Researchers now claim that (thanks to technology) our attention span is about 8 seconds long - apparently shorter than that of a goldfish. This puts bloggers in a particularly tough spot with no time to spare and no fluff content to be tolerated. What does this mean? Simply put, you need more snackable content. You know, those small, bite-size nuggets of wisdom that draws the reader in and keeps them asking for more. Content gurus Lauren Lumsden of The Scene, Alejandra Ramos of Always Order Dessert, and TV host Carley Knobloch spoke at the BlogHer conference giving strategies for bloggers and affiliates who are looking to capture readers in spite of their dwindling attention span.
Get to the Point
Of the most common reasons social media pages perform poorly, having too much uninteresting content is at the top of the list. The key to grabbing a reader's attention is to get to the juicy details right away. This means the most important information should be placed at the beginning of your videos, status updates and headlines. Cosmo's use of the new Snapchat feature, "Discover," embodies this point perfectly as it puts all of the most newsworthy content right at the tips of your fingers. Even if users weren't intending on browsing Cosmo content, it becomes incredibly tempting to click through all of their most exciting stories of the day. Food and travel blogger, Alejandra Ramos told BlogHer conference attendees that it's okay to publish "clickbaity" teasers as long as the content is truly high quality. Strike a balance between enticing and honest to solidify trust with your readers.
Simply put, you don't know what you don't know. And when you're trying to create content for a busy audience, it's critical to know what motivates them. Studies have shown that 60 percent of those who share a link will not even click through to read the content. Thus, A/B testing has become a quintessential tool for learning what compels your audience to click - whether it be on social media, landing pages, or websites. Not only can A/B testing inform the topics you cover, but your tone and phrasing as well.
Better Optimization with Snackable Content
You may have a stunning website, but did you know your audience size will decrease with each extra second it takes the page to load? It's true! In addition, the vast majority of consumers now expect mobile-friendly websites. Luckily snackable content is perfect for mobile because it's short and to the point! Make sure that important pieces of content are easy to extract in nugget-sized pieces. There are several other steps to take to reduce your site's load time, like removing unused plugins, switching to a faster, SEO-optimized theme and compressing large images. Ultimately, the faster your page loads, the better. Try a few of the tips mentioned and let us know how it turns out for you.
Create a Chain of Snackable Content
In order to popularize certain posts and gain more exposure, it is helpful to structure your blog with one interesting post leading to another. For example, at the bottom of a post about different styles of shoes, a fashion blogger would be wise to link to a related post, like shoe styles on the red carpet. This creates a chain of interest, giving readers the time to realize that your blog is more that just one interesting article. Give them just enough snackable content from another post to make them want to click and find out more.
Sometimes bloggers get locked into a feeling of having to sound professional and only write informative posts about their topic. While it's certainly important to do this, going overboard can give a robotic tone to your content. Readers appreciate knowing that there is a real person on the other side of the screen, so it doesn't hurt to include a personal account here and there. It also doesn't have to be overly revealing - if it is sincere, readers will be engaged. Research has shown that strictly emotional content tends to outperform rational or mixed content. This is simply a factor of human nature - direct connection and communication still trumps all.
There are many ways for bloggers to combat the influx of digital information and changing attention spans. Creating snackable content is just one of them. Making a name for your brand doesn't require expert marketing skills so much as honesty, brevity and focus within your content.
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