Capturing The Attention Οf Modern Consumer
The notifications that arrive on our screen are numerous, and we do not even count the ones that we have muted. With so much noise around, how can we get the consumer’s attention?
A few days ago, a friend told us that he could not watch a whole episode of a tv series whose duration exceeded 20 minutes, as he kept reaching for his mobile to go online. In the same breath, he noted that even though he spent significant time checking his feeds, he barely remembered a few posts from his short, scrolling tour. What does that say about the attention that our ads require?
We are living in the era of too many distractions, the age of Information overload and our life may have become kind of complicated. There is almost overwhelming information around us, a barrage of messages and notifications, but so little time for us to consume and respond. The diversion of our attention occurs not only while reading a book, watching a movie, or working, but also when we go through the social media feeds, when we search online or watch videos online, and so on. Our distraction trend also tends to intensify due to our modern “fear of missing out” and our constant need to be aware of everything that goes on around us. The COVID-19 outbreak escalated the situation, as it was our generation’s first (and hopefully last) pandemic. And all the above, without taking into account that more and more people are used to two-screen viewing, meaning that they will use another device while using TV, and other similar emerging, distracting habits.
And that’s a pretty challenging obstacle for every marketer. If someone asked you, how many ads you have seen today, would you be able to give an approximate answer? Even if you kept a note every time you saw a TV commercial, a sponsored ad on Facebook & Instagram, or a billboard on your way to work, at some point you would have lost track of the number and perhaps you would have become a little skeptical about the marketing doses you receive on a daily basis. However, how many of them have you actually watched and let them sank in?
We are asking those questions, as being a successful marketer requires the captivation of the audience and a penetrating ad that will catch our aim’s attention and interest, that will then be transformed into the desired customer behaviour. And the truth is that our attention becomes weaker and weaker. According to a study conducted by Nielsen and Taboola, attention dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds in 2018, making marketers sweat over engaging content and multiple hours of brainstorming spent. According to another research completed by Hubspot in 2016, 91% of people believe that ads have become more intrusive than they were two or three years ago, thus making them acquire a more defensive attitude towards them.
And then, another question arises: have we been aggravated by some of them? Let’s take, for example, the pop-up ads. By searching the words “pop-up ads”, the first and the second page of Google search brings back results referring to how we can remove and block them. Yet, they have been extensively used, and the reason behind that is that they work and have excellent performance.
No Ad’s Doomsday Yet
In order to reinforce the existing and optimist results of advertising, we have gathered here a few key solutions, aiming to empower your ads and maintaining your audience’s attention focused on your message:
It’s no secret, yet it is the most important step to truly engage a user, and plausibly later a consumer. Surveys have shown that the audience has a positive attitude towards ads that have a tasteful, informative, and emotional character. When your ad entails useful or entertaining content, the recipients will skip the skip button, perhaps catch their attention in the long-term, and be more open to your next messages. Also, lately and mostly due to the pandemic, it has been noticed that live streaming content captivates the eye, such as that displayed on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube Live.
When creating your communication strategy, you have pinpointed your key personas, therefore you know your audience. Be extra careful when setting up your campaigns, as it is much more likely for your target to fully pay attention to the ad, rather than someone that would never have interest in buying your product/service, which is proven by the fact that “the consumption of long-form content is growing. When people are focused on something they’re actually interested in, they won’t be easily diverted”.
Not every social media platform is for every brand. Choose the right platform for you and adjust your brand content for that specific platform. For example, LinkedIn has presented the lowest attention span, mainly due to the nature of the network. In the same vein, your video content should be adapted to the media that is going to be used. Again Hubspot has conducted a research regarding the best video duration for every platform, and there we have Instagram with 30 seconds, Facebook with 60, and Youtube with a maximum of 2 minutes. What’s more, take into consideration the day and time that you post your content, for instance, LinkedIn posts perform better during weekdays and work hours. And, last but not least, bear in mind the life of your content in each platform:
Choose the right device for you and for your every ad format. For example, it has been noted that regarding Facebook, desktop users tend to spend 2.5 seconds on any piece of content on the platform, compared to mobile users who spend about 1.7 seconds, while younger users even less. Take into account the gender, age, and habits of your audience, along with the devices and screens that they use to connect and make your content suitable for every network and less tiring for your potential customers.
To sum up, as long as there are passionate creators, ads’ doomsday is not near. Even if our attention span shortens and our multitasking or multi-viewing rises, there will be ads that will steal our hearts and minds, making us loyal brand consumers or proud marketers! ✌️
PS: Now, take a look again at the article’s main image and spot the Spotify icon, amongst the other icons. See what we did there?