Imagine you only have eight seconds to land the biggest customer your business has ever seen. Well, that’s attention marketing. The reality is, our human biology has simply not caught up with the age of smartphones. Scientists have even stated that humans have a shorter attention span than a goldfish thanks to our pocket-sized computers.
If you’ve managed to keep reading this far (after all, the attention span of a goldfish is only 9 seconds), we’ve got some tips for you on how to captivate and keep the attention of your target audience.
Attention Units and Why They’re Important
Humans have a limited amount of attention in any given moment. Thankfully it’s a renewable resource, but one that is quickly expended. Attention is more than just focusing on completing a task: we use it to shape and frame life’s big picture.
So it’s understandable then that attention takes up a lot of energy. Do you notice that you feel exhausted and frazzled when you have a lot of things on your plate at once? Psychologists refer to this as “cognitive load,” and suggest that we have limits on what our brain can cognitively deal with.
It’s important to know that there are two main types of attention: voluntary and involuntary attention. Involuntary attention kicks in when we hear a dog barking or see a notification for an email pop up. Voluntary attention is consciously controlled and takes significantly more focus, because we are using it to ignore the competing stimuli and concentrate on a single task.
Think of attention units as a cup of coffee that you only get at the start of the day. Each distraction is like taking a sip of the cup. Before you know it, your coffee is gone and you feel scatter-brained and frazzled. Taking a short break or walk can refill your cup again.
With this knowledge, we can understand that the people who we are connecting with have this same finite amount of attention units. We can then leverage that attention to stand out in a polluted marketing world.
Leverage Attention and Stand Out
The Internet and cell phones use more involuntary and voluntary attention than ever known before in human history. So is it really any surprise that the average person spends 10-20 seconds on a webpage before leaving? When you only have that short time frame to capture the attention of your audience and showcase your services, what do you do?
It’s actually a lot easier than you think.
Since you are a fellow goldfish, you have an advantage of being in the shoes (or should I say “fins”?) of your audience. What makes you leave a webpage? Here are a few things you should keep in mind when you strategize on how to craft a message to your target audience.
- Be clear in your messaging – According to Neilsen research, pages with a clear value proposition are able to hold people’s’ attention much longer.
- Keep your messaging short and sweet – Less is actually more, in this case. When you keep your message succinct and meaningful, you show that you value the time of your audience
- Appeal to your customer’s desire and tell a story – In order to have a captive audience, you need to capture attention first. It starts with crafting a story that resonates with your target audience based on what they want, not just what you’re selling.
- Focus on the UX and ease of navigation – If you’re inviting them in with a captivating story, don’t take them out of the experience with a bad user interface. Check out this infographic for tips on how to make your website awesome (or, just call us!)
- Use rich media like video – Focus especially on the first 8 seconds (remember the goldfish!)
PHOS Creative Can Help
Still thinking of ways to capture, captivate, and keep the attention of your customers? Don’t worry! There are plenty of goldfish to catch, and we can help you reel them in.