Here’s a digital Mission: Impossible – you have only eight seconds to get your audience’s attention. The reason, if you choose to accept it, is because our attention spans are shorter than a goldfish’s (it can concentrate for nine seconds).
Research shows that only 28% of words are read on the average 593 word web page. Are our sub-goldfish attention levels driving this desire for brevity or is technology affecting our attention spans? If you’ve got an idea – your own or your goldfish’s – let us know on Twitter@sofarbeyond.co or LinkedIn.
So what are the best digital marketing tools to grab attention in eight seconds or less?
Twitter opens up an instantaneous conversation. It takes two seconds to interact with a huge audience in 140 characters. Make the headline compelling, add a great image and you’ll get their attention.
Vine lets you get your message across in six seconds. Less than a quarter of brands use video to reach consumers, yet 76% of Internet users are expected to view videos online by 2015. Use a short video to tell a story and be memorable.
LinkedIn posts connect you with the right audience in three seconds. Taking a few seconds to share content helps to speak directly and quickly to your target market, ideal if you’re looking to reach a B2B audience.
Images are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. Use imagery to your advantage by deploying your message in interest-grabbing infographics, animations and gifs.
Rich content grabs your audience’s attention. A great idea, briefly stated, is the ultimate goal for digital marketing today. If you’re still reading, your mission is to share this content to avoid it self-destructing in three…two…one…
How’s your social media strategy? Unless you have the luck of the Irish, getting it right can be as hit or miss as finding that winning lottery ticket or backing the winner at the races.
This St Patrick’s Day we’d like to help you get lucky with your social media by giving you five quick and simple tips to engage with your audience. Tell us what you think on LinkedIn – we’d like to know if our tips help you get lucky.
1.Be social – Ok, we know that St Patrick’s Day is a great excuse for those of us who aren’t Irish to enjoy a Guinness or two, but it’s also a good excuse to be social with your audience. What could you send your customers or prospects on this day that would help bring a little luck to their business or support their common challenges?
2.Be timely – with national days such as St Patrick’s Day and public holidays such as Easter, it’s important to be timely with your content. The best way to support this is to have a plan or a content calendar that marks out key events happening either industry wide or across the UK. Make sure your content is already ready to go – it will make your customers feel that you are always on trend no matter what is happening. Take a look at these companies that embraced the London tube strikes.
3.Be interesting – we’re bombarded by content on a regular basis, whether it’s a text message, email, phone call, Skype or WhatsApp. So, the best way to cut through the noise is to be interesting and creative. Story-telling and visuals are a really powerful way of not just cutting through the noise but remaining memorable thereafter.
4.Be visual – we say this a lot but it’s proven that we process images 90 times faster than words. Also, we don’t really read online anymore (just 40% of us read pages with more than 111 words) So, to get your message across, keep it short and keep it visual – it’ll be easy for us to see it in a crowd.
5.Get lucky – It’s about understanding what is resonating with your audience and for that you need to be using social media tools. One of our favourites is Sprout Social media, where you can sign up to a 30 day free trial, to find out what interests your audience and feed that content back to them – this way marketing will finally become a services rather than a sell!
We hope that helps you stay lucky this St Patrick’s Day. Tell us what other content you’d like from us next month and we’ll get writing!
Sofarbeyond asked Jennifer Reid – a long time London-based former Vancouverite who specialises in content marketing and social media strategy, what is in her social media toolbox.
#1 in my social tookit: Buffer
Buffer, coined “the smarter way to share on social media” is an online tool that allows you to populate a stream with content that Buffer shares across your social networks at specified times throughout the day (or night).
Why I like it: Because Buffer toolbar enables me to easily share content from different social media platforms and to have it be released according to schedules that I dictate. This way I am seen to be sharing a steady stream of content that gets picked up in more than one time zone. I *especially* love the fact that I can share to Twitter, my LinkedIn newsfeed, LinkedIn Company pages, Google+ pages and Facebook. Buffer saves me a lot of time.
#2 in my social tookit: Bitly
I started using Bitly in 2010 for the sole purpose of shortening long links when tweeting to stay within Twitter’s 140 character limit.
Why I like it: The shortened links, called “Bitmarks” are listed on my Bitly homepage. Like Buffer, Bitly will tell me how many people clicked on the link I shared. But I can also see which sites I’m getting a high click through rate from, and which countries my clicks are originating from. I can also group common Bitmarks and then share them as bundles or email the bundles to people. For example, I could bundle up all the Bitmarks from previously shared blog posts and then send one tweet that points to the whole bundle on my Bitly homepage. Or I could simply email someone the bundle.
#3 in my social toolkit: Storify
Why I like it: I attend a lot of industry events where people are using various social media to comment. Storify enables me to pull together these threads to tell a story and it’s quicker than writing a blog post. Usually my stories consist of tweets from various people. But often the more formal LinkedIn event posts are a great way to begin stories, and if someone takes a video and shares it then you’ve *really* struck gold.
#4 in my social toolkit: StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that finds and recommends web content to its users.
Why I like it: Tools like Buffer, Bitly and Storify are distribution and tracking time savers and help stick to my main focus, which is generating content. In the world of social media, you have to stay on top of what’s new and to do that, I find StumbleUpon invaluable. I get weekly customised reading recommendations from the Web.
#5 in my social toolkit: Pocket
Pocket is a way of gathering content from the Web so that I can read it later.
Why I like it: I’d never get my day job done if I just read all my StumbleUpon recommendations, never mind if I followed the vast volume of interesting links I see on social media platforms! Pocket allows me to bookmark everything so that when I am on the train home, I can access all my saved articles from in a beautifully laid out web page.