We humans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish, which are able to focus for all of nine seconds. A 2015 study conducted by Microsoft surveyed 2,000 people and minored the brain activity of 112 additional people. The study observed a rapid decline in attention span.
In that same study, 77% of people aged 18 to 24 responded "yes" when asked "When nothing is occupying my attention, the first thing I do is reach for my phone.” Given our addiction to phones, multiple screens, and constant connectivity, it's easy to understand how we've gotten to this state of abysmal attention spans.
How can your message break through in less time than ever before? Admittedly, it's tough, but these tips will help you grab that limited attention before it slips away.
1. Pay Attention to Website Load Times
While a fast loading website is a time-tested way to maximize conversions, it's easy to lose sight of this requirement. Choosing a poorly built template, making design decisions that emphasize trends over function, and selecting bloated content management systems can all result in people abandoning your website before ever seeing your content.
Research from Google-owned DoubleClick found that mobile sites that load in five seconds have 35% lower bounce rates than websites that load in 19 seconds. Nineteen seconds may not seem like a terribly long time, but it’s an eternity when it comes to making an impact on would-be customers.
2. Utilize Visual Content in Campaigns
Using visual content in your marketing strategy and on your website will not only gain people's attention more quickly, it will help them remember the content for a longer period of time.
According to Brain Rules, humans are great at remembering pictures. We're less great at remembering what we hear. After three days, only 10% of people remember a piece of information they heard. However, if that information is accompanied by a picture, that number jumps up to 65%.
Want to get more "likes" and shares? Stretch visual content by creating an infographic and you can expect 3x more shares than any other form of content.
3. Make Video Your Content Headliner
There's a reason Forbes says using video is "the future of content marketing." The benefits of using video in content marketing range from improved SEO to better email click-through rates, but the real appeal is in capturing and keeping people's attention.
According to Brainshark, 65% of video viewers watch more than ¾ of a video, proving video content is an excellent tactic to ensure your message is delivered. Additionally, people are 10 times more likely to engage, embed, share, and comment on video than any other form of content.
If all of those attention-grabbing benefits aren't enough, video content also provides one of the most optimizable strategies when it comes to content marketing. You will know how long people watch, how many times they viewed, the exact moment they dropped off, and click-through rate tied to a specific moment in the video. You'll even have individual viewing data.
4. Provide Relevant Information to Your Audience
While it's important to understand people's shrinking attention span, it's equally important to avoid getting trapped into creating all content to be quickly digested. For example, B2B buyers want to read trustworthy content that informs them on purchasing decisions. It's near impossible to build trust and deliver information in just eight seconds.
Instead of trying to deliver a quick-hitting piece of content, focus more on clarity and quality. The clarity of your message will ensure you gain attention while the quality will build trust and maintain attention. When this type of content is matched with compound content and sustainable SEO, you'll see returns for years to come.
5. Encourage Conversations
If you've used the first four tips to finally get the attention of your audience, you don't want to lose them at the most critical moment—when they've landed on your website and are primed to convert into a sales lead.
You may not have the capacity on your team to stop and have a one-on-one conversation with your visitors (although we make the time—just click the button in the bottom right corner), there are still ways to use conversational interfaces to mimic chatting with a human.
Chatbots, forms that respond to user input, and integrations that allow personalization to your audience are all conversation pieces that may improve conversion and engagement. If you've used Uber, Facebook Messenger, or Domino's messenger bots, you know what I'm talking about.
We know the leap into the digital landscape can be intimidating. We’re here to help. When you’re ready to build from the ground up, send us a message and we’ll help you understand the best path forward.
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