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How to Grab and Keep Attention Online

November 10, 2023
tim saye

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When planning content to promote your personal training business, it’s important to consider how to stand out among the competition. How can you increase the chances of getting noticed by the people you really want to attract, and how can you persuade them to fully engage with your content and not just skim the first few words?

In this article, we’re going to look at some of the ways of grabbing – and keeping – attention online.

1. Get the tone right

Always keep your target audience in mind and tailor your content to suit them. Remember that it’s those particular people whose attention you’re trying to grab rather than just anyone, so the more targeted you can be, the better.

This means choosing your words and visuals carefully so that your target audience can relate to them and quickly identify whether the content is relevant to them.

The other important point about tone is that it should reflect your brand and the nature of your business. As a fitness trainer, your personality is part of your offering, so make sure this comes through while maintaining your professionalism.

Humor is fine as long as it chimes with your target audience and doesn’t tip over into wacky or offensive. Authenticity is the overall objective; be true to who you are and keep your tone consistent with your brand so that your content is instantly recognizable to your audience.

2. Create unmissable, engaging content

Think about what type of content your target audience is likely to get excited about and engage with. This could include things like:

  • Flagging up offers or promotions, running competitions, showcasing new services

  • Providing useful practical information such as how-to guides or video tutorials (particularly effective in grabbing attention if offered in bite-size chunks)

  • Provoking interaction through quizzes, polls, and questions

Read our article on How to create engaging content for your personal trainer business for more ideas.

3. Clearly signpost and organize your content

When you’re vying for people’s attention, it’s crucial to get straight to the point and to make sure that point is a relevant one.

Think carefully about the words you use for your headings, intros, captions, summaries, and other key bits of text. As well as making your content more instantly appealing to your target audience, this has the additional benefit of improving your SEO.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of trigger words, it’s worth reading up on it. These two articles from Copyblogger Copyblogger and Popupsmart give some detailed explanations and helpful examples (eg ‘boost,’ ‘empower,’ ‘seize,’ ‘share,’ and ‘ultimate’), but essentially it’s about including specific words that trigger emotions to provoke a response.

Keep videos short and organize blog posts (and other longer written content) so that they are easy to read and digest to help people maintain their interest until the end. Some ways of achieving this include using sub-headings, breaking text into paragraphs that flow, varying your sentence length, and summarizing information into bullet points.

4. Use eye-catching images

Images are right at the heart of compelling online content, so it’s vital to use them and effectively.

People respond much more quickly to images than text, and images can convey quite complex messages, so when it comes to grabbing attention, they should be considered a priority.

Here are some tips for using images:

  • Spend time planning what you need; consider your target audience, your brand, what resources you have, and how/where you are going to use the images

  • Find out about (and experiment with) ways to improve your photos in terms of lighting, composition etc

  • Make use of the vast array of tools available to enhance and create images

Check out our article on How to create better images for more detail on these three tips.

5. Tap into trends

An easy way of catching attention is by tapping into online trends, thus taking advantage of subjects that are already both familiar and popular.

You can find out what’s hot by using Google Trends; read our Introduction

article for guidelines on how to get started. Google Trends is a really useful tool for helping spark creative content ideas that will get noticed.

A subset of online trends is seasonal content; this is a great way of spinning subject matter that can be planned ahead as it’s entirely predictable. Another approach related to trends is identifying which influencers are currently popular in your field and finding ways to tie in with their content.

6. Experiment

As with all aspects of online marketing, it’s important to experiment and be open to trying new ideas, as well as keeping an eye on results to see what works best and tweak your strategy accordingly. Here are some general points to consider:

  • Vary your subject matter – eg fun, useful, inspiring

  • Vary your content type – eg videos, blog posts, infographics

  • Vary your posting times – and use tools such asHootsuite to identify the most optimal

Finally, whatever your approach to catching people’s attention, always remember your ultimate objective, which is to widen your reach and convert attention into engagement and custom. So don’t forget to encourage shares and always include a call to action.

In the dynamic world of online attention-grabbing, mastering these six strategies is your key to success. Remember that tailoring your tone and content to your specific audience is the foundation for everything that follows. Engage with your target market authentically, blending humor when it suits your brand's personality.

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