Smartphone Culture: Counteract Customer’s Short Attention Span

Consumer attention spans are decreasing according to a 2015 report by Microsoft Canada’s Consumer Insights team which determined that customers have the attention span of a goldfish – about eight seconds. This presents a critical challenge for marketers. After all, they need to grab and hold the attention of customers to ensure the success of their advertising. Fortunately, this is not as daunting a task as it may first appear. You can make those eight seconds count with these high impact tips.

Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly.

Google made some significant changes in April 2015, with their big push for mobile-friendly websites. They made it more difficult for non-mobile friendly websites to do well in the search engine rankings while showing a preference for those sites that had created mobile-friendly versions. Surprisingly, many businesses still do not have a site that can be easily viewed or navigated on a mobile device. Is yours? You can check here using Google’s mobile-friendly tool.

If you still aren’t convinced that you need a mobile-friendly site, consider this. More than 98% of people in the United States own a smartphone. Still not convinced? Black Friday 2016 saw record sales. However, Cyber Monday 2016 surpassed those numbers and about a third of those sales were completed on digital devices.

Place crucial information above the fold. While this is more relevant for laptops, it still applies to digital devices as well. The higher you place crucial information, such as your call to action, the more likely it is that it will be seen. A consumer may not take the time to scroll through your site, but if you have your site arranged so that they can quickly and easily get to the information they are seeking, your chances of keeping them on your page improve considerably.

Many marketers add a call to action above the fold, but you can just as easily create text that leads them to one at the end. You might also consider a soft call to action then end with one that is more direct. Just know that whatever is above the fold could very well be what keeps a person on your page – or what turns them off of it.

Use Social Media Wisely.

Social media allows you to reach a lot of people with little actual effort, but there’s an art to it. Keep your posts punchy, to the point, and engaging with short sentences. Research shows that ideal Facebook posts that link to other content are around 40 characters, but that is not a hard-fast rule. True, shorter is better, but sometimes you need to provide a little more information – just don’t go overboard.

Posts with visual content do better than posts without, so keep that in mind when creating status updates. You also want to ask questions or make statements that encourage engagement and discussion. Offer discounts, run contests and be responsive to comments. This will keep customers looking at your content even if it exceeds attention span limits.

Make Infographics Work For You.

Visual content is always a hit and if you can pack great information into it, that’s even better. Infographics provide vital bits of information that can be quickly scanned and consumed. When creating your infographic use as few characters as possible, whittling away at the content until you have just the most basic information to show.

You also want to ensure that you’ve branded the material because infographics tend to be used and shared frequently. It can become a valuable resource that finds its way into articles or shared on social media, often prompting those who see it to take a closer look at the company behind it.

Optimize Your Emails.

Some experts are reporting that email is making a comeback. With that said, it doesn’t mean that you can send out a 700-word email and expect it to be read by all, or even most, of your recipients. However, there are some things you can do to improve your odds. These little tweaks are surprisingly simple.

You probably already know that you need an attention-grabbing subject line, but you should also optimize the preview text to align with the content of the email and make your above the fold space (the first 500 or so pixels) really count. Break up the text with descriptive subheaders and don’t be afraid to include relevant images. Watch the load time for your emails though; most people don’t want to have to wait.

Make Your Videos Short And To The Point.

Videos have the ability to hold attention and keep it – for about two minutes anyway. You want to provide a clear, concise message that is focused to just one or two points. Load up the first eight seconds to grab the viewer’s attention, spark their curiosity, and even answer their questions.

Use the remainder of the video to explain and provide more information, but avoid rambling. If you don’t have enough information to fill two minutes, then make a shorter video. If the information you are providing fills up more than two minutes, don’t be afraid to break it up. Point your video to a longer piece of written content like a blog post or article – or you can create a video series.

Develop Scannable Content With Punchy Headlines.

When you create your blog posts or the web content on your pages, keep the text well broken up. Extensive paragraphs with lengthy sentences will usually get passed over with the most likely outcome being the reader will click off and look for a site that offers content that is easier to read. Placing descriptive sub headers every 300 to 400 words breaks up the content quite well, making it scannable. Most sentences should be around 20 words.

Shorter paragraphs also get better results so keep them at around 3 to 5 sentences. You want your reader to be able to quickly scan your content and get a good feel for what it contains. Keep your text focused and avoid wordiness as well as irrelevant information. Most people enjoy a good story and marketing through storytelling is highly effective, but don’t take your reader on an exhaustive journey that takes them too far off the path. Keep it focused and the message clear.

Short attention span or not, consumers need and deserve to have their needs met in the quickest, most efficient way possible. They are busy balancing work and family, they don’t have the time or inclination to search extensively to find what they want. For more cutting-edge thought leadership on all things marketing, look to Marketplace Platform first. Visit our site to get the latest news and trends on multi-vendor eCommerce, peer to peer communities, collaborative consumption, the Sharing Economy, and much more. If you aren’t reading us, you’re missing a big part of the story.

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