How to Beat the 8-Second Attention Span Plague

How to Beat the 8-Second Attention Span Plague

The average attention span of a goldfish is about 9 seconds. Humans in this day and age, on the other hand, hold attention spans of 8.25 seconds. Quite an astounding and disturbing fact.

This notorious short attention span aptly describes the kind of lifestyle everyone lives. It’s true that we can pay attention to a two-hour lecture if we choose to, but the fact put forward by so many scientists confirms that humans are very easily distracted.

It would be a lie to say otherwise. Because we are, in fact, easily distracted living beings. We’re listening to music one moment, and paying attention to a boarding commuter on the train the next. This is further proven by our tendency to bounce from one site to the next in our quest for needed information.

The attention span plague
Attention Span Plague like IGW for attention span

Holding concentration in the digital world has grown increasingly difficult. If you’re having a hard time keeping your audience engaged in your site, you’re not alone. Users leave web pages in a span of 10 to 20 seconds. This calls for you to clearly communicate your value proposition within or under 10 seconds.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the span of time available is inadequate to convince them to use your services. This leads us to ask how.

As a content marketer, how will you hold your audience’s attention long enough for you to convince them?

Failure to hook them in, in this handful of seconds means lost leads for you and your business. Your audience will move on and will more likely ignore what you have to say.

Here are 7 tips you need to optimize your content for the eight-second attention-span problem everybody’s having.

1. Know your audience

The most obvious step always comes first. How will you grab your audience’s attention if you don’t even know who they are? It would be a mistake to try and aim for a mass audience. In trying to please everybody, you’ll likely end up pleasing nobody.

Businesses invest money in consumer research for a reason. They know the importance of getting to know the market that you cater to. Doing this will allow you to formulate strategies and tactics that will help you reach your customers on a personal level.

2. Get to the point

When marketing to an attention-deficient crowd, don’t waste time beating around the bush. Avoid throwing an unnecessary word-wall in your audience’s faces, talking around them in circles before you finally make a point. It won’t draw them in. On the contrary, nonsensical word-walls are consumer repellants.

Clarify your intentions immediately – preferably in the first paragraph of the copy. Clear and concise messaging is the way to go.

3. Focus on the person – not the channel

Don’t lose sight of who your writing is for. When writing content for your website, always focus on the human who is on the other side of the screen. Sounds simple enough. But it’s easier said than done, though.

It’s tempting for any digital organization to focus solely on optimizing the channel to attract the target audience. But never forget that the real goal of any digital marketing strategy is to create and keep loyal customers.

Customers have endless choices these days. They know where and how to look for information that they need. They are capable of seeking out products and services with or without your help. For these reasons, it’s important to align your customers’ experience on each channel with their purchase journeys.

4. Personalize your content

Writing content is one thing. Personalizing it so it speaks to your target audience’s very souls is another. Compelling content that coaxes off-screen reactions from the audience is a classic case of focusing on the person and not the channel. It’s also a sign that you’re definitely doing something right.

If you’re marketing to sports junkies, then become a sports junky. If you’re trying to grab a gamer’s attention, become a gamer. When you want the fashionistas to pay attention, then speak like a fashionista.

Appealing to your target audience takes a great amount of work and research. If you want to convince them to avail your services, you need to talk like them and see things from their point-of-view. It requires more than stepping into another’s shoes. It means dressing up in their entire outfit.

5. Appeal to your audience’s emotions

When it comes to tear-jerking heart-rending advertisements, Thailand takes the gold medal. Over the past years, emotional Thai TV commercials have been watched millions of times on YouTube and shared like crazy across various social networking sites.

Touching ads are Thai advertising agencies’ ways to establish an emotional connection between consumers and products. Without the sentimental connection, the products become meaningless in the eyes of Thai consumers.

