WHY WE HAVE SHORTER ATTENTION SPANS THAN GOLDFISH, AND HOW WE CAN FIX IT.
Once upon a time, a group of brave young scientists decided to compare the attention spans of humans and goldfish. In 2000, humans had a several-second advantage over the goldfish regarding attention, but since 2010, the goldfish has surpassed humankind. In the digital age, the average human’s attention span is only 8 seconds, while a goldfish can concentrate on something for a whopping 9.
What does this mean for business owners in the digital age?
As a brand, it’s become even harder to compete for your target customer’s attention. Although, there are several proven metrics for gauging how well your audience is paying attention to your brand and your content.
How can you measure audience attention?
You can accurately measure audience attention by considering how often your content is liked, loved, shared, or commented on.
People assess a brands credibility and gauge its trustworthiness within 50 milliseconds of first viewing a website or landing page. If you want to know whether your audience is paying attention to your content and finds it credible or trustworthy, you need to pay attention to how often they interact with it, and what type of interaction is taking place.
A comment or share is a much more robust indication of trust, credibility, and attention that only a ‘like’ or a ‘love.’ A ‘like’ or a ‘love’ doesn’t entail much investment on the consumer’s end, although a ‘like’ or a ‘love’ will still shed a favorable light upon you. People want to associate with that which is popular, and likes and loves do indicate popularity.
But with a comment, they viewer is making a time investment in your content by responding to it and possibly hoping for a response back. A ‘share’ indicates an investment of their own credibility by associating with your content.
So, how can you get people to pay more attention to your brand?
The first thing you need to consider is your content. Is it engaging, well-written, valuable, and informative? Research says that if your content is riddled with poor grammar and spelling mistakes, you’re actively sabotaging your brand’s credibility. Also, if your content is uninspiring, people may not necessarily find you untrustworthy, but they won’t pay any attention to it. Give your viewers interactive, informative content while still being fun and they’ll more likely pay attention to what you have to say. Furthermore, you want to add a call-to-action to your content.
This way, you’re inviting the reader to respond by either liking, sharing, or commenting. Better yet, specifically ask for a comment or share since it adds more weight and credibility to what you’re saying, not to mention on social media, the algorithms will look upon you more favorably with the more interaction your brand receives.
In this way, attention is an economy. The more people you get to interact with your brand, the more the algorithm will show your content to more consumers. Attention compounds upon itself. If you want to gain consumer trust and build your brand’s credibility, don’t ignore the attention economy.