Goldstein Group Communications

10 Tips to Beat Declining Attention Spans

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Published On: September 28, 2023
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Try These Simple Practices to Start Seeing Better Results from Your Marketing Efforts

Executive summary:

The dwindling attention span of today’s readers challenges marketers to refine their content approach to engage with an increasingly elusive audience. We offer the top ten methods to elevate engagement in our contemporary world. It helps to:

  • Prioritize concise and differentiated value propositions
  • Make your storytelling relatable
  • Embrace short, punchy visuals and video content
  • Ensure it has a mobile-first, scannable design
  • Incorporate interactive and/or personalized strategies when you can

Feeling distracted lately? You’re not alone. I read recently that the average attention span now has declined from 2.5 minutes in the early 2000s to just 47 seconds today.

No surprise why, of course. From lack of sleep to stress to social media to the distractions of working from home, there’s always a ding or a buzz or an incoming email to knock us out of whatever we’re concentrating on doing.

Of course, this affects our B2B marketing programs, too. How do we change our B2B marketing programs to accommodate an audience that may not make it to the end of whatever blog we write or video we produce? How do we make sure they get to our email or ad or trade show booth?

Tips for Marketing in a Culture of Distractions

  1. Value Prop: Start at the beginning: is the value prop correct? Does it not just say what you do, but say what you do BETTER? A me-too message that puts you in the “Sea of Sameness” along with everyone else won’t get noticed. And condense it so it’s as short as possible.
  2. Storytelling. Ramp up the quality of your messaging by tying your value-prop to stories, examples, and problem-solution scenarios. Testimonials in particular are proving to be more influential than ever for buyers doing research. Build people into your images and messaging since that keeps people engaged and more connected to your content. Here’s a great example of a testimonial video based on simple Zoom recordings that are quick and easy to create.
  3. Video. Create short, one-minute videos. If you’re going to do long-form video content or webinars, make sure you summarize your key points in the first minute.
  4. Graphic Content. Build new content pieces that use pictures, images, and infographics, not just written content. Here’s an example of an interactive processing-plant graphic we built for client Unibloc Hygienic Technologies.
  5. Mobile-first. Build your content around mobile-first consumption and consider how to present it on a long scrolling screen in responsive mode.
  6. Bullets and Scannable Content. Everything you write should enable quick, visual scanning. Our blog post, “How to Write Content Google Will Love,” is a good example. Not only will readers engage more with scannable content, but Google will also see their engagement as an endorsement and move your content up the rankings ladder.
  7. Immediate Access to Information. Cram your site with FAQs and Chatbots so users can find what they want instantly. Gated lead forms in front of white papers may be getting a bit routine, and while they generate lead flow, some people (particularly technical buyers) may avoid filling out the form more than in the past. Consider blending ungated content or even using tools that prompt for a form fill mid-way through the content piece.
  8. Dynamic content, ABM, and One-to-One Content. Create customized marketing campaigns for individual people and companies.
  9. Omni-channel Strategy. Hit your prospect multiple times and with multiple channels. Retargeting ads will be particularly effective.
  10. Interactive Engagement. Quizzes, polls, surveys, and “journey buttons” to take the reader through the content along a path of their own choosing.

Here’s a bonus tip that brings the tally to 11—lists.

According to OptinMonster, more than a third of readers or 36% prefer list-based headlines and, presumably, the promised list to follow in the copy.

Did you make it through the list of 10 ideas? You probably scanned and picked out pieces most relevant to you, and that’s OK. It’s the new way we all consume information.

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