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Developing Content for an Audience with Short Attention Spans

bigstock-Young-Couple-Distracted-With-C-116961497.jpgModern technological advances have allowed people to multitask more than ever before. Of course, there is always a trade off – this constant multitasking has lead to a significant drop in our attention span. The average person’s attention span is now a mere eight seconds. That’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish.

As a result, people no longer read as much. This is affecting how they interact with content online. The majority of page views last less than a minute. Nearly 60% of people admit to sharing articles on social media that they had not even read. If you want to maximize your clicks and shares, you need to create content that will appeal to today’s readers.

Start with Good Writing

No one wants to read something poorly written. Good writing should be the foundation for all online content. So take the time to research your industry and target market. Check out what your competitors are doing. Develop a standard quality level all of your content must adhere to. 

Engage your Audience

It is called social media for a reason. Customers are interacting with brands more than ever. Find ways to engage your audience. Ask them to respond to a question pertaining to the content, invite them to share their own experiences, or create a poll for them to vote on. This ability to interact and share is something that keeps readers engaged and coming back for more.

Incorporate Visual Media

Visual content is universally appealing. It is an easy way to grab your reader’s attention. Research has shown readers spend more time looking at the pictures on web pages than they do at the actual words. Pictures, videos, memes, infographics and more can be used to break up large bodies of text or illustrate a point. They are an easy way to keep readers interested in what you have to say and help them retain the information later.

Make It Easy to Skim

Making your content easy to skim may sound counterproductive if your goal is for people to actually read the content you produce. However, when confronted with a huge, endless block of text, most people will decide the content is simply not worth the effort. Switch things up by including:

By using these features, readers can quickly skim the text to see if it is something they are interested in actually reading.

Publish on Multiple Platforms

If you want your content to reach readers, you need to publish it on multiple platforms. Keep in mind the “personality” of each social media site and adapt your marketing to fit it. A post that is excellent for Facebook would feel out of place on LinkedIn or Instagram.

Which of these features is most important to you, as a reader? Let us know on our Facebook page!

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