Let’s take a page out of Thai people’s books and start incorporating more emotion into our content marketing. This doesn’t immediately mean content that will drive people to shed tears. It simply means taking the route of short and concise storytelling. Appeal to their emotions and share stories that will have them hooked.

Appeal your audience’s emotions for attention span

6. Make use of visual communication

  • Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement than text-only posts.
  • People are 85% more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video.
  • Posts with videos attract 3 times more links than text-only posts.

Facts will consistently keep pointing out that a large percentage of online communication nowadays is visual. Emotionally stimulating images can grab your audience’s attention. Videos do significantly better, however.

The average length watched for a single internet video is 2.7 minutes. And 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text when both are available. To ensure audience engagement, however, make sure the first 8 seconds are attention-grabbers.

Visuals are memorable and effective because they help people process, understand, and retain information more quickly.

7. Do some clickbait

You can ask every successful YouTuber, and there is no doubt that they will tell you that clickbait is a part of their successful history. It’s true that some people don’t appreciate being lured into a content ‘trap,’ so to say, but you have to do what you need to do.

Clickbait swings in two ways:

  • Either you nail it and generate engagement from your audience with compelling arguments and relevant content,
  • Or the scheme fails and your site gets nothing but ridicule and an ill reputation for luring your audience into a read that was a waste of their time.

Clickbaiting, however, doesn’t mean you can ignore the planning and proofreading that goes into the web copy. Clickbait is now what truly matters. Content is still superior. The purpose of a clickbait title is to attract and snag your elusive audience’s attention.

Utilizing the previous tips in this discussion will help you ensure that your web copy is all set to reel the reader in until they keep reading up to the very last word.

The bottom line

Substance and personality are the key here.

Create content that engages and interacts with your audience. Let your web content be your mouthpiece. That’s why it’s so important to be conversational and worth responding to. Your audience isn’t interested in empty promotional strategies. They look for content that will connect with them.

So, to summarize:

  • Get to know your audience.
  • Be clear with your messaging.
  • Focus on the people – not the channel.
  • Personalize your content.
  • Appeal to your audience’s emotions through storytelling.
  • Acknowledge the power of visuals – specifically videos.
  • Don’t be afraid to try click baiting.

Guest Author: Al Gomez is the President and Founder of Dlinkers — a company dedicated to providing complete digital marketing services. With more than ten years of experience, he enjoys supporting smartpreneurs like himself to achieve online success.

The post How to Beat the 8-Second Attention Span Plague appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

7 Tools to Track, Analyze and Beat Your Competitors

Competitor marketing is pretty much the obsession of every business owner out there. They want to know what the other guy is saying, doing and what is working. They also want to know what isn’t working, so they can swoop in and poach their customers (admit it, you do this any time you can).

But keeping up with the competition’s moves is hard and without the right tools you will never know if you are getting the full picture. Without the full picture, how can you take advantage of the data you have?

Here are seven tools to help you track, analyze and beat your competitors by gathering all the information you can and making an informed strategy that covers all the bases.

1. ClickCease: Beat Your Competitors’ Fraud Click Efforts

clickcease

I am always amazed when I find out that these huge companies are using fake click services to drain your PPC budget. People can call it whatever they want, but we all know what it really is: click fraud.

ClickCease fights against it from the other side. Click fraud can begin to impact your brand when those bots find their way to your site and screw with your own numbers. Click Cease works by blocking those fake clicks from your site and so protects your PPC campaign.

2. Spyfu: Monitor Your Competitors’ SEO and PPC Tactics

Spyfu

Spyfu is often cited as the most helpful keyword tool out there. Why? Because it literally spies on your competitor’s. It allows you to download a report of the most profitable keywords they are using and ads they have put out. You can examine the metrics and compare them to other keywords they are using, or your own.

Then you can create a better strategy for your own organic and paid search campaigns to compete with theirs. When I first heard about it I was skeptical, but having used it many times now I can honestly say this is a valuable tool that I couldn’t do without.

