Squirrel – 8 seconds! That’s it…
And then I’m gone. And so are you…
In 2015, Microsoft released a study that said the average human attention span was now just 8 seconds. At 9 seconds, the goldfish (Time Magazine said) has a one second edge on us.
If you don’t get the viewer’s attention in less than 8 seconds, you can forget it. Your message is never going to get through.
In another study, research by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information and the National Library of Medicine in the US found 79 percent of respondents regularly “dual screen” by using portable devices while watching TV.
Not only are competing for the 8 seconds on a single screen, but now we’re competing to be better than other content on 2 additional screens at the same time.
What’s a marketer to do?
Never has it been more important to create content that engages your audience. We’re here to help.
Follow these 7 steps to make sure your audience not only consumes your content, but stays with you until the call-to-action. (You do have a CTA for each piece of content, right?)
- Some folks just aren’t that in to you. And it’s not all bad. Knowing who will not be drawn to your content is the first step to finding those that will. And those that want your information will already be disposed to give you more than 8 seconds of their precious time.You’ve got to go where they are. That involves research. And research is work. But if you want a responsive audience, not just one that gives you little more than 8 seconds, find out who they are and what they want.The folks at CMSWire.com remind us, “… it stands to reason that if your brand doesn’t have a proactive presence on the channels your customers are using, chances are your customer will find another one that does.”By focusing on the market that is interested in your service, you’ve taken the first step to being relevant.
- Don’t be fooled by “good” numbers. We talk about analytics all the time and the power of numbers. At NAMS, Inc. we LOVE numbers. We track: Opens, Clicks, Likes, Shares, Bounce Rates, Time on Page, and many others…But all of those things help us improve one number: Simply put, how many people took the action we wanted them to take?At the end of the day, if our content helps us improve conversions, we’ve had a good day. But if we increase any other number, and conversions remain flat—it’s back to the drawing board.We have to guard against feeling excited by misleading statistics.
- Grab ‘em by the throat. Your premise may be dull as dirt, but your subject line has to be as exciting as sex on the beach under the moonlight.That’s why the clickbait advertising is all the rage on the big authority sites. With one good headline, people will click away from very well-written and very thoughtful articles to “Discover the Ancient Secrets of King Tut that Will Change the Way Your Wife Looks at YOU!” even though we have no idea who King Tut is or how ancient he is.When I was in the newspaper business, I was the founding editor of one of the news magazines. We spent hours coming up with great headlines—occasionally before we had the story to go with it…
- Keep the story moving. We don’t sit through movies any longer if the story doesn’t move quickly. The cuts have to be fast, and the action intense. Thank you MTV.Think about the last fiction book you read. I’d be willing to bet that if you weren’t dropped into some intense action in the first 10 pages, it was “buh, bye!” for that book.Last year, I finished a 17-book detective mystery series because the action was intense and the characters so likable. Seventeen books! I was / am a raving fan of the series. And now, I can’t wait for the next one to come out.My wife still holds out hope that Harry Potter will come back.We get attached to great stories that move fast. Make sure yours does too.
- Don’t make me read! Yes, I know. We all need to read more. But we’re not.According to a Cisco whitepaper on global internet traffic featured in Adweek, “…massive growth of…consumer internet video traffic will go from 64 percent in 2014 to surpass 80 percent by 2019, with consumer video on demand traffic doubling by 2019; with high definition content amongst that figure rising from 59 percent in 2014 to 70 percent in 2019.”And mobile video is expected to grow by more than 3 times during the same period.
- Shorter is better. Nobody is going to watch a 60-minute video any longer.According to a 2015 Q4 Video Index report by Ooyala, a video publishing and advertising network and subsidiary of Telestra, “For the second quarter in a row, 69% of all videos watched on smartphones were under 10 minutes long. On the flip side, that means that nearly one third of smartphone videos watched were longer than 10 minutes…”
If you’re creating video content longer than 10 minutes, uh, think again…
- Use the tools. Creating content has never been simpler. New tools are coming out all the time. The prices are dropping and the drag-n-drop functionality is more amazing.
“Wow, you have to watch that because the images that move through quickly keep you so engaged.”
Boom! That’s what we want.
Turn YOUR 8 seconds into more than 2 minutes of engaging video with a strong call-to-action.