The average human attention span is approximately 8 seconds. Scientifically speaking, attention is the duration a person can remain focused without distraction. And I am willing to bet in the time you have read these words thus far, I have lost your “attention.”
Did your office phone ring? Did you get a text message on your cell? A work email? Even someone speaking around you may have detracted your eyes from this page for a brief moment. Do I have your attention now? These represent just a brief glimpse into the obstacles that can hinder your content marketing.
How do you keep your audience from hitting the snooze button? Before you publish, your content should always:
Be of Interest
There is nothing worse than content that is dry and bland, with no general sense of direction. Not only do you risk losing the reader for that particular blog, article, or post, but you also risk them never returning to view future content. The most successful content is entertaining, addresses trends, or helps you accomplish a goal. Your audience should feel they are on a journey with you to the end result.
Serve a Need
Does your content help your audience solve a problem or does it simply give them food for thought? Think about when your car breaks down or you when you are ill. Chances are you have a trusted mechanic and doctor. The same parallel applies here. The more you position your business to serve what your audience really needs, the more they will return and engage.
Address the WIIFM Factor
From the minute your audience reads the headline, they are instinctively asking, “What’s in it for me?” If this is not addressed from the onset, your content is at risk of the dreaded 8 second attention loss. Many brands fall victim to creating content that they personally find interesting and wonder why it falls flat. Your mindset must change from “I” and focus on your audience.
Be Down to Earth
When creating content, you want to appear as the subject expert, correct? Right! However, if you are speaking in terms that make your audience feel they are reading a chapter out of an astrophysics textbook, you will create a disconnect between you and your audience. You need to be relatable in order to draw your reader in.
This is the most important element. Can your audience walk away from your content knowing exactly what to do? Always provide a framework that a reader can implement immediately. Checklists, outlines, and charts are essential to constructing a solid action plan.
Over 3 million blogs alone are published daily online. To keep the attention on your content in this market, you must tap into the power of evoking emotions from your audience.