How to advertise to an audience with 8 seconds attention

When reading the title of this article, analyze the subject and decide that you want to click on it, much more viewers left and went to the next. This is not personal, it is the way most 21st century digital consumers are processing information. The average viewer's attention is becoming shorter and ads requiring a sustained engagement are less likely to click with many audiences.

So, how can you capture this dwindling resource with your digital marketing tactics? To engage the viewer (or at least feed a seed into his brain), you need to incorporate some of the best practices to keep it short, powerful and useful. These six strategies will help you focus your digital marketing on balancing brevity with information.

1. Clarity Is King

When in doubt, use simple, concise prose. Your guiding principle should be to create something useful or interesting for the viewer without forcing him to work too hard for it. Tell them, in one sentence or less, why they should care about your ad.

One way to create clarity is to give the viewer a simple, concrete concept that he can hang on to. Here are some examples of good "anchor points":

A problem related to a competitor's product that your product solves.A new model or new feature that has just been added.One Strong customer testimonial consisting of a single sentence.A short phrase that uses active, exciting language.A nice or exciting picture that creates an ambitious desire.

It takes practice to develop your digital advertising strategies in such a way as to command the attention of the client, so it is essential to use A / B tests and focus groups to continually refine your approach. And if in doubt, consider the limitations and benefits of the medium in which you work.

2. Know the best practices of the platform you use

Each digital advertising platform has its own set of rules, not just the official rules, but also the rules implied. Know the terrain of digital landscape and make sure you can articulate your message in different ways depending on the platform.

Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other advertisements on social media platforms require special attention. aware of that. Something that works like a tweet does not often make a good LinkedIn post, and vice versa. If your social media posts do not generate enough engagement, consider that they may need to be better adapted to the platform, review some of the best practices, and keep up-to-date with recent updates when you are writing for different social media.

Best practice is to make sure your formatting is correct, avoid duplicate content, and share high quality, legally owned images that users will want to see in their feed. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the unique standards of each platform, such as character limits and formatting of publications. Generally, less text is preferable and will allow more visual appeal, especially on Twitter, which has one of the smallest character limits. Overall, always think about the end user, what they will like to see, and how best to help them.

3. Do not press video content where it is not appropriate

Now everyone knows the secret of the "pivot of the video" who swept the digital advertising industry a few years ago: the figures relating to the commitment of video content had been inflated, severely in some cases. This is not to say that video is not a great way to reach a digital audience, but it does point out that video must have its place in its context.

Autoplay videos on the home page of a website are one example. of a video strategy to avoid. On the one hand, pages often load slowly, and you can understand why a slow loading website would pose a problem for a consumer whose attention span is drastically reduced. On the other hand, it increases the cognitive load of the viewer in a way that can be unpleasant if it is unexpected. For many people, watching a video is a more important cognitive engagement than reading a few short paragraphs of an article, so try to determine if the video actually improves your message.

Finally, keep the video content short and enjoyable unless you have it. Deliberately complete a more detailed video for customers further down the sales funnel. And great long content also has its place – but you should think about the best way to use it. In fact, this is exactly the subject of our next council.

4. Make the most of your content by separating it

The attention of the 21st century gives better results if you feed it in small bites. If you have a long informative video or an interesting article, consider dividing it into several parts. This accomplishes several things:

It gives you more real estate on the search engines and can allow you to segment your audience more effectively according to the individual interests that you have addressed in each section. This makes the content more readable or more user-friendly. It maximizes the usefulness of your content by transforming a single message into a week or a month.

This idea also applies at the micro level. Try to keep the paragraphs relatively short and divide the text into lists (as we just did). Make it lively, make it relevant and, where appropriate, make it fun based on the voice of your brand.

5. Customize Ad Content

There is a relatively simple way to make your content more useful and interesting for your audience: personalize it. In an era when consumers are seeing thousands of ads a day, personalization is an effective way to bring out your content.

Almost all of today's advertising platforms offer customization and targeting tools. Whether it's PPC on social networks, PPC on search engines, on email marketing or on any other platform, there's probably a way to personalize the display of your ads. PPC ads are particularly attractive because platforms such as Facebook and Google offer robust targeting tools built into the ad buying system as well as reliable indicators to track the performance of your ads. the consumer, so beware of personalization that targets potentially sensitive information. Keep in mind the sense of empathy for the consumer and ask yourself the following question: "Would I agree if someone sent me a announcement or a targeted email about it? "

6. Use visual aids and interactive elements to leave a more lasting impression

Content that creates visual interest for the viewer will always # 39; advantage. Infographics and graphics are a great way to do this because they can convey a lot of information in a very useful format. The flowchart, for example, is a classic because it provides a lot of useful information and adds a level of interactivity and personalization.

It's also an exciting time to take advantage of the many new ways for clients to interact with their clients. a website or an application. This same flow chart, for example, could be turned into an interactive customization quiz that helps customers find the product they need from a range of choices. At the same time, many eyewear manufacturers now offer digital test features that superimpose a pair of frames on the user's photo. While these features require more dedication and attention from the viewer, they can be effective because they create interactive engagement, not just passive visualization.

Some marketers might wish a five paragraph commercial copy, and some would like the challenge of the new economy of attention, but it is clear to everyone that the attention span of lightning is the new normality. Successful 21st century marketers are addressing this need by finding ways to communicate more information in small dots and by meeting the constant demands that our world places on consumer time and attention.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the invited author and not necessarily those of Marketing Land. Associated authors are listed here.

About the Author

Ronald Dod is a marketing director and co-founder of Visiture, a commercial marketing agency end-to-end e-commerce to help online merchants acquire more customers through search engines, social media platforms, markets and their storefronts. His passion is to help leading brands use the data to make more efficient decisions to drive new traffic and conversions.

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