Image courtesy of Kristijan Puljek at Pixabay
Are you reading this?
Haha! I hoped that would catch your attention!
In case you are wondering about the curious introduction to this article, I was just illustrating a very simple example of something called a Pattern Interrupt.
A pattern interrupt is anything which is completely different from what you might expect to happen. So when you clicked on this post you were probably expecting a polite introductory paragraph of text, rather than a bold headline telling you not to read the rest of the post.
However, this is where the power of the technique lies. Because it is so unexpected, it gets people's attention by disarming them and since they are slightly thrown off by the unexpected nature of it, they become inquisitive and more open to reading what you have to say.
OK, so this is all very interesting, but what does this have to do with digital marketing or making money online?
The Big Problem For Digital Marketers
Every day more and more people are starting up an online business - be that a blog or an ecommerce business and so enormous amounts of content are being created every day. All these marketers are competing for the same readers and customers so the competition to be seen or heard is growing on a daily basis
To get your message noticed you are going to have to either create absolutely awesome, blockbuster content - or do something a little bit different.
You could maybe consider spending a lot of money on advertising to get more people to view your content or place eye-catching banners around the web. But that all requires a lot of time and money to get results
And that's where learning about pattern interrupts can help!
You see one of the best things about a pattern interrupt is that it doesn't need to be anything more than a small piece of text, audio or video just inserted into your content which just grabs the attention of the reader and makes them want to read more to find out what it's all about.
It doesn't require hours of time or an expensive designer to set it up. They can also be used in just about any piece of online property you own - a blog post, a sales page, a YouTube video or an opt-in page.
In fact, now that I have mentioned opt-in pages (lead generation or squeeze pages), it reminds me of another description I've read about pattern interrupts. They are like a content opt-in. In other words they get your reader to opt-in to consuming the rest of your content.
And getting people to consume your content is the basis of achieving success in your digital marketing business.
NOTE: Please do not confuse Pattern Interrupts with click bait. A pattern interrupt should catch the attention and still be relevant to the content of the article or video. It might illustrate a point or draw attention to a specific aspect of what you are discussing. It should never be a click bait style attention-grabber which has absolutely nothing to do with the main content.
Why would you consider pattern interrupts for your business?
Here are just a few of the reasons you should consider using pattern interrupts to grow your business
- They have made billions for big companies and ad-agencies
- They are a KEY tactic used by WEALTHY coaches, speakers and internet marketers. Frank Kern is probably one of the most famous examples of a marketer that regularly uses pattern interrupts
- Digital Marketing is getting more crowded and competitive – Pattern interrupts are an INSTANT way to effortlessly catch the attention of your potential reader or customer
- Just 1-5 minutes (and sometimes just seconds) in set up time. Remember it can be as simple as just a piece of text or an image to grab attention.
- Get more people opting in to your own email lists by creating an engaging squeeze page
- Get more engaged blog readers, leading to more social shares and comments
- Get higher sales page conversions and more affiliate commissions
- Improve retention times - get people staying longer on your videos and reading more of your written content.
They are essentially a great way to get people to engage with your content and become fans of what you create and hopefully become customers of your business.
So How Can You Start Using Pattern Interrupts in Your Business?
There are a number of ways that you can incorporate pattern interrupts into your business. In this article I am going to introduce you to some of them and then I will show you some more in a later article (so be sure to check back soon!)
Pattern Interrupt Technique No 1: The Unusual Start
You have already seen an example of this at the start of this article. When you click on any blog post you have a certain expectation of what you might see which is usually an introductory headline and then a paragraph of text which will usually try to set out the advantages for you of reading through the content.
This is perfectly reasonable and if the copy is well written then it can be a very effective way to engage a reader. However, if it is even slightly bland then there is a good chance that the reader will click away in a matter of seconds.
An unusual start might highlight something completely unexpected about the subject to be discussed or have a headline which makes a bold claim.
If you were making a video then the normal way to start it would be to have an introduction with a presenter in a standard setting such as a studio or office, which goes something like "Hi there, I'm Joe Bloggs from Awesome Marketing dot com, and in this video I'm going to show you how to use product x to gain benefit y and z in just 5 minutes per day".
Again this is perfectly reasonable but It's exactly what someone is expecting to see. One of my friends, Sarah Staar, often records her videos while driving her car and talking to a camera on the dashboard. This is quite unexpected and it immediately catches the attention of a viewer who is then attracted to watch more of the video to see what it's all about.
Pattern Interrupt Technique No 2: The Unexpected Twist
This technique works very well in sales messages where a customer has a certain expectation of how things will go. They expect to be told that by following a regular sequence of events they will be able to achieve a desired outcome.
In this case you walk them through what they might expect to hear and then tell them "That won't work" - or words to that effect:
Here's how it works:
1. Ask if people want to learn the secret of how to do something - some examples might be "how to lose weight", "how to start a business", "how to get six-pack abs"
2. Ask if people want to get a specific benefit from this - perhaps make more money, look great / attract people, get more free time to spend with friends and family.
3. Drop the bombshell - "that won't work", "you have no chance of achieving it" - or something which conveys your meaning.
4. Explain WHY it won't work and how most people make the same mistake.
5. Reveal your solution which shows the customer how they can actually gain the desired benefit without encountering the problems or mistakes made by most people
This is completely different from how most people try to sell things and it engages your customer and makes them want to find out more.
Are you starting to see the potential of pattern interrupts?
I really hope so because they are a great way to get your message seen in the ever-increasing volume of information which is getting published every day online.
The two pattern interrupts I have shown you in this article are just the tip of the iceberg so make sure you check back soon to see some more examples.