With distractions at every turn, gaining and holding your reader’s attention is only getting harder. Just think about the last time you opened a long article. Maybe you had every intention of reading it through to the end right then and there—but then a new email notification from your boss came in, a colleague messaged you a giphy, or you got up to grab a third espresso. Did you ever come back to finish the read?
The average attention span has decreased by more than 30% from 2000 to 2015, putting us at an even lower level than a Goldfish. So what does this mean for content marketers, and how can we create content with the best chance of being read?
Your readers won’t commit
Buyers are increasingly straying from content that requires an extensive time commitment. A study of B2B buyers found that 46% are gravitating toward shorter content, and 34% say they’re allocating less time to read and research prospective products/services.
Despite a lower level of time invested, B2B buyers still rely on content when making purchasing decisions—and 47% of buyers say they rely on content more today than they did last year. So, creating and sharing concise content is more critical than ever.
How to create concise, compelling content in 4 steps
When your prospects land on your content, will they stick around until the final word? Or will they get bored, overwhelmed by the word count, or lost in a daydream about lunch—and hit the back button faster than you can say “bounce rate?”
Read on for 4 tricks to creating brief, compelling content that can capture and hold even the shortest attention spans.
1) Keep an eye on the word count
Only 4% of web visitors will stay on a page for 10 minutes or longer—so if your article takes 15 minutes to read? Chances are it’s not getting read to the end.
To create “snackable” content that still has some bite to it, cut the fluff and focus on providing the most valuable information you can offer. Speak to your reader’s pain points, and give them the tools and tricks to meet their needs. Try using brief, social-ready videos, short-form case studies, and condensed infographics that highlight the key points without being verbose.
For traditionally longer content types, such as long-form customer case studies, eBooks, and blog posts, respect the reader’s time and make sure your content is as concise as possible. Plus, shorter content typically takes less time to create—added bonus!
2) Make content visually attractive and simple
Forty-one percent of B2B buyers claim to prefer visual and interactive content. Catch their eye with colorful infographics and articles filled with images, graphics, and splashy callouts. Make sure to keep the message clear and use a simple format to organize your ideas. Bullet points that summarize key ideas are useful for skimmers. Also, be cognizant of the colors you choose, as they elicit varying conscious and subconscious reactions from the reader.
3) Support your value prop with data
Save space and offer compelling evidence at the same time by using the most captivating data points to quickly and effectively communicate the value of your product. Start by thinking about your unique value proposition—try answering questions like:
- “What are the challenges that our solution solves for our most successful clients?”
- “What are the most significant benefits that our target prospect accounts can realize using our solution?”
- “What sets our solution apart from the competition?”
Then, collect the data to support your claims. It can be as easy as sending a quick survey out to your customer base. Stating that your customers experience a 10x increase in performance using your product—backed up by proof—will carry a lot more weight than an unsupported claim that your product improves performance.
4) Leverage third party research
When sharing key data points, it’s helpful to support your claims with third-party validation. B2B buyers are cautious, and for good reason—they’re bombarded with countless claims from vendors on a daily basis. To both stand out from the pack and give your claims some validity, get confirmation from an independent third party organization.
How has your team’s content evolved to address shorter attention span? Comment below to share your insight!