Digital Content: Holding Consumer Attention

According to the MSL Communications Group, we see about sixty times more content from brands on our newsfeeds than we did only two years ago.  We live in a media-obsessed world.  When you consider how many screens people see everyday, the content really adds up!

While this phenomenon provides a great opportunity for companies and businesses to get the word out about their products and services…there’s a catch.

In such a world, how are we to not only grab consumers’ attention, but also keep it?

Most communication and marketing experts will tell you: the trick is to make your content as short as possible. Though this is indeed an important strategy, the length of your digital content is not the most significant factor in getting people to pay attention to what you’re saying.

What really matters is how quickly and how easily users can access and digest your content.

To keep your content user-friendly, there are a few tactics you can implement:

1. Don’t make them wait.

If you want users to engage with your digital content, consider wait time.

What you place on your web page or what you discuss in your promotional video is irrelevant if users never get the chance to see it.

We live in an age of instant gratification – most consumers simply aren’t willing to wait for a web page to load. Users find their cursors on the back arrow within seconds, finding another web page with the same information, faster.

Before you even think about actual content, make sure your web page loads at a rapid speed!

2. Organize your information.

Web users are not only interested in finding the information they need immediately, but also easily.  Organization is key.

When someone clicks on your article or web page, they are mostly likely looking for a specific piece of information. If they are unable to find it, they will leave in search of a page that is easier to navigate.

To avoid losing user attention, make use of bolded subheadings to divide your content into appropriate sections.  This will make your content easy for users to navigate and increase your chances of holding their attention for longer.

Users are likely to revisit your website when they’ve had a good user experience.

3. Be Upfront

When users scroll through Google, they want to know whether certain pages have the specific information they’re looking for. If it isn’t obvious from the get-go what your content is about and what it’s going to tell users, you’re likely to lose attention quickly.

Make sure you include all the key information about your article or webpage from the start.  Write a short summary and utilize headings and bullets so users can quickly follow content.

While creative anecdotes and stories are great for novels and essays, digital content should be concise and to the point.

Example of Upfront Webpage content; tells readers what's coming next

Upfront web page content makes it easy to know what’s coming next.

4. Use Digital Media!

Using digital media is a great way to break up chunks of content, making content easier for readers to digest. A page full of paragraphs and sub-sections looks far less daunting when a few images and diagrams are tactfully thrown in.

Remember that some people are visual learners.  They’ll be able to understand your content better if a visual aid is provided.

Choose images that are clear and representative of your content. They will not only keep readers engaged, but also create a good reputation for your company or brand.

beams&bricksDigital Content: Holding Consumer Attention

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