15 Second Attention Span

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15 Second Attention Span

In today’s world, we are inundated with content and it’s been stated that due to our digitised life, our attention spans are now about the same as your average goldfish. Nuts, I know. You probably won’t even finish reading this article because let’s be real, there are a million other things that could grab your attention in that time.
It’s no secret that we are bombarded with advertisements and overrun by consumption but how are businesses and brands still able to get our attention when we can barely go 10 seconds without getting distracted?
Nowadays, content creators, like us here at O&B, are faced with this idea of ‘snackable content’. Everything needs to be clear, sharp, to the point, and under six seconds according to Microsoft Canada. Yep, you got it… six seconds, barely time to exit the screen – with content that is longer than 15 seconds now considered long.
There is a lot to play here besides our obsession with smartphones and the internet, though. Things like the changing media landscape and consumption trends are all contributing factors to the shortening of our attention spans.
And if you’ve got this far… well-done! We’re proud of you; you’re what we call an above average goldfish.
With social media at the forefront of our consumption, it’s no surprise that these platforms are a primary influence over our shortening attention span. We are constantly bombarded with un-skippable adverts before YouTube videos, in between Snapchat stories, and influencers being sponsored by every company on the planet; we are constantly told what to buy, where to holiday, and how we need to dress. Why would you bother looking at something boring when you have the world at your finger-tips?
Writing and creating content for this new-found attention span is another story altogether. Instant gratification is the new expectation which can be pretty daunting for someone trying to create something equally engaging and fulfilling. With news restricted to 140 characters and conversations had through the primary use of GIFs and emojis – it’s no wonder content creators are seriously struggling.
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The quicker we accept such a fact, the easier it will be to overcome. It is said that 60% of content is ‘skimmed’ and we all know what that means… Yeah, yeah, I skimmed it.The key here is to put all your important information first. Be succinct. Be precise. Give your viewer reason to watch or read on. You’ll probably win some and lose more but at least it’s something!
Words are amazing things and at this time it is crucial to use them properly. Think about it… Just Do It… three words, billions of dollars. The possibilities are endless!
Removing unnecessary jargon or ‘fluff’ from text might be hard but it’s vital in this new world – every word counts, literally. Research and understanding such a trend is, essentially, you’re only way out.
As stated by Antoine de Saint-Exupery…
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
Another influence over our inability to stay focused is this change in marketing techniques. Due to the inundation of content and information, it is unlikely to grab attention with only one try. If an individual is familiar with a product or company then they are more likely to notice the product, follow-up, and even do their own research. Procrastination is at an all-time high and without a little kick in the bum, most consumers with simply forget.
It’s no surprise that this increased digital consumption has lessened our ability to focus for long periods of time but, according to Microsoft Canada, our ability to process and encode information has greatly increased. Like we said before if something is boring, why bother? Move onto something more interesting.
As stated by Alyson Gausby, “I would have thought spending more time online or with media, in general, would heighten one’s ability to filter out distractions. Not the case. No matter what environment humans are in (be it the plains of Africa or a crowded street in New York), survival depends on being able to focus on what’s important – generally what’s moving. That skill hasn’t changed, it’s just moved online.”
Oh… you’re still here? Statistically, you should have left by now so give yourself a pat on the back!

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