Have you ever been accused of having a memory like a goldfish? Although the goldfish three-second-memory myth has been debunked, their attention span is still pretty short, and some studies have said that a human’s attention span is getting even shorter – falling to just 8 seconds. It’s not that we are losing our attention capability, it’s just adapting to its new digital surroundings. People are constantly multitasking, scrolling through an online newsfeeds, collecting important snippets of information. That’s why it’s crucial to create good content for your organization. You have to give someone a reason to pay attention. If you have the right content, it can attract visitors to your page, build brand awareness and help create leads. So how do you know you’re pushing the right kind of content to your consumers, and how do you get them to continue reading and sharing it, instead of losing interest after 8 seconds?
As you scroll through Facebook, what usually catches your eye? A few sentences in a paragraph or a photo? Usually the photo will suck you in. People spend more time looking at images than words, and images tend to promote greater memory recall than text. Types of visual content can include videos and infographics, in addition to traditional photos. Create visually engaging content your audience will want to click, read, and hopefully share.
Bad writing can be damaging to your business. If you’re generating content that isn’t driving results, you need to rethink your writing. Consider a couple processes to ensure you have quality content that is useful to your audience, like conducting a competitor analysis to see what content drives engagement, and creating a style guide and editorial checklist so your content is consistent. Here’s one way to get people reading your content: ask them what they want! Create a poll on Facebook to ask what readers are interested in, and then take their answers to write the next blog post.
Is there someone in your organization that’s an expert in something and can write about it? That’s what thought leadership is. Incorporate thought leadership into your editorial calendar in ways such as writing a guest post on a blog (your own blog or another organization’s blog), publishing content that includes original research, or interviewing an industry professional outside of the organization. Your audience will be hooked with all the new and different ideas being brought to the table.
Cater to Your Readers
People are busy, and busy people don’t have time to sit down and read a full article, but would rather skim it and look for the main points. Make it easy for your readers and use headers or bolded text (seen here in this blog post), bullet points, and include a summary section at the end to help them understand what they read.
Do some experimenting on different social media platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn or Snapchat, to find what works for you and your business, and hopefully you can get your audience hooked for longer than a few seconds.