By: Sorab Ghaswalla
Marketers live in perilous times. Clients want quick results, while prospects don`t want to be bothered. There`s just too much of everything everywhere. Too many products, a variety of services, in fact, the same service in different forms; too much information, too many choices, too many people, and too many businesses trying to sell to them. Believe me, it`s not a marketer`s delight.
As a digital marketer, I get this often - people`s attention spans are shrinking. (There have been extensive studies on this, but I shall skip the details here.) Suffice to say, they say currently an average person can give your content about 8 seconds of his time. That`s the median value derived from these studies. So all content has to be such that it has to get the message across in those 8 seconds, they say.
I say it is hogwash.
If it were so, I would have 0 subscribers for this newsletter. Each edition of my newsletter averages about 3 minutes. I shall not tell you the number of subscribers that I`ve garnered in the last 8 weeks since launch, but it`s a decent figure. Certainly not 0.
There you have it. A spot survey.
So why the fuss over people`s attention span then? Sounds like a lame excuse.
With these kind of surveys being bandied about, writing short copy is the first thing a marketer must do, right? Wrong.
I believe the focus, instead, should be on how, where and when to get the message out. The “what” remains as important as ever.
What such surveys seem to indicate is that you need to get your content right. If text is your messaging platform, you need to write right, not short. If it is video, your footage must be shot technically correct, editing must be crisp and to the point, graphics must be interwoven to buttress the main point, and the visuals and script must complement each other.
When you write right, and present your content in an engaging manner, neither length nor time matters.
You started off reading this newsletter knowing fully well that it is about content, that it is approx a 4 minute read. In fact, most of you didn`t even bother with the last nugget of information, am sure.
Midway through it, if I am unable to retain your interest, you will switch off and move on. It`s the same for ALL content.