Back in 2000, at the cusp of the mobile revolution, it was studied and revealed that the average human attention span was twelve seconds. Now, thanks to the shift towards a more digitized lifestyle where we have become so hungry to consume media on our devices constantly, the average attention span has dwindled to a mere 8 seconds – making goldfish more attentive than we are.
And now marketers are left scratching their heads. At the rate that the average online user goes through content, how do we captivate our audience with the limited time we are given?
Here are 5 tips on how you can hook your audience’s attention from the start and satisfy their growing appetites for content online:
Grab Their Attention with a Captivating Title
Reel them in with a title so compelling that they can’t ignore it. Your title can bring the promise of a fascinating story, a specific number of tips, or guarantee to go straight to answering a question minus the fluff.
Short attention spans mean that you have to get straight to the point. Make titles concise with enough detail to let your readers know exactly what they’ll be getting. Convey outright what's in it for them.
Value over Volume
Overwhelming your audience with loads of information that is otherwise useless or irrelevant leaves them feeling as though you’ve wasted their time. And they’re more likely to walk out mid-sentence once they’ve established that they’re being dragged along.
Focus on the quality vs. the quantity of your content by knowing who your audience is and addressing their needs. When you understand who you’re talking to, you’re in a better position to deliver the right message.
Make an Emotional Connection
If you haven’t done your market research and created detailed buyer personas for your business, you’re basically talking to an audience you don’t know. You can’t meet their demands when you haven’t recognized what they are. And you certainly cannot relate to them on the level you’re hoping for.
Your audience wants to be drawn into a conversation and feel something. To communicate and connect with your audience on a personal level, know what triggers their emotions.
Don’t Take Too Many Risks
Be inclusive. You lose people when you take chances on trying to be too clever with inside jokes that only a select few will understand or industry jargon that goes over most people’s heads. While this may attract a small and specific set of people, you risk losing the majority who have come to learn something from you.
Keep Your Promises
There’s no point in capturing your audience’s attention if you intend to risk losing it by going back on your word; unless you want to damage your brand.
If your headline or title assures that they will get a compelling story or the answer to a thought-provoking question, deliver the content that you guaranteed. Take the first chance you get to introduce your brand or include a sales pitch in the intro, and your audience will quickly feel they’ve been deceived. And they will be just as swift to click that back button.
As both a marketer and a consumer, what titles instantly grab your interest? What type of online media captures your attention and keeps it? When it comes to tips to sparking your online audience’s curiosity, perhaps the biggest secret is to think as they do.
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