In the 5 seconds you took to read the title of this article, pounder on whether it is worth the read and graciously decide to click on it, many others have already scrolled past, in search for something more worthy that might hook their attention.
It’s nothing personal – that’s just how most 21st-century digital consumers consume information. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human being now has an attention span of 8 seconds. Perhaps even more alarmingly, research from Jampp found that human attention span decreases by a whopping 88% every year.
Speed, conciseness and quality of your content are therefore critical for marketers, because this demand for quick satisfaction and constant connectedness makes it increasingly difficult to hold a consumer’s attention.
So before we lose you, let’s get on and with how exactly can you capture this shrinking resource with your digital marketing tactics. These five short but effective strategies will help guide your content strategy towards the right balance of conciseness and information.
One – Carpe Jugulum
Use clear and concise prose. Part of writing clearly is using words that the majority of your readers can understand. Don’t try to impress people with flamboyant words and avoid technical jargon. In essence, you should be able to create something that is value-adding and interesting for your reader and not make them work too hard for it. Tell them in a sentence or less why they should care about your ad.
Two – Get more out of your content by splitting it up
The 21st century attention span works if you feed it in small bites. If you have a long-form piece of work, consider splitting it up into parts and converting it into different formats across different channels. Create a value packed carousel for Instagram, repurpose it into a slideshow for LinkedIn, turn it into an email, write the content into a blogpost, pull out a quote for Twitter, produce a video for Youtube – the list is endless! What this does is that it gives you more search engine real estate and can allow you to segment your audience more effectively based on individual interests you’re addressing in each section and each plaatform. You can also make the content more readable or viewer-friendly, and maximises the utility of your content by turning a single post into a week’s or month’s worth.
Three – Headline psychology
A headline is the only impression you can make on an internet surfer and turn them into a potential reader. With the vast amount of content propagated onto the web everyday, the average internet surfer only reads 80% of headlines, and only 20% of those surfers actually read the article. How do we create headlines that turn heads? Well, there is a psychological phenomenon you can effectively use called the curiosity gap. People start to feel a kind of deprivation when they notice a gap in their knowledge. Coupled with the fact the human brain are generally drawn to novel information, you can create an engaging title that provokes readers’ curiosity and are interesting enough that it would surprise them.
Four – If it is important, it bears repeating
The marketing rule of 7 is one of the oldest in the book. In short, the rule states that people need to see your offer at least 7 times before they really pay attention. Repeated messing works on several fairly basic psychological levels. The more we see something, the more easily we remember it, the more likely it is to pop up in our thoughts. Repetition creates familiarity, hence the best way to take advantage of the Rule of Seven, is to develop a marketing strategy that ensures your leads are likely to have multiple interactions with your brand. You can do that by repurposing key pieces of content into different mediums (videos, infographics, blogposts, insta reels), distribute key content across different channels (email, social media, google ads) and use smart retargeting so that your varied and relevant contents are delivered to the right target through the right channels.
Five – Videos and visuals
93% of all communication is non-verbal. Visual stimulation attracts our attention, affects our attitude and amplifies our emotions. This is why the visual nature of infographics, images and videos are effective because of the way our brains are wired – human process images 60,000 faster than texts. This allows the digestion and retention of information to be a lot easier. When complex information is presented in a simple, concise and aesthetic manner, it is a lot easier to elicit recall and a reaction.
Captivity have Changed
In a world where consumers are constantly bombarded by countless pieces of information left right and center, your audience are no longer forced to pay attention to companies. However, these tools may allow you to better understand your audience and use that understanding to generate content, emotional connections and lasting experiences. As you consistently capture your audiences’ attention in engaging and interesting ways, their awareness of your brand will grow, and many will be willing to further their relationship with your company.