Feed the Goldfish

Make every word count. This isn’t a new concept. But today, it’s absolutely crucial for communicators. For the longest time, the “12 seconds” statistic endured as the average attention span of most humans. That made us seem like leisurely readers compared to the easily distracted goldfish, which clocks in at 9 seconds of focus.

Last year however, a Microsoft study rocked our content marketing world with the declaration that attention spans have shrunk to a mere 8 seconds. Putting people below the goldfish when it comes to the content consumption food chain.

The response may seem simple … make all marketing content bite-sized.  Twenty words and a call to action. Done.

For those in your audience who are chronic snackers, this might make sense. But most of us prefer our tasty appetizer followed by a satisfying meal. Key word there is “satisfying.” That means longer digital content is not obsolete, but it has to work harder to keep us engaged and coming back for more. And that means as marketers, our words have to work harder.

Feed the goldfish. Keep your top-level digital content concise and meaningful. Once you’ve set the hook, next-level content goes deeper but should be just as carefully crafted in word choice and storytelling. Because the only thing worse than overly verbose content is a bait and switch.