3. Buzzsumo: Monitor Your Competitors’ Content Marketing Efforts

buzzsumo

Everyone knows and loves Buzzsumo so I won’t say too much about it. What I will say is that it is great to use for a more faceted approach to monitoring your competitors.

You can look at Most Shared, Trending, Backlinks, Content Analysis, Facebook Analyzer and Questions Analyzer. So you get more than just a basic idea of what is out there right now. You can see various angles for a better, more complete analysis.

4. Majestic: Monitor and Analyze Your Competitors’ Backlinks

Majestic

How are your competitors build their backlinks? How do they get people talking? Is there an opportunity for you too? Or are there mistakes to learn from? Looking at your competitors’ backlinks is the best way to keep an eye on their marketing efforts and adjust your own.

Majestic is a great backlink analysis platform that also has a powerful competitor research functionality.

5. Sentione for Monitoring Your Competitors’ Brand Mentions

sentione

Sentione is a social listening platform. It works by scouring the social web for any mentions of your brand, so you can see what people are saying, interact with them and engage your audience.

Many brands will use Sentione to find complaints about products, as well. But you can go a step further by discovering what people are saying about competing brands. Do they have a need that isn’t being met? Your product to the rescue!

6. Kompyte: Watch Your Competitors’ Important Landing Pages

Kompyte

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could know the second your competitors made a change to their website? Or if they were announcing a new feature from their most popular product? Or they started a new marketing campaign?

Kompyte lets you monitor all of those things in real time so you know the second a change is made and can react accordingly. You can also watch their search ranking and even analyze their content in real time.

7. Owletter: Captures, Stores & Analyses Your Competitors Emails

owletter

I was skeptical about this tool because it seemed a little too good to be true. I have worked a long time in email campaigns and the ability to accurately analyze the other guys without scouring over it myself? It seemed doubtful.

But I was pleasantly surprised and found that Owletter is great for monitoring content campaigns in general. Plus at only $5 a month it is a steal.

Do you have a tool that belongs on this list? Let us know in the comments!

The post 7 Tools to Track, Analyze and Beat Your Competitors appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

How To: Create Diverse Video Content for More Marketing Opportunities

According to Wordstream, by 2019, 80 percent of the global web traffic is going to be video traffic (and this doesn’t even include video exchanged through peer-to-peer (P2P)). Moreover more than 100 hours of video are being uploaded to YouTube every minute (Source: Facts.zone).

Video content has been on the rise for a few years now. Unless you are joining now, it’s going to be pretty crowded pretty soon.

Note: We have a huge list of video creation and editing tools you may want to check out.

1. Put Together Video Walkthroughs

According to EyeView, a video tutorial on a landing page can increase its ROI by 80%. And according to ThinkWithGoogle itself, 50% of buyers look for video reviews before buying a product.

There’s many more stats to feature here, but really it all comes down to one point: If you are selling anything, be it a product or a SaaS, you need to have video tutorials teaching your future and existing customers how to make the most of it.

Featured tool:

I use Snagit for easily creating screen-flows but there are many more alternatives, including Camtasia (from the same developer):

You can also use online resources to enhance your videos with free music and video footage.

2. Put Together a Video Course

When planning a video marketing content (especially if we talk about educational videos), keep a longer-term goal in mind: With time, you can collect all those videos and turn them into an educational course achieving many marketing goals at once:

  • An alternative conversion goal (for those who are not yet ready to buy)
  • Higher brand loyalty (giving your customers a place to get updates of new videos and products)
  • More channels to market your brand to (including mobile apps)
  • More ways for your (future) customer to access your brand and bring it home:

Video roadmap

Featured tool:

Uscreen is an affordable and easy-to-use “Video on Demand” platform that allows you to create your own branded OTT channel to tie your customers to your brand and adding value to your micro-community. It comes with a lot of nice features including branded mobile apps, email marketing automation, etc.:

Uscreen

3. Market Video Interviews

There’s a lot of demand for video story telling these days: People want to hear from people using your products or choosing your brand as their permanent home:

  • You can interview your happy customers and let them talk about how they are using your product or why they chose your brand
  • You can interview niche influencers and let them discuss why they preferred your brand over competitors
  • You can interview your team members and let them talk about your company culture, etc.

Featured tool:

Take a loot at Blue Jeans that, among other features, allows to live-stream interview to Facebook. It also has a lot of other neat features including handling invites and scheduled events:

bluejeans

 

4. Do Crossover Videos with Other Channels

Ask any established Youtuber on how he manages to keep growing their subscription numbers and one solid piece of advice they will all share is this: Collaborate with other Youtube.

The key to successful video marketing is continuous collaboration. I have already mentioned doing interviews, so you can start with interviewing popular Youtubers or getting interviewed by them.

Featured tool:

There are many tools that promise to connect you to notable Youtubers but I really prefer the old-school approach: Meeting them and becoming friends through forums. Yttalk is an active communities that talk about building up their Youtube channels. There’s a separate subforum for collaborating and meetups you want to keep an eye on:

5. Create Short Viral Videos

Short viral videos are great for filler content (when you have no time to put together a video tutorial). Besides, it makes a solid cross-marketing content, i.e. you can upload those videos on Facebook and Twitter for more shares and engagement.

It’s a good idea to plan a quick video for holidays as well as teaser content for your upcoming bigger asset you are working on.

Featured tool:

I’ve tried a lot of tools and I like many of them. One of the latest I was playing with is called Animatron Wave. It has a huge library of music and footage as well as lets you put quick videos online with no software to download. I really like its usability:

Do you have an idea for a quick video campaign or a tool? Share in the comments!

The post How To: Create Diverse Video Content for More Marketing Opportunities appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

12 Cool Infographics That Work (and Don’t Require any Design Skills)!

Whenever you are trying to talk to your clients about actually attracting links (versus building them), there are always two types of excuses: either the niche is too boring, or there are no technical capabilities (in terms of a good design team and experience).

I don’t believe in boring niches – neither do I believe in the absence of design skills that would be able to prevent you from building an effective link bait. The beauty of the Internet promotion is that anyone can do that: It all comes down to how creative you are ready to get.

An infographic is perhaps one of the most effective ways you can convey information in a format that was made for sharing. Visually stimulating and a fantastic means of packing a ton of data into a small space, you see people linking to them through blogs, photo sharing sites and social networking sites more and more these days.

Infographics have been largely abused: There’s one popping up daily with overused design element with little research or thought behind it. They are no more as effective as they used to be. However really creative and cool ideas still work.

Below are five styles of infographics that are well known for producing results:


Venn Diagram

Tool: Creately.com

Venn diagrams have become some of the most popular on the web, usually providing entertaining data rather than anything too serious. It features two or more colored circles, each representing a different factor. They intersect at various points to indicate a shared element, and in the center they all intersect to show something with all provided qualities.

Examples:

1) American VS European Culture

2) Geek VS Nerd VS Dweeb VS Dork

3) Whale-Shark


Pie Charts

Tool: Canva

Pie charts are a popular item on social media sites. Certain websites, such as The Onion, used them on a regular basis to make a point or joke. With so many generators around the web to help you to make your own, it is now easier than ever to use a simple pie chart as a poignant infographic.

Examples:

4) Pie Eaten

5) Web Designing

6) Music Piracy


Flowchart

Tool: Lucidchart

Flowcharts are excellent conveyers of information, because they are visually engaging. The viewer has to actually follow the chart from one end to the other, making it an interactive piece that sticks in the mind. One of the best parts about this style of infographic is that you can connect any number of elements and factors for a few eventualities that could be reached in several situations.

Examples:

7) Tech Support Cheat Sheet

8) Should I Make A Flowchart?


Timelines

Tool: Sutori

Used frequently to create an infographic about the history of anything, from a country to a brand, the timeline is one of your most effective visual data styles. It provides you with a platform for a clean, informative graph with endless potential for information. Even if the viewer is merely skimming the content for a specific fact.

Examples:

9) Google’s Acquisitions

10) The Boom of Social Sites


Periodic Table

Tool: Download the empty template and edit using Photoshop

Because it is immediately recognizable, the periodic table has been used again and again for effective infographics. Usually, however, they are made with a double layer style that allows the user to skim over each “element” with their cursor to get more information. This is usually a good tactic as it is both interactive and more expansive than just the table itself might be.

Examples:

11) The Periodic Table Of The Social Web

12) SEO Ranking Factors


Conclusion

These five infographic types have been proven as effective styles time and again. But they also have the added benefit of being easy to create, with a lot of room for your own flair.

What are some examples of your favorites? Link to them in the comments.

The post 12 Cool Infographics That Work (and Don’t Require any Design Skills)! appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.

How To Check If An Influencer Is Actually Influential

How To Check If An Influencer Is Actually Influential

The concept of influencer marketing is certainly not new. It has been around for ages in the form of word-of-mouth marketing.

However, in the last few years, this form of marketing has seen unprecedented growth.

Having realized its potential, 63% of marketers last year planned to increase their budgets for influencer marketing.

One of the major challenges in influencer marketing is to identify relevant influencers. You need to make sure that each influencer you partner with is an expert in your industry or niche and is trusted and followed by a large number of people.

But how can you identify whether or not a potential influencer is really influential or not? The number of followers is not the only criteria you need to use to evaluate an influencer. This post will show you five effective ways to identify real influencers.

Attributes to evaluate

It takes a lot of effort to find the right influencers for a campaign. You need to find someone relevant and influential enough to help you achieve your campaign goals.

Also, you need to be careful when looking for influencers so you don’t end up with fake influencers who will eat away your budgets.

Here are some of the most important attributes to evaluate when you search for the right influencers.

#1. Engagement

An influencer who has a large number of engaged followers who like, comment, and share their posts has a high engagement rate. A high engagement rate implies that the followers are interested in their content and are enjoying it.

However, if the number of engaged followers compared to the total number of followers is too low, it raises a red flag. This indicates that their followers aren’t very engaged or that their followers haven’t been gained organically. So you need to evaluate the engagement rate of your potential influencers.

#2. Authenticity

To gain the trust of their followers, influencers need to be authentic. Their content needs to reflect their genuine passions towards their niches.

Their sponsored content shouldn’t look salesy or as if they’re promoting a brand just because they have been paid to do so. An influencer’s authenticity is what makes their audience trust them and their recommendations.

Make sure that your influencer’s content looks authentic and that their followers receive it well. In fact, 75% of marketers look for authenticity when they choose influencers for their campaigns.

#3. Leadership

A successful influencer is one who is able to inspire and motivate their followers with their unique content. Your potential influencer needs to be able to do so.

Go through their social accounts to get an idea of the quality of work they can deliver. In order to create a lasting impact in the minds of their followers, an influencer must produce quality content. Also, make sure that they have a decent-sized following on their social accounts.

#4. Expertise

It doesn’t matter how many followers or how high an engagement rate an influencer has – if they’re not from your niche, they can’t help you reach your goals. An influencer can’t afford to be a jack-of-all-trades. They need to be a master of one or a maximum of two related niches.

So to get the desired results from your campaigns, you need to collaborate with influencers from your own niche.

#5. Activity

Content that leaves an impression in the minds of an audience is the mark of a successful influencer. Other than the quality of content, this also depends on their frequency of posting content. An influencer who is very active on social media is likely to be a better partner for your brand.

Also, you need to find an influencer who invests time into engaging with their followers. Check if they reply or react to comments and post interactive content (polls, quizzes, or contests).

How to evaluate an influencer

To think that a high number of followers will result in high engagement is a huge misconception. You need to be really careful when identifying influencers or you might end up collaborating with an ineffective one.

But, how will you identify real influence?

Here are some effective ways to evaluate the attributes discussed earlier and identify real influencers:

#1. Use influencer marketing auditing and rating tools

In the process of influencer marketing, finding a suitable and relevant influencer is one of the major obstacles. And it gets really tricky when it comes to identifying if the influencer is really influential or not.

As discussed before, you need to calculate their engagement rate, authenticity, quality of their followers etc to find out if they are really influential. Now to measure and assess all these parameters manually is next to impossible and not feasible.

Thankfully you have tools like Buzzweb to identify if your potential influencer is influential enough. This platform will help you analyze the Instagram profile of an influencer to evaluate their authenticity.

Use Influencer Marketing Auditing and Rating Tools to check an influencer

This analysis will give you detailed insights into their overall Instagram rating from A+ to F, engagement rate, audience quality, and demographics of their core audience. You can also evaluate the price of the post of any blogger using Buzzweb.

#2. Calculate engagement rates

When evaluating influencers, the number of followers shouldn’t matter as much as the engagement rate. Consider the most recent 20-30 posts from your potential influencer and calculate the engagement rate.

In fact, influencers with a very high number of followers tend to have lower engagement rates. So you need to carefully calculate the engagement rate of your potential influencers to find out if they are really influential or not.

#3. Google your potential influencers

You can also use Google to search for your potential influencer to find out if your potential influencer is really influential.

The search will provide you a fair idea about the authority of your potential influencer on social platforms. You should be able to see their mentions or any guest posts they might have written.

Even if an influencer doesn’t have a huge social media following, their overall online presence is an indicator of the influencer’s authenticity. You should also scan their social media content to check out their past brand collaborations. Find out if they promote products that are useful and valuable to their followers or if they promote anything and everything.

#4. Vet accounts with a large number of followers

It takes months (even years) to gain a large number of followers organically. It can’t happen overnight. Except for popular celebrities, of course.

So make sure to vet accounts with a large number of followers gained in a short time. If you only consider the number of followers as a criterion to select influencers, you may end up collaborating with fake influencers.

You can use tools like Social Blade to determine the follower growth trend of your potential influencers. Be wary of any sharp spikes in follower growth as this indicates inorganic growth.

Vet Accounts with a Large Number of Followers to check an influencer

#5. Investigate any sudden or sharp increase in engagement

When you evaluate the engagement rate, be wary of any sudden or sharp spikes. Occasionally, influencers from the same niche or industry might like, comment, and share each other’s posts. This naturally increases the engagement rate.

However, it’s a potential red flag when an influencer who has a high number of followers and gets really high engagement too. For example, if an influencer has 90K+ followers and gets more than 20K likes and comments, it might be a cause for concern.

#6. Check the quality of engagement

Another effective way to evaluate real influences is to check the comments on your potential influencer’s posts. If you notice that the comments are repetitive and spammy, then they are likely to be bots.

In the screenshot below, you’ll see that the comments are absolutely meaningless and spammy. Sometimes, even genuine influencers may get a few spammy comments on their posts. However, when compared with a fake influencer’s account, the percentage will be much lower.

Check the Quality of Engagement to check an influencer

Image Source: TNW

Are you ready to identify real influencers?

The choice of influencers can make or break your influencer marketing campaigns. So always consider your campaign goals and choose your influencers accordingly.

Don’t fall into the trap of looking for influencers with a high number of followers. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the influencer is actually influential or that they can help you achieve your goals. Check their engagement rates, quality of engagement, quality of followers, and the other parameters discussed above before you collaborate with them.

Do you know of any other effective ways to check if an influencer is really influential or not? Let us know in the comments below.

Guest author: Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. Follow him on InstagramFacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

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