Microsoft found that since the year 2000 the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds,” says Kevin Mscpadden, contributor for the Time. The drop to eight seconds ”[highlights] the effects of an increasingly digitalised lifestyle on the brain.”

And with more people being surrounded by technology, and therefore, a lot more distractions, marketers need to take a more clever approach to their advertising; essentially, they need to create campaigns that reach the consumer fast and that have an instant impact.

So, the question remains, how does a brand grab someone's attention that quickly and effectively?

Let’s take a look:

1. Keep your marketing short and sweet

Being an expert in your industry means that you have a lot of information that you can give to consumers. Although brands might think that shoving all that information in front of the consumer is the way to go, it is best to rather not go into that much detail when creating an advert or social media posts.

Consumers are only willing to read that much; think about it, would you want to sit and watch an ad in solace for three minutes? Of course not! Especially when you can get the same information, in brief, from a social media post.

For example, if you’re looking to post about your new product on social media, rather focus on keeping the content short and sweet by splitting it up into three different posts. And make sure that the image you add to the post doesn’t contain too much copy (no one wants to read an essay while they’re scrolling through their newsfeeds).

This way, you can pique the consumer's interest with the first post, grab their attention with the second and leave them wanting to come back for more with the third.

Still not sure how you might be able to go about this? Think about the ever-famous Instagram. On this platform, you could create three separate Instagram posts that, when posted together, make up a bigger image; not only does it look pleasing to the eye but it keeps the consumer interested into seeing what the conclusive image will be.

An Instagram account that has done an amazing job at posting content like this is @juniperoats: Brands can definitely grab some much-needed inspiration from her.

2. Market using personalised content

If a brand wants to grab the attention of a consumer, it is essential to create personalised content. And with so many brands out there, consumers’ choices are endless. Thus, creating content specifically for them will definitely grab their attention.

According to Lisa Smith, a contributor at Wordstream, there are five ways in which you can personalise content, including:
  1. Get data, data and more data: Gaining more information about a consumer makes it easier for you to create personalised content; for example, getting their name, surname, birth date, gender, devices and profession allows you to include these names in your ads and your content, making them feel like it’s just them you’re talking to.
  2. Generate customer personas: Once you start collecting data, you will be able to generate customer personas, such as their shopping habits and interests.
  3. Map out your content: Here, you need to ensure that your content covers the interests of your customer personas; otherwise, that content will not grab their attention and they will not share it across platforms.
  4. Create personalised content: Now that you have consumer’s names and an idea of what they normally buy from your brand, you can better create content that resonates with them.
  5. Personalise the whole experience: Make sure that the entire personalised experience from social media and emails pulls through to your website. This ensures that, when customers land on your page, they’ll easily be able to find what they are interested in.
Consumers love personalised content, and thus, they will pay attention to the content that you post or share.

3. Make sure your marketing messages are clear

The average consumer might not be all clued up when it comes to specific terminology used in your everyday work-life and industry. And what’s the first thing anyone does when they see an ad with no (or even dull) images and confusing words? They look away! And that ad becomes lost instantly by its potential consumers.

That’s why it’s important to use lingo and visuals that will draw attention – and keep it there (for at least eight seconds). Most importantly, you need to ensure that, if you are using new, crazy lingo (in your consumers’ eyes at least) that it’s accompanied by an image that clearly describes that word so that the consumer is able to draw a direct line from the image to the lingo.

You could even have a short caption to explain what your lingo is along with a visual to show your potential audiences what your brand is all about, and what you’re trying to do.

According to Ronald Dod, contributor for Marketing Land, brands need to make use of ‘good anchor points’ to allow consumers to latch on. Examples of these points include:
  • a problem with a competitors’ product that your product solves
  • a new model or feature that’s just been added
  • a strong, single-sentence customer testimonial
  • a short phrase that uses active, exciting language
  • a pleasant or exciting image that creates an aspirational desire
By making your content as clear as possible the better a brand's chances are to grab the attention of their consumers.

4. Use eye-catching visuals in your marketing

Have you ever seen a video or image for an ad and just gone “wow?” If you want to grab an audience with an eight-second attention span, it is essential that you make use of visually appealing elements alongside your compelling copy.

By making use of bold colours and aesthetically pleasing images in your marketing (granted that it’s related to your content), you’ll be sure to grab the attention of your audience and keep it there.

Think about fast-food restaurants; their advertising would be nothing without the mouth-watering food displays on billboards and advertisements. You’re not going to want a burger by reading about it! You want to see it.

With countless apps available for free online, there are no more excuses for brands to create low-quality content.

Some of these apps can be used to create some wondrous images. They include:
When creating your beautiful images, remember to still keep it in-line with your brand’s tone of voice. It is also vital to remember to not make the images too busy, because that will also send consumers packing.

Here’s an example of a brand that’s really easy on the eyes: Introducing So Worth Loving.

It’s vital that brands make their content look nice as well as simple. Remember, consumers are bombarded with countless adverts daily, and simplicity will make them feel less overwhelmed as well as grab their attention.

5. Market using different types of content

Today’s consumers get bored really easily, so if you don’t change up your game regularly, you will not be attracting anyone’s attention. According to Tereza Litsa, contributor for Search Engine Watch, there are five types of content you should make use of, including
Making use of different types of content helps your consumers look forward to new and improved ways of reading up about your business, whether you’re advertising new products or even a new service offering. In essence, brands need to pay more attention to the content that they create, change it up and ensure that it is of high quality.

What are other ways marketers can grab the attention of their audiences? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Do you want to learn more about how consumers think? Then be sure to read The psychology behind consumer behaviour.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy