02 Feb Don’t Check Your Phone While Reading This: The Rise of the Eight Second Attention Span
Every day, we are bombarded with information online. From your social media feeds to adverts popping up across your favourite sites, it seems that everyone is clawing for your attention. Given this, how can marketers ensure that they are not lost amongst this mad scramble for attention?
Before the advent of the information age, experts forecasted that the attention spans of internet users would take a hit. The 2020 study by Microsoft¹ confirms this- users generally start to lose attention after just eight seconds². This figure has been gradually falling since the year 2000 when the average attention span was around 12 seconds, but it has now reached an all-time low. The information age has fundamentally changed how we expect gratification: it must be instant and easy.
Why has our attention span been lowered?
The information age has brought many positives to the way individuals communicate, find and share information online. At the fingertips of anyone with an internet connection and a device, lies a huge breadth of information- all available at the press of a button. However, such an inundation of knowledge can leave users feeling lost: there is a lot of information to consume and only so much time. It seems that users have adapted to only focus on information in short bursts of time before moving on to the next piece of content.
“The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data”³
What does this mean for content moving forward?
If you have been involved in marketing for any period of time, you will understand the importance of adapting your strategies to any cultural and demographic changes. Audiences having a shorter attention span should not be a source of fear; there are still ways of getting through to your audience by condensing your message wherever possible.
Make your website easily navigable: make use of visual content, and condense your text so it is easily digestible. Try to find a “hook” in your content that will draw the user into what you’re trying to show them.
“Trends show people are reading less and watching more. So goodbye text-heavy posts and hello easy-to-digest videos.”⁴
Recent years have seen short-form video content take a meteoric rise in popularity, following the launch of platforms such as TikTok. In fact, TikTok was named the most visited site on the internet in 2021⁵, surpassing Google for the first time in 12 years.
Short-form videos are a great way of creating content that is concise, exciting, and better suited to a more diverse, engaged, and younger audience. With this type of content, brands can reach and engage audiences they may not have been able to before: delivering impactful and relatable content builds brand reputation, which significantly influences the loyalty and trust consumers place in brands⁶.
Short-form video content is here to stay. It represents an evolution in consumer needs and the new platforms popular amongst internet users; marketers should ensure that they are up-to-date with their strategies to leverage these new forms of content to assure success with their brands. The online world is constantly evolving, and therefore your marketing strategies should change concurrently. Even with several years of experience in creating eye-catching and engaging creative content, we at Perfect Shot Media have also faced the issue of ensuring our online efforts suit this paradigm shift in content consumption. If you find yourself in the same position, do not hesitate to get in contact with us today to discuss how we can help your brand adapt its strategy!