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Tricks for Winning in the ‘Attention Economy’

“Attention is a bit like real estate in that they’re not making any more of it. Unlike real estate, though, it keeps going up in value.”

Seth Godin

Why Do You Write Content?

Whatever you answered — brand building, lead generation, authority validation — it all ties into earning attention.

Though difficult to measure, capturing an audience is one of the key factors of successful content marketing. And while strategic promotion directly impacts the number of “captured” eyes, content substance directly impacts the amount of attention paid by your market.

The Importance of Attention-Earning Content

As of August 2011, Blogpulse had found 169,467,575 blogs. The value of attention has never been higher.

If your content fails to stand out from the herd, you’re squandering time and money. If your content substance earns attention, your audience will return for more.

What Is Attention-Grabbing Content?

Before hitting the “publish” button on your next piece, ask yourself the following questions:

Does the content bring something fresh and original to the table?
If not, why are you writing it? Why should people come to you for something they can get elsewhere?

Does it solve a problem, answer a question, or provide something new to an ongoing discussion?
Is it written with a real, clear purpose?

Is the content substance “meaty?”
Does it contain information people need? (statistics, how-to instructions, compelling graphics, infographics, etc.)

Is it targeted at your intended audience?
Will it gain traction among that audience?

Is the content shareable?
Is it something you would feel compelled to share?

Is it relatable?
Does it convey authoritative information in a friendly, relatable voice?

Does it invite discussion?
Are you acknowledging your audience and inviting them into the conversation?

Is the content reader-friendly?
Does it contain interesting graphics, plenty of white space, reader-friendly design choices, etc.?

Ways to Measure Public Attention

As with all investments, we must find a way to measure return. Though finding the return on investment for attention is tricky, below are a few commonly accepted indicators:

  • Links to your content
  • Subscribers
  • Newsletter subscriptions
  • Twitter activity (especially content link retweets)
  • Facebook activity (especially content shares and comments)
  • LinkedIn activity (especially content shares)
  • Blog feedback (comments and guest blog requests)
  • Time spent on site (low bounce rates, high page views, etc.)
  • Google +1 recommendations
  • Diggs, StumbleUpon or other social bookmarking hits
  • eBook and white paper downloads

Much like the principles of compound interest, attention-earning content builds momentum. The more attention your content is paid (via sharing, subscribing or bookmarking), the less time and money you spend promoting your content.

How do you create and measure content that earns attention?

Category SEO
C. Stefan Winkler VP, Marketing and Operations at Earned Traffic

C. Stefan Winkler is the VP of Marketing and Operations at Earned Traffic: an elite league of developers and marketers.

Tricks for Winning in the ‘Attention Economy’

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