Almost everyone seems to be superbusy these days. From small business owners to entrepreneurs and employees to consumers, most of us have very little time in our daily schedules to sit down and relax.
With so much to do in one day, and so little time to get it all done, we must be selective about what deserves our attention. And with information overload on the Internet, we must be even more selective about what we choose to read or disregard.
If you’re not catering to the selective attention of consumers, employees, and coworkers, you might find that your message isn’t getting across—or worse, you may discover that your message is misunderstood.
In order to ensure that you’re communicating effectively with all the individuals in your business realm, you must cater your content to their attention spans. This is not nearly as easy as it sounds.
First, you have to grab the attention of your audience, and then you have to keep their attention—all while projecting an accurate and clear message that is nearly impossible for them to misconstrue. And with so many distractions (let’s face it, we are always tempted to see what’s going on with our followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook), it’s difficult to stay focused on one item of interest at a time.
See below for tips on keeping your audience engaged and clear regarding your message:
Engaging through emails: If you’re writing an email that contains important information, writing a novel is not going to grab readers’ attention. In fact, they will probably feel so overwhelmed by the mass of information outlined in the email that they’ll either place the email aside to read later, or skim through the information. You don’t want your audience to do either of these actions. Therefore, it’s important to outline each important element in separate emails—don’t try stuffing them all into one email. If an email does contain two or more separate subjects, bullet or set off each subject so that the reader can quickly see that there are X amount of subjects within the email that need his or her attention.
Engaging through website copy: When writing web copy, it’s essential to keep in mind that your message needs to be clearly projected in as few words as possible. This is not an easy task. Often, business owners try to say too much and end up losing the audience in thick copy.
Website copy should be written in small chunks or bullets that speak to the audience’s needs while expressing your unique brand message. This enables your readers to soak in as much information as possible in a short amount of time. On average, a website visitor will leave your site in two to three seconds if he or she isn’t engaged by the design and / or website copy.
Engaging through blog posts: Blogs, by nature, are designed to share tidbits of information with the readers. Images and blog post content should engage readers quickly and express a purpose instantly. Similar to web copy, blog post content should be formatted in short paragraphs and / or bulleted sections to allow the reader to skim the content while still extracting the most valuable information from the post.
Many blog readers are also utilizing their smart phones to access blog content. Therefore, it’s important that your blogs be formatted in a way that is easy to read via smart phone or small mobile device.
Engaging through social media objects: Social media is designed for users to share minute chunks of information in real time with friends and followers. Long, drawn-out social objects clog up news feeds and are rarely read. In fact, Twitter forces users to express their messages in 160 characters or less.
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