The idea of instant gratification is not a novel concept today. Whether it’s indulging in food delivery more often than taking the time to make a meal, or looking up the spoilers for The Bachelor instead of waiting for each episode to air. 

However, new research suggests this need for immediate gratification has dramatically impacted our attention span as digital media consumers. If asked whether a goldfish or the current mobile media consumer had a longer attention span, most would answer the mobile user without hesitation. Unfortunately, that is not what browser testing platform LambdaTest discovered. 

How much time do we have to grab the user? 

While our household fish can give us nine seconds of attention, half of mobile consumers only last three seconds, while the average digital consumer is around eight seconds. However, we might find some consolation in the fact that a digital consumer of TV, mobile, or desktop-based internet has an attention span only one second shorter than that of a common household pet. These numbers have Google projections calling into question how archaic this form of consumption might become. In fact, they project by 2025, 70% of all internet users worldwide will be accessing the internet via mobile phones—so it looks like the goldfish has us beat. 

According to LambdaTest CEO Asad Khan, media consumers “want results immediately and within seconds, almost at first glance. The first impression is often the last impression in a web presence.” This means if your company’s website takes longer than those seconds to load, 70% of users will leave the page entirely. With people on the internet—either by phone or traditional desktop—for hours on end each day, ensuring that your brand is truly reaching and engaging with audience members is key in order for a business to thrive. 

However, garnering a user’s attention is not just about how fast a company webpage loads. Whether or not your social content hooks the media consumer is also essential for driving engagement with your brand and building loyalty. So, how should you do this? 

Utilize eye-grabbing tactics to hook the consumer early

Time and time again we at Next Step Communications, and others in the industry, have stressed the importance of including visual content alongside written. Specifically, video content offers the chance for brands to convey their message faster, more concisely, and in a form that can speak to all viewers. 

That being said, not all video is the same. Professionally produced content provides a different feeling in a consumer than original, authentic material that won’t get lost in a sea of corporate clones. So, if your aim is to show the consumer how much your brand cares for their business and feedback, why are you only giving them videos of your CEO? 

At this point, you know you want to create more unconventional video content, but you might not be sure where to begin. Here are some tips and tricks from experts to consider based on expected trends for 2021 and what we know about media users’ attention spans:

  • Don’t waste time on drawn-out introductions: We now know you have only three seconds to hook the viewer into watching the rest of your content, so make sure to place the most enticing clips at the forefront.
  • Consider short-form, home videos of customers: The real-time happiness viewers will see on their screens might entice them to buy into your product—a band-wagon effect is always a powerful tool.
  • Try personalized videos: Forbes predicts videos either stating verbally or text with names specific to each consumer or viewer to be the new norm in 2021.
  • Don’t knock animation: Emotive and cinematic videos will break up the scrolls of people that ordinarily fill people’s feed.
  • Influencers provide a boost to engagement: These figures hand you access to a particular online community on a silver platter, so if your marketing team can handle this, consider including it.

Moving quickly & keeping up with users

If media consumers are onto the next page, post, or video faster than in a blink of an eye, the margin for grabbing their attention is incredibly slim. While that places a lot of pressure on those developing content, it is not impossible, especially with some of the tips above. Be sure your brand is creating enticing, engaging content, and hooking attention early. The good news is, we are all digital consumers, so put yourselves in the shoes of your audience, and you will be good to go!