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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : October 03, 2016

Expert: How to use 8 seconds to engage

A recent study found that the average attention span for consumers is now 8 seconds. That means brands have to do more with less - and video may be one way to get the word out quicker.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Some experts say the average attention span is now 8 seconds - what does this mean for digital brands?

Tom Moore, Founder, Slidely: Today's social, mobile users are active on multiple devices and channels on any given day and time. From their physical to virtual worlds, they are targeted with endless advertisements and streams of digital content - on billboards, in magazines, during TV and radio programs, on website banners, overlaid on news articles, and via sponsored content embedded into our social channels. Users have come to expect a barrage of paid media and grown accustomed to skipping ads and scrolling through feeds without a second thought. That is exactly why brands needs to get creative, using the best, most emotional and engaging medium for their audience - video.

Kristina: What does this shortened attention span mean for branded content?

Tom: With the way users breeze through social feeds, old content quickly becomes old news. It no longer makes sense for brands to spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertisements. Instead, brands really need to be consistently publishing content to gain the kind of momentum and ongoing engagement that leads to brand awareness. Not every post has to be a Clio winner - it just needs to be professional, engaging, and highlight your brand. Just enough so that the user recognizes your name, and - hopefully - clicks, shares or comments. This is a marketing strategy that any agency or small businesses can manage.

Kristina: How can brands use these 8 seconds to their advantage?

Tom: A picture may be worth one thousand words, but one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words - that is 240,000 words in 8 seconds. Instead of sifting through blocks of text, video is a quick and entertaining way to impart information. So much more can be communicated through body language, tone, music, dynamic images in just a few seconds that texts or static images are unable to capture. That is why we've seen brands, publishers, and social channels - from news sites like Huffington Post and Business Insider to platforms such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook - "going video."

That said, it's not enough for brands just to have video. Those too can be skipped over. Promotional videos need to tell a story, captivate an audience, make them feel and generate a conversation. Videos should evict an emotional response to ensure they are memorable - most easily through a snappy caption, poignant music, or a heartfelt storyline. That's what makes the viewer pay attention and gives them something to think about. If a video can do that, then those eight seconds offer infinite possibilities.

Tags: advertising, attention span, Slidely, video advertising, video content

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