Recent research conducted by Microsoft (Microsoft 2015) has revealed how our increasingly digital lifestyles are rewiring our brains.
The findings showed that humans attention spans are not only decreasing but have deteriorated to shorter than that of a goldfish.
Attention is now a scarce commodity with your potential window of opportunity only eight seconds long, one second less than a goldfish.
Source: (Statistic Research Institute 2015)
What Does This Mean?
All is not lost. It’s true that humans are finding it difficult to stay focused for long periods of time, but they are performing better in processing information quicker and encoding that information to memory.
This means today’s consumer is constantly looking for the next best thing, increasing your content’s opportunity to be consumed, shared and stored if it can make its mark.
How To Prove Yourself Within Eight Seconds
No longer is text alone enough to make your message stand out. Humans are predominantly visual learners, naturally drawn to visual cues and clever communicators are using this to their advantage.
> Images are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text alone, which means by adding them you can increase your chances of creating a lasting impression with your audience.
Think about the last time you shared or clicked a link and ask yourself what enticed you? Was it a video, image, infographic, audio clip?
We Live In A Visual World
Multiple screens and devices make multimedia the new tactic in this war of attention.
Studies conducted by PR Newswire and AAP Medianet show that press releases which include video receive 4.3 times more views than plain text and adding both images and video can be up to 7.4 times more visible.
How The Media Breaks Through To The Goldfish Consumer
These research findings do not come as a shock to journalists, who face the daily onslaught of the 24-7 news cycle and associated readership challenges.
Today’s journalists are already savvy to the way visuals enhance their stories.
In a quick review of News.com.au, every story above the fold was accompanied by an image.
Source: (News Limited 2015)
Why? Because the media knows what will get the attention of today’s consumer and entice them to read the full article. So much so, that today’s journalists have multimedia quotas on every story they produce and success is partly measured by click-throughs and shares of their stories.
In the words of Australian Associated Press Editor, Mike Osborne, in the daily news conference “Where are the visuals, visuals, visuals?”
The key takeout of this is simple – increase your chances of coverage, pick-up and even the holy-grail of earned mediaby grabbing the attention of your audiences with visuals.
Here are some helpful ways to get you started:
Make the most of your window of opportunity with AAP Medianet by adding images, audio or videos to your next release or building your own branded microsite with a Multimedia News Release.
– Microsoft 2015, Attention spans – Consumer Insights, Microsoft Canada. Available from: .http://advertising.microsoft.com/en/cl/31966/how-does-digital-affect-canadian-attention-spans>. [14 October 2015].
– Statistic Brain Research Institute 2015, Attention Span Statistics. Available from: http://www.statisticbrain.com/attention-span-statistics/. [14 October 2015].
– PR Newswire Association LLC 2015, PRNewswire Knowledge Center. Available from: < http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/>. [14 October 2015].
– Australian Associated Press 2015, AAP Medianet Knowledge Centre. Available from: < http://medianet.com.au/knowledge-centre.aspx>. [14 October 2015].
– News Limited 2015, News.com.au Available from: <http://www.news.com.au/>. [4 September 2015].
Written by Medianet’s Marketing team