Why You Need to Beat a Short Attention Span with Great Content

attention span
Posted on: in Content Marketing The Formula Digital Marketing

How long is your attention span? If you aren’t sure – take this test to find out.

According to recent statistics, the average human being today has an attention span of roughly 8 seconds. Tweet this

This is one second less than a goldfish and is also down from 12 seconds in 2000. Could it be that our attention span will reduce even further in the coming years?

The problem that we are presented with now and which will continue to be a challenge in the future – lies in capturing and holding the attention of our audiences.

It’s what you say…

While some marketers support the notion that only by creating content which consists of fewer words, are you be able to entice audiences – we don’t think that this is wholly true.

In fact a review of opinions on this subject revealed that even 20-something’s are actually very keen to read longer content copy if (and only if) it is of value to them.

For some more detailed insight into one company’s success in the use of long-form articles, read this in-depth post by Chris Dannen of FastCo.Labs.

So regardless of the age of your reader, quality content will grab and hold their attention.

…and how you say it.

Whether you are solving a problem or dishing out something entertaining – how you relay that information can either make or break your piece.

Great stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Great content is based on telling a great story.

It’s a little like going to a restaurant.

You scan the menu and something you like on it catches your eye. You then go ahead and order your meal.

The Starter – Whet the appetite with an interesting introduction. This part of your story should lead the reader on to an equally great article.

The Main Course – Variety is good. Don’t serve a dull and boring ‘brown meal’ – give the reader colour and variety. Include a few visuals to support what you’re talking about. Add a few links to supporting information or other media, such as video content. Give your readers a well rounded experience if it’s applicable and if you can.

The Dessert – Sweeten the deal with a great ending. You can close a perfect post  with a concise conclusion that drives your point home.

The after dinner mint – If it is suitable to do so – include a call to action at the end of your article to entice further interest or engagement.

Get readers involved

Think about how you construct your articles from a social media perspective. Audiences today have higher standards owing to the quantity of information they have to choose from. In addition, they generally have little hesitation in voicing their opinion. Invite participation by asking for their opinion and even include ‘tweetable’ or otherwise shareable content within your copy.

Don’t compromise on quality

As we mentioned in a previous post, rather write one great article per week than many mediocre ones.

Search algorithms such as Google’s Panda and Penguin tell us that there is more of an appreciation for quality content that solves a particular problem or provides useful insight.

For more tips on how to create engaging content – take a look at our recent article The Equation for Engaging Content.

Know thy audience

Before diving headlong into creating content – don’t forget that real success is always based on a solid strategy. The time you spend in getting to really know your customers and deciding what content to create based on their needs and wants, is never time wasted.

By nailing down what it is that your customers and prospects want to read about and by giving them that information in sizeable, easily digestible and engaging chunks, you’ll be creating your own winning recipe for content marketing which will significantly boost your overall business success!

Looking for help to write your content or do you need guidance in fine-tuning your marketing strategy? Contact Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib on 021 556 5661 or email us: info@theformula.co.za

Our consultations are free and we’d love to help you find ways to make your business grow!


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