you want to tell. Consideration of who you want to tell that story to. Consideration of the type of media you’ll use and how you’ll use it. You can’t simply barf up a blog post once a week using that three step formula you found on and expect that you’ll get results (and by results I mean more money in your bank account, not a retweet by the A-list blogger du jour).

If you run your content marketing efforts from a place of desperation you’ll always be fighting. However, if you run your efforts from a place of thoughtful consideration, where you’ve thought long and hard about your audience and created and published something of real value, then you won’t have to fight so hard for that attention. You’ll fight less because your content is useful to people. You’ll fight less because it is created from the heart, with your personality and wisdom and experience reflected in the words. You’ll fight less for attention because people pay attention to the good things.

Having great content means you don’t have to fight for attention.

What say you?

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  • December 28, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Hear hear! More listening and being responsive to your audience, less talking over everyone else. Also, made me laugh out loud. This post should be required reading, only the people who need it most will be too busy to do so, sadly. Thanks!

  • December 28, 2012 at 10:38 am
    Susan Murphy

    Should I buy that domain name, Mickey? 🙂

  • December 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    You know I’m a fan of the Sue, so take this with all the love and respect with which it’s offered up, but isn’t it the inevitable by-product of the “just hit publish” mentality? If we keep telling everyone and anyone that they should just get out there and create content, isn’t the fight for attention inevitable?

    • December 29, 2012 at 2:56 pm
      Susan Murphy

      Not at all, Joe. I am a firm believer in “Just Hit Publish”, but that doesn’t mean one should just push content out for its own sake. The fact is, most people never publish…people who have a good story to tell that is of value. “Just Hit Publish” is about having the courage to create things and put them out there for the world. There’s a big difference between that and simply posting content that doesn’t mean anything because that is what all the gurus say you should do.

  • January 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm
    Chaselynn Beard

    After reading your blog post, I feel that it is really great advice. On the internet we are subjected to so much fluff, dishonest advertising, or just misleading titles that it makes it hard to really find what you are looking for. The questions you asked in the “No More Fighting” are extremely helpful to me as student. They make you dig a little deeper and try to come up with something worth reading instead of something people read to laugh at or just entertainment purposes. At first quality work may not be seen as widely or as fast as the “bad reality pieces” but they will last longer.



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