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Why Are Marketers Whining About Shortening Attention Spans?

In the year 2000, the average human attention span was around 12 seconds.

This study conducted by Microsoft revealed that it dropped to just about eight seconds in 2015.

This means that, today, an average human being has a lower attention span than that of a goldfish.

One of the reasons why our attention span is going down is because of multiple device usages.

Millennials are using three screens simultaneously while their younger siblings the Gen Zers are using five.

It’s not just our attention span that is depleting, but we are also becoming more forgetful.

Take a look at these facts:

25 percent of Americans forget major details of close friends and relatives. 

• 39 percent of Americans have lost one basic piece of information or lost one everyday item in the past week. 

Checking Facebook or posting an update on social media has become a routine task. We are exposed to a sea of content and multiple notifications on our Smartphones.

All of these factors have left us confused on an everyday basis.

That makes it worse for all the marketers out there, desperate to show a glimpse of their products or services.

What Should Marketers Do?

Optimize for Micro-Moments

Google recently defined a term called micro-moments.

The consumers of today have access to multiple devices. Whenever they are looking for information or a product, they prefer to go to the most convenient and immediate option.

These situations arise multiple times in a day and are termed as micro-moments.

You need to optimize your website and your social media pages to be visible on as many of these micro-moments as possible.

A paid search strategy would add to your chances of being visible to your target audience.

Besides ensuring that your business is visible to your audience, you need to create delightful user experiences for your site visitors.

Eighty-six  percent of the consumers say that personalized content plays an important role in their buying decision.

Personalized recommendations are a proven way to get more conversions from your website. You must also ensure that your site is mobile friendly and easy to navigate on the mobile device.

Website Load Speed

Remember, your audience lacks patience.

There is nothing that your site visitors hate more than a slow load speed.

According to this study, a one-second delay in site loading can lead to a seven percent reduction in conversions from it.

You must always ensure that the loading time of your website is two seconds or less.

Create Interactive Content

Interactive content marketing campaigns help you to get your audience to engage for longer.

“Interactive content generates two times more conversions than passive content.”

Zenni Optical generated 29,410 conversions from a simple quiz that helped its site visitors to choose a frame for their glasses.

You must make use of quizzes, polls, contests and interactive microsites to get your audience to have fun while they get to know more about your products and services.

Make Use of Videos

Videos help you to create exciting content that’s consumed for a longer duration of time.

Take a look at some of these stats:

The average Internet user spends 88 percent more time on a website with video. 50 percent of mobile traffic is used on videos.

Using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80 percent and 64 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.

When you include a video in an email, the click-through rate increases by 200 percent to 300 percent. This is why heavy text-based e-mails are replaced by simple but engaging videos.

Adding a video to your site can help you to reduce its bounce rate and improve its overall search engine rankings. You can also repurpose your existing blog posts into videos and make them more attractive.

Video is one medium that will surely help you to break the content clutter and outshine your competitors.

Shorter Form Content

Many experts predict that due to shortening attention spans of readers, long-form content will not be the future of content marketing. It will be more of shorter form and story-driven posts that will work in the long run.

You must ensure that the content published on your business blog focuses more on the value you are providing to your audience.

Reach Out to Influencers

Another recommended way to get more traction and visibility for your business is influencer outreach.

This study shows that 75 percent of marketers have allocated a part of their marketing budget to influencer marketing.

Industry influencers have an audience that consumes their content on a regular basis. They have a pre-built community that you can easily leverage.

Get influencers to talk about your products and services. If they spread a positive word about your business, you will surely see visible results.

Grab Attention with Catchy Headlines

Getting your audience to take notice can be a daunting task.

“The average American sees or hears 3,500+ advertising and marketing messages a day.”

A headline is the first thing that audience reads while going through any piece of content. It helps you to sell your content to your target audience and gets them to read it.

If your headline arouses emotions and intrigues, it will surely get people clicking.

You must also ensure that your headline is realistic and believable. Click bait headlines will not get you serious and long-term audience.

Make your headline emotionally appealing. Adding numbers and adjectives will be quite helpful as well.

Create Content that Goes Viral

A piece of content that repeatedly gets shared to the extent that it becomes news, is categorized as viral content.

Well, honestly, creating viral content can never be planned. You need to be persistent in producing creative content and keep observing and analyzing your audience’s reactions.

According to Mark Hughes, you need to push the following six buttons if you need to get people to share your content:

  • Taboo
  • Unusual
  • Outrageous
  • Hilarious
  • Remarkable
  • Secrets

If you can create content that’s unusual and out-of-the-box then you can surely grab tons of attention.

Take a look at this example from Dollar Shave Club.

The video got 24 million plus views and helped the razor brand get substantial growth in a very short time.

Tell Stories

Good stories help your audience to relate to your brand on an emotional level. They help you to strengthen your relationship with your site visitors and customers.

We all love stories. They are a fun way to educate and entertain your target customers.

You must consistently create story-driven content to build a growing audience.

How should you create compelling brand stories?

First off, you need to take a note of what all your business does and what are some of your key brand attributes.

Secondly, you must understand your target audience. Study their persona to know their demographics, location, profession and preferences etc.

You need to then start the story planning process. Your brand is the storyteller and the people in your target audience are the listeners.

Like every story, yours too must have a protagonist (this could be someone from your target audience). The protagonist or the hero of the story always goes through many tough challenges.

Your story must talk about these challenges as well as their solutions.

The ups and downs of your stories will keep the audience hooked to your content.

In the process, as they will find answers to their current challenges they will come back to you for more.

As a marketer, you must see shortening attention spans as an opportunity to create extraordinary content pieces and campaigns. Tell stories that your audience loves. You can make use of shorter video formats and interactive content to communicate quickly as well as effectively. If your content is remarkable, it will be noticed, liked and shared, eventually helping you to get more sales for your business.

About the author


Sunny Arora

Sunny Arora is the managing director of Broadcast2world. Equipped with a highly creative team of motion graphic artists and visualizers and state-of-the-art infrastructure, Broadcast2world endeavors to leverage the innate qualities of online video marketing to transcend the barriers of language and race to deliver the most suited vehicle to showcase products and services.

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