Could the Goldfish Dominate a Digital World?

Did you know goldfish have an attention span of 9 seconds which is sadly, longer than the average human? A recent Microsoft study highlighted the deteriorating attention span of humans, saying it has fallen from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to eight seconds in 2016.

This is claimed to be the effects of an increasingly digitalised lifestyle on the brain. Microsoft’s study found that people are more easily distracted in the presence of devices with screens. “Digital lifestyles affect the ability to remain focused for extended periods of time. People with more digital lifestyles struggle to focus in environments where prolonged attention is needed,” the report said.

So, how does your business grab digital attention in a world where humans are easily distracted, and are constantly scrolling or flipping between apps and channels?

With the rise of social media we’re seeing a rapid increase in the amount of content being published and consumed online. And while content is ultimately at the heart of any good social media strategy, we’re also being overwhelmed and saturated by it. This makes it harder for businesses to get their content heard above the infinite noise online.

Here are 6 key tricks to keep in mind when producing or sharing online content for a poorly-focused audience:

  1. Keep it short and simple
  2. Don’t bury the lead – you’ve only got 7 seconds to grab attention
  3. Keep your audience in mind – why would they want to read or see what you’re showing them? What’s in it for them?
  4. Does it engage – what reactions does your content inspire? Does it make them laugh, go wow or think hey, that’s cool!?
  5. Be visual – we all know that a picture speaks a thousand words. People are more likely to engage with images and videos on social channels so produce content that is rich in imagery.
  6. Use link bait – this is the opening caption that will make them want to click on what you’re sharing.

The best content is interesting, informative and awe inspiring! You want people to like your content enough that they share it and trust your product or service.

Goldfish may be ahead of us with their superior attention spans but you’ve done well to make it through to the end of this article! If your business would like support in posting relevant and regular content on your social channels ReachLocal can help. Get in touch with us to find out how!

Nishtha Handa

Nishtha is the Content Marketing Manager at ReachLocal. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for small and medium businesses. She specialises in guiding businesses to improve their social media and digital marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing or researching the latest digital tips and trends, she's planning her next holiday destination, baking a cake or binge watching Netflix.

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