the psychology of content attention

The Psychology of Attention and How To Convert More Sales With Your Content

The name of the marketing game is attention.

That is what you work for every day.  To get the attention of your target market.  Only then do you have the opportunity to convert them on your website.

Before you walk away wondering what you have gotten yourself into, let me assure you that you are doing things right now that cause a psychological trigger within your audience.

Even if you’re displaying boredom you are creating an emotion that affects attention in your industry.

So it’s all about the psychology of marketing and how you present your brand to people who are the most interested in it.

Would you care to know more?

Let me first explain these features of attention.

What the Brain Says

In order to effectively impact someone on an emotional level, you have to understand how the brain reacts and responds to different things that you’re doing online.

Think of it as a test you would perform on your email list or other type of marketing.  This is your potential customer, so why not perform testing that will improve the way they react?

According to an MIT study, people are expected to be hit with something awesome right away when they land on your website.

If it’s your content, then you need to create an opener that slaps them across the face and makes them sit up and pay attention.  It’s about understanding what you need to do to entice your audience to do that action you want them to do.

In this digital age that we’re living in, we can send a text across the world in seconds, cook a pizza in minutes, and grab a full meal at a drive through while in our car.

It’s all about convenience and the MIT study suggests that the brain has grown accustomed to these features and now the average person has a shorter attention span than ever.  In fact, one study says, you have less than 8 seconds to get someone’s attention from the start of whatever it is you’re trying to get them to do.

So you have even less time to get the job done, which is why I want to talk about some things you can do to grab their attention from the get-go and convert that person into a paying customer.

#1: Listen To Your Audience

One of the many mistakes I see that content creators make is they sit down and create content without listening to their audience.

Listen to your audience 1

Social listening is an imperative part of your marketing strategy, and it’s one of the easiest paths to success.  The reason behind saying that is that after a while, your target market will tell on themselves by giving you the tools to sell them later.

They will tell you their goals, their dreams, their problems, and everything else in between.  It’s a smart marketer that takes advantage of the use of the social listening strategy because you can build your whole success on it.

It is your notebook, your go-to resource for creating content in the future.  Everything you need is already out there, all you have to do is make yourself available to listen to them.

One psychological journal revealed that when a person made themselves available to listen to their audience on a consistent basis, this proved that they were trustworthy to the people doing the talking and therefore had a larger percentage of converting them later.

You see, in order for you to get the attention of someone later, you may have to allow someone to borrow your attention for a while.  Not only does it build that relationship in the business that you need, you will also create a repertoire for yourself within your community.

#2: Give Them a Hook

Once you’ve established your relationships within the community you now have the leverage to keep them coming to your content.

But not everyone is going to give you their attention when they land on your content.

Every good storyteller knows about the hook.

The hook isn’t anything new in the world of marketing.  It is a strategy that is used to keep people reading your content.  By the time they get through the hook they’re below the fold, and this cognitive marketing study says that you have a 67% of converting a reader if you get them this far.

While that’s still not 100%, it’s a long way from the meager 8 seconds that you started with.

The hook is significant in your strategy and you should take some time to make a good hook every time you create content.

#3: Solve A Problem

This marketing journal states an astounding 88% of people that purchase something in the marketing industry purchase because it helps them DO something.

Does your content help people solve a problem?

I remember landing on a website that was totally unrelated to my niche.  But they grabbed my attention with their hook.  Before I knew what was happening I was halfway down the page, completely engulfed in their content.

I was on a DIY blog that talked about creating a knee wall or a pony wall that separated my living room from my dining room.  Very cool.  I walked away from that article understanding the tools required and the steps needed to do a certain job that my wife had been after me for months to do.

Since then, I have come back to that website and grabbed more ideas for around the house.  While I haven’t purchased anything YET, I probably will because this person has established himself as an authority in my mind.


Because he helped me figure out a problem that I couldn’t figure out on my own.

Psychologists say that this is a natural human reaction to scenarios like these.  People become attached to you in an intimate way because they know that you understand what they’re going through right at that moment, and then you eventually show them how you succeeded.

This is general psychology at its best with the human mind.

Help someone with a problem and you’ve got a person that will trust your expertise forever.  No, they may not convert right away, but one research reveals that out of all those people you will help in the future, 73% of them will come back and convert because they trust you.

Answer the Call to Attention

There are many ways you can grab someone’s attention.  But a lot of the strategies to get it isn’t what you think.


More often than not, since you’re talking about the psychology of the situation, it is better if you’re just yourself.

You’re a nice person.  You like to help people.  It’s not like you trying to keep all of your marketing secrets close to your vest and not show anyone what you have learned is it?

If it is, you may want to reconsider because you will gain more conversions from helping and listening than you will going it alone.

In my opinion, the writing comes naturally.  With experience and time you will start to learn your style and how to implement the hook naturally.  But make sure you’re striving every day to utilize helping and listening because those are some of the strongest aspects of conversions in marketing today.

Wade Harman

Wade Harman is a social media psychology architect, relationship marketing enthusiast, and an author and speaker of strategies to help build your success on social media. He loves Star Wars, pepperoni sandwiches, and meeting new and interesting people!

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15 thoughts on “The Psychology of Attention and How To Convert More Sales With Your Content

  1. Love these 3 points on how to convert more sales with our content! Listening is so simple, but people often don’t! My target market has the same pains (problems) that I used to have. I look forward to offering them solutions 🙂

  2. We all look to the world wide web for the answers to our ailments, issues and problems. As a blogger, it is up to US to provide the “SOLUTION” for which people are searching for. Love the 3 points and how easily they are explained and laid out! Awesome!

  3. Good stuff. Thanks so much for sharing. Positioning yourself as the authority in your niche us crucial to having success online. So many newcommers do not know or understand this. Thanks again. I know that this post will help a lot of people just as it has me 🙂

  4. LOVED this! I’ve been guilty of creating content without listening to my audience before. The result was a drop in readers. When I started thinking more about what my subscribers wanted and delivering it to them consistently, they not only became customers, but they referred their friends to my site. Your article is a great resource!

  5. Great article. Listening to the people in your niche is very important. It’s the way you become an authority in your niche. Once you listen you can then give them what they are looking for. This is great info.

  6. I find this article outstanding. Psychology of attention and how to convert more sales with content. The title alone hooked me! There is an abundance of information here, from the 8 seconds to grab attention to solving a problem, keep them coming back with trust to eventually, if not right away, create a sale. I love how it is written well enough for a new marketer and blogger such as myself to fully grasp the importance here. Thank you…

  7. It’s true. People are looking for instant gratification. When they search Google and make it to our content, we have to be ready to deliver exactly what they were looking for within a few seconds or they will be gone forever. A catchy hook followed by communicating what’s in it for the visitor is a sure way to catch attention and gain retention.

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