Why Your Target Market’s Attention Span Is More Targeted Than Ever

by Michelle Salater on June 16, 2010


Anyone can post anything on the Internet. This is why we have conditioned ourselves to quickly skim, scan, and scavenge the Internet for the good stuff. There is simply too much useless information on the web to waste our time reading through each article, Twitter post, Facebook profile, website, or blog post, and watch every video on YouTube.

Finding exactly what you’re looking for on the Internet can be a pain. This is why Internet users shift their attention instantly from one thing to the next.

As more and more information is added to the Internet each and every second of the day, the attention of web users is often tugged from one item to the next within mere seconds. Think about YouTube for example. To the right of each video you watch, there are suggestions for other videos you might also like. If the first video you play doesn’t grasp your attention, you’re going to click on one of the other videos suggested within just a few seconds.

If Internet users aren’t finding a video entertaining, a blog valuable, or a website informative, they’ll leave—it’s as simple as that.

Because of this small attention span, it’s important to understand what keeps your target audience focused. Where do they place most of their attention, and when are they most active online? Understanding and utilizing these essential components of your target audience’s attention span will enable you to quickly get in front of your prospects, grab their attention, keep their attention, and convert them into customers.

Whether your online marketing materials consist of a website, blog, social media profile, YouTube channel, or a weekly newsletter, they will not be found unless you actively promote and optimize your valuable content. Active promotion and SEO work together to enable your social media posts and online marketing content to surface in search results. SEO and online promotion work simultaneously as the catalyst for increasing brand awareness and finding followers who are key influencers.

In order to successfully promote your online marketing materials, and therefore, successfully promote your business, you must understand your target audience’s attention span. It’s small, targeted, and extremely specific.

The key to grabbing and keeping the attention of your target audience online is to place yourself strategically in front of them and know how to keep their focus on you.

Here’s how . . .

1. Become Instantly Visible: Real-time social media networks are a wonderful way to become instantly visible to your target audience. When you properly optimize your posts, are active throughout each day, follow the conversations your key influencers are having, and post relevant information on these social media sites, you are increasing your chances of visibility to your target audience and key influencers.

Based on the conversation your target audience is having, you can place relevant and valuable information right into their attention scope. These prospects will then be much more likely to lend you their attention.

2. Keep them crazy glued: Now that you did all the legwork to get in front of your prospects and key influencers, how are you going to keep their attention glued to you?
Your content—whether in the form of website copy, a blog post, a Facebook post, or a tweet—must be . . .

  • A great or new find for your audience.
  • Interesting to your audience.
  • Engaging (whether through captivating words, interactive elements, or photos).
  • Written so that it speaks directly to your market’s needs / desires.
  • Truthful and authentic.
  • Consistently stimulating.

3. Tell them what to do: Now that you have done the incredible—held your target audience’s attention online for longer than a few seconds—you can direct them to take action. Whether that action is to view another one of your videos, visit your website, email you, or visit your blog, you have to keep their attention and encourage them to connect with you. Even if they don’t immediately contact you directly, they may be following you via social media—waiting to receive your next bit of valuable and engaging information.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Santa Barbara Marketing August 31, 2010 at 2:03 am

Utilizing social media outlets like facebook and twitter is an effective to get ahead of the consumer before they click right past your product or service. Great article!

2 webcopywriter August 31, 2010 at 9:29 am

Thanks Santa Barbara!

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