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User Attention Span: the Biggest Challenge for Marketers [2022]

User Attention Span_ Biggest Challenge For Marketers [2022]

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8… that’s it! The average user attention span in 2022 is just 8 seconds!

Be honest, how many of you have already looked at your phones or started doing something else just while reading the intro of this article?

It’s okay. Human attention span has been declining slowly, from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in recent years.

This affects all aspects of life, especially the marketing and business industries. How do you grab the attention of a person immediately and make them stay on your website?

That’s what we are about to find out today. Now stay awhile and listen!

deckard-cain-stay-a-while-and-listen

Why Is Our Attention Span so Short?

The rise of technology and the decrease of human attention span go hand in hand. It’s only logical when you think about it. After all, nowadays, we have everything presented on a plate in front of us, information is available 24/7, and we are constantly being notified by devices like smartphones, smartwatches, etc.

Life runs fast, and very rarely do we find the time to sit down and concentrate on something for a long time. Distractions are everywhere. Some people just love daydreaming and can easily let their minds wander.

homer-simpson-day-dream

A lot of people have jobs that require multitasking, which is very counterproductive for their attention spans. The human brain can only focus on one thing at a time, so more often than not, multitasking is actually bad for productivity.

On another note, physical and mental health issues can also be the cause for decreased attention span. Conditions like depression, anxiety, or ADHD could result in a deficit of attention. Also, the lack of exercise, poor diet or sleep deprivation will likely lower your attention span as well.

What Are the Signs of a Short Attention Span?

Quite often, we don’t realize that we, ourselves, are guilty of being too distracted, unfocused, and lacking the ability to keep our attention for long periods of time.

Here are some of the common signs of a short attention span:

  • Reading long texts can be difficult.
  • Time management and organization are troublesome.
  • Forgetting appointments and other activities.
  • Spacing out while listening to others.
  • Leaving tasks incomplete.
  • Making careless mistakes.
  • Missing important details or information.
  • Communication is challenging.

How Do Short Attention Spans Affect Digital Marketing?

How do Short Attention Spans Affect Digital Marketing

The human attention span has an impact on all business activities – advertising, copywriting, design, and so on.

Let’s take a look where attention spans could affect business negatively.

  1. Hard to retain visitors on your website.
  2. Slow loading speed keeps users away.
  3. Mostly skimming through content.
  4. Social media is overflowing with content.

Hard to Retain Visitors on Your Website

In the context of digital marketing, short user attention span is one of the most difficult challenges, as it is closely associated with higher bounce rates. The average page visit duration is less than 1 minute, and visitors often leave a page after just 10-20 seconds.

These stats pose a lot of questions: how do you keep visitors on your website for longer periods of time? What will make them return to your website?

You have to keep these questions in mind when you’re thinking about structuring and writing your content. They surely aren’t easy ones to answer, but through experimenting with different formats and media, you can judge which approaches work best for your audience.

Slow Loading Speed Keeps Users Away

It’s very easy to associate slow-loading websites with short attention spans. However, that’s not true. After all, even more patient users will probably not wait for your website to load for more than 10 seconds.

For people with short attention spans, however, that figure is greatly lowered. In fact, 40% of consumers state they would leave a website, if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, and 47% expect a site to load within 2 seconds.

This is why it is crucial to optimize your website loading speed. Not even the greatest piece of content will matter, if no ones gets to read it, because the site was loading too slow.

Mostly Skimming Through Content

Let’s face it. People very rarely read entire articles. They mostly skim read to find specific information they were looking for. Actually, studies have shown that users read an average of 28% of the words they see on a page.

The worst part is that if you haven’t formatted your text in a good way, users might end up hitting the back button on their browser and go on to another search result. It’s proven that articles with shorter paragraphs, lists, and rich media like images and video are more likely to capture people’s attention.

Social Media Is Overflowing With Content

On a daily basis, on Facebook, there are 4.5 billion likes, and 17 billion location-tagged posts. The same tendency applies to other social media like Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, etc. The point is that social media is overflowing with content, which is part of the reason behind the shorter attention spans.

So, to stand out from the crowd and to get your posts and brand some exposure, you need to immerse yourself in ways to immediately grab their attention.

How to Improve Users’ Attention Span?

How to Improve User Attention Span

Now that we know how negatively short user attention spans can affect your business, let’s look at some possible ways to improve the level of concentration of your users.

  1. Gamification
  2. Knowing your audience
  3. Focusing on quality
  4. Engaging content

1. Gamification

Everyone loves games, right? They get your adrenaline pumping, and winning a prize releases dopamine and makes you feel happy. All in all, gamification is an awesome way to engage your audience.

Just think of all those social media posts that require you to like, share, comment, tag a friend, etc. in order to qualify for a chance to win a prize. Such type of content is always very engaging.

Applying this to your website, you can think of ways to encourage people to interact with you and stay on your site longer. For example, why not develop a point system or awards when someone visits your site for the first time, or when they visit your website five days in a row, etc.

You can win customers, they can win prizes. Everyone is happy.

Gamification

2. Know Your Audience

General advice is good and all, however, in order to maximize your effectiveness, it’s good to research your audience and establish what drives more engagement.

This will vary depending on your industry and what you want to achieve – social media engagements, website traffic, or something else. Find out what type of media your visitors prefer the most – podcasts, video, images, and then try to implement that into your strategy.

3. Focus on Quality

You should always prioritize quality over quantity. There’s more than enough information all over the internet as it is, so there’s no need to produce meaningless content. Rather, put more emphasis on in-depth, high-quality content that keeps visitors on your website longer and makes them want to come back.

At the end of the day, it’s better to have one piece of content that drives traffic and engagement, instead of ten that no one clicks on.

4. Produce Engaging Content

Some types of content are just more engaging than others. This is strictly dependent on your niche, it could be memes, videos, reviews, podcasts, infographics, guides, and so on.

A good practice is to encourage visitors to ask questions, and to leave them as food for thought. This will lure them to come back to your site to read more of your content.

Bottom Line

User attention span is very short. Your marketing strategy needs to be extremely efficient and impactful, in order to stand out in the endless sea of content.

The good news is that it’s not impossible to execute such a plan. All you have to do is to be creative and do your research. Establish what your audience likes, grab their attention, and keep them engaged.

Thank you for your attention!

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