Last week, during a press conference in London, NBA commissioner Adam Silver made a very surprising comment, noting that NBA’s competition committee would consider shortening game time. The reason? None other than the shortening attention span of the millennial generation.
“It’s something that I know all of sports are looking at right now, and that is the format of the game and the length of time it takes to play the game,” Silver said. “Obviously people, particularly millennials, have increasingly short attention spans, so it’s something as a business we need to pay attention to.”
Indeed, according to a 2015 study by Microsoft, the average human attention span has decreased from 12 seconds in 2000, to just eight seconds. On nature’s attention span chart, that puts us right below the Goldfish, which can stay focused for about 9 seconds at a time.
The smartphone revolution and the never stopping social media feeds may be responsible for our inattentiveness. However, rather than playing the blame game, while we still have your attention, we’d like to focus on what this new reality means for your business.
Just as NBA is re-examining its format, it’s a good time to take a fresh look at your own communication with your audience:
- Start with your website.
Look at how you talk about your brand and your products or services online. Is your copy clear concise and gets straight to the point? Are your values clearly communicated and it’s easy for your customers to get in touch with you? If not, it may be time to make some improvements.
- Optimize your content.
Make sure your blogs, videos and other types of content are within optimal size standards for each respective platform and format. Today’s Internet audience consumes more online content than ever before. As millennials often multitask, using several screens or devices at the same time, it helps to make your content stand out. Make it easy to read and complement it with interesting visuals where possible. But above all, try to make it useful to the reader.
- Adjust you social media strategy.
Share more quick and easily consumable information with your followers on social media. With the average attention spans decreasing, it’s no wonder that micro-content is taking over the Internet. Modern consumers want to get information in the shortest amount of time possible, and then, they want to move on. Be it a snappy tweet, a funny GIF or a six-second Vine, micro-content allows your brand to get your point across in a compelling and attention-grabbing way.
Now, we realize that this article is probably too long to be read in eight seconds, and most readers will probably not read it through. But if you did, we thank you and hope that these millennial-friendly tips will help grow your audience and take your brand communications to the next level.