As a marketer, you’re fighting to win the attention of your customers. And that is a difficult fight. There is so much competing for the customer’s attention that you have almost no shot. I mean, really, to get them to actually pay attention to what you’re saying is a Herculean task.

So even though your customers might be clicking on your latest listicle, are they reading it to the end? Are they abandoning that post as soon as they realize it’s just like 100 other articles they’ve read?

In today’s world, attention is our most precious resource.

Most of us don’t have much of it to give, and we have millions of demands on that attention. If you think we’re going to read your blog post about X Things to Do to Make Y Happen, well… let’s just say it had better be good. More importantly, even if we do read it, will we remember it? Will we remember where we read it? Or is what you’re producing just like everyone else’s content and therefore not making a true impact on us? In other words, we might be consuming your content, but we probably aren’t really invested in it. In this scenario, you do not have our full and undivided attention.

How can you fix that?

Hire great writers.

It’s rather stunning to see some of the poor writing you find on corporate blogs and content efforts. I’m not talking about typos and the occasional grammar issue, although those absolutely undermine your credibility. Rather, the dry, unadventurous, safe crap that so many non-writers write. Have some fun. Give it life. Expand your vocabulary (this doesn’t mean using bigger words, by the way). If this doesn’t make sense to you, please read Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes. Please.

Don’t make your content about your organization.

Nobody wants to hear how awesome you are, and how you’re better than the competition. If you’re looking to attract top of the funnel attention, you need to focus on what your customers are searching for. Help them solve their problems; then they’ll remember you.

Focus, focus, focus.

Don’t write about the entire universe. Don’t make your blog look like someone else’s. Focus – deeply – on your business. Find and tell stories that no one else can tell, or that no one else is willing to tell. That’s your differentiator.

Distribute it to the right people.

Most companies don’t need the entire world to consume their content. They just need the right people consuming it. Find them. Bring your content to their attention (but don’t spam them), whether through paid distribution, social media or an influencer marketing campaign.

Make it fun. Make it interesting. Make it work.

(And, hopefully, I held your attention this far.)