15 Ways to Capture Attention in a Noisy World

16 June 2021

In Today’s World, It Is a Difficult Task to Stand Out and Get Noticed. Let’s Learn How You Can Do That.

The world is a busy, noisy place. Market research by Yankelovich found that in 2007 the average person saw up to 5,000 adverts a day. In 2021 that figure has doubled. If you want to stand out in the media, how do you get noticed among the noise?

We’re about to answer that in today’s article in 15 Ways to Capture Attention in a Noisy World.

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Know Who You Are Talking To

Not all social media platforms are the same. A great tweet is a completely different animal to a captivating Instagram post.

You can’t copy and paste from one to another; you need to craft your posts according to the platform you are posting on.

On top of that, it is critical you know who you are talking to and why they are on this platform. Like Adam Mendler from the Veloz Group explains, “It’s not only important to understand who those people are but also what they hope to get out of their experience with the particular social media platform they are using.”

People have different reasons for being on different platforms. Some look to be inspired, others to troll, some like to boast while others want to be part of trending crazes.


Fit In Enough to Stand Out, Then Be Different

That whole thing about why fit in when you can stand out, is only one side of the conversation.

Aluxers, you won’t get too far just standing out arbitrarily if no one is following or watching you. Before you can show how different, novel or trend-forward you are, you need to capture people’s attention and get noticed by being relatable. This might mean sharing similar views in a blog, copying a winning format of videos, or showing similar fashion trends.

Once you have captured the audience, you can begin to focus on what makes you unique.

At this stage you will have their support and respect… hopefully… and this can make you influential with your “new take” on things.

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Be Personal and Authentic

Everyone from Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos has said something like this, “don’t worry about what you sell, worry about what you can give or improve.”

The same goes for standing out and winning over audiences in a noisy world. Like Don Markland of MoneySolver puts it: “. Don’t be a personal brand. Be a personal service brand and simply provide value in your authentic service.”

Is it daily inspiration, or is it insight into the latest trends, or business advice? Whatever it boils down to, make how you can help, the focus. Don’t just continuously ask people to follow and sign-up or pay more money. Reach out and offer authentic value first.

If you are an Elon Musk fan and want to follow his advice, check out 15 Books Elon Musk Thinks Everyone Should Read.


Spark Curiosity

There is a great human psychological phenomenon called the curiosity gap that successful people exploit to be noticed above the noise.

In short, the Curiosity Gap is the gap of information between what someone knows, and what they want to know. It leaves a feeling of deprivation when they realise, they don’t know something.

This is something that you can use to grab attention and get noticed among hundreds of other titles. Its simple if you know how.

First you provide a bit of information up front. So, you give some intriguing, but not complete information, in your headline or first sentence of your post. Then the person is enticed to read more so that they can close the gap and make sense of this new knowledge they have been given.

Here’s a great example:

Gizmodo Headline: Why do Chinese URLs use numbers, not letters?

Intrigued to read more?


That’s the point!

get noticed


Create Positive Feelings

Life’s tough, and most of us shy away onboarding any more stress or disappointment than we already have.

In the info overload of the modern world, seconds count. If you can deliver joy to your audience right away, then you will win them over, get noticed and concentrate their attention on you. Suddenly it makes sense why cute cat videos and fun gifs are so popular. If you can deliver content that people have a positive connection with you, you will make friends AND influence people.


Be Clear with Titles

There is nothing worse than sifting through a ton of poorly labelled blogs or videos before you find one that contains what you were looking for. Viewers appreciate straight forward titles that help them to know exactly what to expect from your video or post. Your title or first sentence should always answer the question: “What is this about?”

This doesn’t mean you have to be boring; you can use great wordplay that works with your brand. Like this great example that Shape Magazine used for a video title: “Bloomingdales & Everlast Are Knocking Out Breast Cancer.”


Use the Element of Surprise

The element of surprise is a great way to gain attention and get noticed, and engagement in this noisy world. But people don’t have a stomach for “shock factor” anymore. Perhaps its because we’ve had far too many shocks from pandemics to economic collapses to terrorist attacks.

According to Harvard Business School Associate Professor, Thales Teixeira, 90% of viral ads are humour based. But he explains the difference well: “There are two types of humor: pure and shocking. While “pure” humor triggers viewing and sharing, “shocking” humor only promotes viewing.”


