Nicholas Scalice
January 21, 2016

5 Ways to Create Content That Actually Gets Attention

One of the most difficult parts of implementing a content marketing strategy is figuring out how you’ll stand out from the crowd.

Let’s face it; there is just an absolute ton of content out there, much of which isn’t very good.

Nonetheless, you and I can only consume so much information at a given time, so the fight for attention is real. And it’s not going away anytime soon.

Sure, algorithms exist that help the best stuff rise to the top, based on the factors social networks think we want to see. That’s basically how Facebook’s news feed works.

But while even our news feeds are filtered, many of us still feel overwhelmed by the amount of content available to us.

It can even lead to the feeling of never having made the best possible choice. As author Barry Schwartz states in his book, The Paradox of Choice:

Part of the downside of abundant choice is that each new option adds to the list of trade-offs, and trade-offs have psychological consequences. The necessity of making trade-offs alters how we feel about the decisions we face; more important, it affects the level of satisfaction we experience from the decisions we ultimately make.

But choose we must. Just as you chose to read this article out of the countless others that you could probably be reading right now. Or are you just here because of the cat picture?

So, how can you win the attention game and get others to pay attention to your content, regardless of whether it’s an article, podcast, video, or some other format?

Here are five tips and tactics you can try.

1. Simplicity

First and foremost, by taking a complex idea and breaking it down in meaningful and consumable way, your readers will see the value you’re offering.

Everyone wants to save time, so if you can share the same information in a few bite-sized chunks rather than one gigantic essay, go for it.


Need an example? The very article that you’re reading right now uses this exact strategy. Hey, it must be working because you’re reading it, aren’t you?

2. Controversy

Many people crave controversy of one form or another, even if only on a subconscious level.

If you can tap into that, while still sticking to the integrity of your brand, product, service, cause, or whatnot, then you’ll attract some attention.

Controversy comes in many shades and degrees. You can quickly add a little spice to a piece of content just by adding a few carefully-worded questions or statements that make people question certain beliefs.

Just don’t forget, a little goes a long way!

3. Depth

We’re seeing a flood of in-depth articles these days that address a subject in great detail. Some would call this “cornerstone content” or “epic content.”


While it certainly takes much longer to create, the reward is usually worth the effort.

So the next time you’re thinking of writing a 500-word fluff piece, think again!

4. Frequency

Sometimes, the best content isn’t the best produced, but the best distributed. What the heck does this mean?

Well, content marketing is a two-part process. First you need to create something, and then you need to get it out into the world.

This last part is just as important as the first. And some marketers choose to make their distribution strategy the focus of the attention.

So, if you’re constantly getting your ideas out there through a variety of different formats without sounding spammy, you just might win over your audience through persistence.

Someone who does this very well is Gary Vaynerchuk. Any single piece of content he produced is rarely earth shattering, but he’s everywhere. And he’s always producing more, more, more!

5. Adaptability

Lastly, it is important to stay nimble when it comes to content marketing.

You need to be where the attention is.

Right now, Snapchat is on fire. Are you leveraging that? I know I should be, but even I’m barely scratching the surface over there.

Don’t be like me. Start snapping. Or don’t. It’s up to you.

But adaptability means more than just knowing where to distribute your content. It also means knowing how to personalize it for a particular audience, or time of year, etc.

If you can make each person in your audience feel like you’re talking directly to them, then you’ve struck gold.


Is it easy? Nope. Can you do it? Maybe. I don’t know you, so I can’t answer that.

But what I can tell you is that when you understand your audience like the back of your hand, you’ll have a much better shot at creating personalized content for them.

So if you haven’t already created personas, and got into the minds of your target audience, do it now.

Ready, set, go!

Okay, I’m done rambling about content marketing. If you use any of these tips, I’d love to hear how it worked out for you.

Tell me in the comments section below or on Twitter. I’ll reply; that’s a promise.

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Nicholas Scalice

Founder at Earnworthy
Nicholas is an inbound marketing consultant and the founder of Earnworthy. He focuses on helping brands get attention, gain trust, and generate sales using powerful inbound marketing tools and technology.