On the way home from physical therapy today, going the same route we always take, I saw something that caught my attention.  On the corner of the street ahead of us there was a happy fellow holding a big red arrow with white letters saying “SALE!!! Today only!”.  he was cavorting and smiling and waving and being so energetic that I couldn’t help but smile in return and turned to see what he was selling.  I wasn’t in th emarket for a new mattress, but if I had been, I would have turned in to check it out.

“Sign Spinners” or “Human Directionals” are big business.  Just one sign spinning company in the U.S. made over 24 million dollars this past year, providing the dancing, singing, waving, smiling human billboards.  Businesses pay up to $60 per hour for a person to flash their sign at on-coming motorists and for good reason.  Store owners that use them find a 30-40% surge in sales when those signs are spinning away.

Sign spinners create a human element in a jaded and digitized world.   It’s a refreshing and interesting break from the monotonous and definitely gets your attention.  It has become such a big thing that they do an annual competition in Las Vegas, drawing human directionals from all over the country..

So the question is, how does this relate to your online business?  After a long day online I find that websites tend to blend together and there are few that I actually find engaging enough to revisit.  The sites that keep me coming back, always start, however, by getting my attention.

Your visitors need something that catches their eye, that gets their attention and then they need to feel like there is a reason, not only to stay and look around, but to come back again and again.  And the counter-intuitive things is that it isn’t even about how visually pleasing your site is.  Some of the ugliest sites in the world are some of the top sites.  Sorry, Amazon.  I love shopping on your site, but it is not attractive and although YouTube gets millions of visitors per hour is about as ugly as they come.  It’s about first attracting the visitors who most want what you have, getting their attention and then keeping coming back by continuing to give them what they want and doing it better than anyone else.

There are a lot of ways to grab attention, one of the most effective being really short videos that are meaningful to the niche you are trying to attract.  Some that I have noticed recently are:

  • Video spokespersons who walk right onto the screen and look your visitor in the eye and address them with a warm welcome that tells them what they can do while they’re there.
  • Pertinent trending animated gifs.
  • Animated banners with information about the product or service.
  • Well done animated sliders that tell the benefits of your product in a few attractive slides.
  • There are even little AI conceirges who will guide you through the site with suggestions of what to see and do next on the site.

Don’t be afraid to be a little hokey (if that works for your particular niche or for the marketing segment you are targeting).  Don’t be afraid to be bold or sassy or even gaudy when the promotion calls for it.

Importantly, don’t let it get boring.  Even the flashiest sign spinner isn’t effective if you get used to seeing them all time.  Keep it fresh by changing it up and making people wonder what they’ll see THIS time when they go on your site.

Word gets around when you’re doing something new and interesting.  Gone are the days when you can throw up a website that looks like a glorified brochure or billboard and attract buyers.  And flashing type and telegarm animated marquees never really worked even back in the day when they were the latest technology.  Getting your visitors attention and making your site immediately useful and continually so, is how you win in the quest fo online domination in your niche.

So a little homework.  Go onto your website and ask yourself, “If I didn’t already know what a great product (or service) I have to offer my visitors, would I want to go in and explore ths site, to use it and to come back?”  If you can’t honestly answer with a resounding yes, then you have work (yese I said the “W” word) to do.  Then get someone you know you can trust to give you an honest evaluation to go onto your site and ask them the same question.  If they can’t answer you honestly in the affirmative, then you have work to do.

Of course, you can always take the “set it and forget it” attitude about your web presence, but I can guarantee, if you forgot it, no one else will remember it either.


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Great post! I love the way you call out all the ‘1 hour a week’ empty promises – digital marketing can be time consuming, but when done well it also reps great results