The inception of the smart age has witnessed a drastic drop in the attention span of modern audiences. Why has this happened? The answer is innovation. As man evolved, so did his technology; and with every new leap in understanding, the progression sped up. We have reached a point where it is possible to acquire huge amounts of information on a small screen that practically fits into our pockets - all of it in a matter of seconds. Now, is that a bad thing? Well, not necessarily, but the situation is certainly not the most pleasant for marketers and creators, as they’re the ones dealing with the adverse effects of faster information processing. The inability of a prospect to retain their attention for a long time has forced businesses to rethink their marketing strategies from scratch. Everyone today wants their information quickly, but unfortunately for marketers, this demand for quick data makes it difficult to hold a consumer’s attention. Content needs time to work its magic. However, often time itself becomes the constraint. How then do we reel our audiences in? Here’s how:
Good storytelling is essential for improving engagement. However, the art of storytelling itself has evolved. Gone are the days when a brand could hope to get its audience invested in a long campaign narrative. Instead, what has been found to work is non-linear storytelling. The goal here is to catch your prospects off guard by showing them something in an unpredictable manner. For instance, rather than posting a video to your website, you can share it on your social media and tag your colleagues in it. By writing something personable about them, you have succeeded in creating content that is not just unique but also more engaging. Non-linear content will offer your consumers a captivating experience that they’ll stick around for.
Similarly, video is a powerful medium that drives engagement and creates an unforgettable experience for the user. In contrast to the 10% retention rate when reading regular text, people tend to retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video. This implies that video has the potential to elevate communications and arouse strong emotions. Short-form video formats such as YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels are ideal for combating the ever-decreasing attention periods of a younger audience. Any brand targeting the 18-30 demographic should consider incorporating content tailored for such platforms into its strategy. By creating short attractive videos that convey data quickly, you’ll amplify the overall user experience, improve brand recall and retain your audience’s attention by a significant margin.
Lastly, it is crucial to ensure that the content you produce is crisp and to the point i.e. your audience should be able to understand it immediately, without having to scroll through excess text or skip forward in a video. To achieve this, break your message down into tidbits, statistics, callouts and other types of formats that are easily digestible. This will make it possible for your readers to quickly scan your page and take in the information without too much strain. While long-form content is required to make a detailed point, it is always better to condense your content into short snippets and stories for keeping your reader interested.