Declining attention spans may be killing your content marketing strategy

Libby Margo in Content marketing on 20th of Mar 2019
Content marketing hacks

Content marketing hacks

Thanks to technology, the human attention span is at its lowest ever. In fact, Microsoft argues that the average person has an attention span of 8 seconds — a significant decrease from the average attention span of 12 seconds at the turn of the 21st century.

Implications for your content marketing strategy

You may have read the first paragraph and thought: “Yeah, okay. So what’s the big deal?” before shrugging and moving on. But believe it or not, the decline in attention spans has created a myriad of problems for marketers:

  • People don’t have enough patience to read through your content
  • Some people may be interested in reading your content — but will turn away if it seems too long or too heavy
  • People will always turn away if your site speed isn’t up to scratch

There are many ways you can tackle this problem, we suggest checking out the following tips to protect your content marketing strategy from declining attention spans:

Keep things simple

A Nielsen study found that people don’t read content on websites the same way they would read a 400-page book. Readers get right into comprehensive texts (glass of wine in hand, optional), but they tend to skim-read web content. You might be keen to bash out a 5000-word masterpiece on marketing automation for your company’s blog but if that piece of content won’t add to your company’s bottom line, there’s no point in writing it. Ultimately, the goal of a content marketing strategy should be to drive a good ROI. And for this reason, simple and clear content will always win.

Prioritize website accessibility

When marketers plan their content marketing strategy, they often treat the technical aspects of the website as an afterthought — or they forgot about it completely. This is a huge no-no because an inaccessible website makes the other parts of your content marketing strategy useless. What’s the point of writing awesome content if your website takes too long to load and impatient readers turn away before they even have a chance to read the opening line of your masterpiece? If that doesn’t convince you, then perhaps the fact that a one-second delay in page load may cost you 7% in conversions will (Hosting Facts).

A content marketing strategy should always go beyond content creation and strategy; make sure you invest a considerable amount of time on the accessibility of your website. After all, it’s important to realize that our declining spans make us more impatient — and not many readers will trade extra seconds of their time reading your content because they think it’s valuable.

It’s okay to repeat your content

In the age of declining attention spans, people need to see your content several times before they start to pay attention. No, we’re not saying you should be repeating the same keyword over and over throughout the page. We’re talking about distributing content in the following ways:

  • Repurpose key pieces of content into different formats e.g. images, videos, slides, text, etc.
  • Distribute key pieces of content across multiple channels e.g. email, social media, presentation sites, etc.
  • Use ad retargeting to get people seeing your content again and again on Google or Facebook. Better still, you can use Autopilot to create Facebook retargeting campaigns AND follow-up with leads who have not responded to your CTAs (see template below)

In short

It’s more than likely that our attention spans will be even shorter the next time a study is conducted. However, following the above tips will ensure that you’re in a better position to override the shrinking attention span of your audience.

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