Call to Actions Should Be Clear

If you want to get noticed by someone, you need to keep the clarity going. This means that whatever your ultimate goal is to get noticed, whether it’s buying your merchandise or joining your live seminar, you need to ask directly.

This is called a call to action or CTA. You can’t beat around the bush or hide it in the credits. Be upfront and precise, as well as informative. For example, if you want people to listen to your weekly podcast for cyclists, entice them within a few seconds of the advert or promotion like this: “Listen every Tuesday for the latest in cycling news, results and advancements.” Its not pushy but its informative and clear.


Use Data

From the first frame or sentence, you can entice people to keep them engaged if you ground your message in interesting facts and data.

Waffling on for ages about vague marketing speak won’t make you stand out. Rather offer your fans novel and even exclusive information to keep them engaged and coming back for more.

If you’re selling a product and are keen to learn how to capture and keep your customers coming back – be sure to watch our video:


Forget Overt Branding

Obviously branded content is dead! The Harvard Business School ran a study using infrared eye-tracking technology which proved that people don’t like to feel like they’re being persuaded.

The research tracked viewers eyes and saw that the instinctive reaction was to pull back from brands with too much prominent branding. Viewers consistently stop watching video ads at the moment in which brand logos appear on the screen. And bigger logos or longer brand exposure resulted in shorter watch times.

In their book Can’t Buy Me Like, Bob Garfield and Doug Levy summarize the study’s findings like this: “This effect of branding avoidance is so strong that it seems to be incorporated into people’s subconscious—they are not aware of their own passive resistance to persuasion.”

Listen for free on Audible by grabbing your free listen on alux.com/freebook.


Keep People Wanting More

After clearly introducing what your blog, post or video is about, it’s important to keep your audience engaged. And this is where it gets even trickier to keep someone’s attention.

You need to keep people wanting more, which means you can’t blurt out all the great stuff first and then ramble on after that.

You should consider all the information points you want to get across, and then frame it in such a way that your information builds on each other, point by valuable point. Also fight the urge to want to make your content longer than it should be, rather stop when you have no more new information or value to add, people will trust you with their attention spans for longer next time, trust us!


Target Viewers That Share Your Message

If you want to spread your message, you need to get people to share it. The reason someone would share your content or endorse you, is out of their own self-interest, not just as charity.

Back to Professor Teixeira we mentioned earlier from the Harvard Business School: “Consciously or not, the sender intends to gain ‘social capital’ in the process [of sharing content]. It is not just about content.”  He explains that “sweet spot” that leads to content going viral as an advertising symbiosis. This is where, by sharing the content they know their friends will love, the sharer will feel helpful and “in the know.”


Stop the Scroll with Text Animations

A lot of time spent online is done with the sound off, whether at work or in a lecture theatre. Adding text to videos really helps capture people’s attention because it allows them to view the video without the sound on. This could be the difference between someone watching your video over another one.

This isn’t just a case of subtitles; those mostly comes standard as a feature on video sharing websites. We’re talking about bold subtitles, and bright text that get the story across, the way Dodo does their happy ending pet videos that we all love.

According to Wibbitz, a video creating platform, bright pink and bright yellow text highlights work best.


Create Value

If you want to sell running shoes, you shouldn’t just talk about the shoe’s latest features. Rather offer value to runners using the shoes and how these particular shoes can offer them more benefit.

Solutions like free training content, coaching apps and latest facts, can all help a runner, and build brand loyalty because you’re providing real value for your future customer.

Now apply this to yourself. If you want more blog readers or podcast listening, or YouTube subscribers, you can’t just keep asking people endlessly to subscribe. You have to offer them some value for their loyalty. Inspirational content, latest knowledge, or condensed bite sized research. Whatever you can offer, make sure it provides real value and you will keep your follows attention among the noisy throng vying for them.



Yup, that’s right. An open and inviting smiley face does wonders for capturing attention and getting noticed.

It might be the oldest trick in the book, but it still works. Whether online or IRL, nothing beats a smile. It captures attention and disarms people while making them more susceptible to your message.

Keep in mind what Mother Teresa once said, “We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”


How have you succeeded in grabbing your audience’s attention and keeping it?