How to Grab Your Customer’s Attention in the First Eight Seconds



Did you know that your advertising or marketing efforts ultimately boil down to the first eight seconds? In these crucial moments, consumers decide whether they’ll buy into your brand or move on. The average attention span of a person today has plummeted to eight seconds (down from 12 seconds in 2000) which means you need to pay careful attention to your marketing strategy.

As technology advances and consumers’ attention spans continue to wane, startups looking to incite consumer interest in their brands face an increasingly difficult challenge. For entrepreneurs, this means taking a tactical approach to getting your message to resonate – fast. If you can’t make an impact in eight seconds, consumers will move on to the next advertisement they stumble across.

In advertising and marketing, every second counts. Here are a few tips for grabbing consumers’ attention before your eight-second timer runs out:

Make it personal. Tailoring your message to individual customers or groups is a powerful way to stand out among the noise. Personalized promotional emails and personalized online advertising techniques are among the top tactics for prompting consumers to purchase. Look at Coca-Cola, for example. After 10 years of slumping sales, the company decided to take a new approach this summer with its “Share a Coke” campaign. By simply putting popular names and labels (i.e. friends and family) on the bottles, Coca-Cola made its product jump out at consumers scanning the walls of teas, sodas, juices, and energy drinks. And the company increased sales by more than two percent in the process.

Let photos speak for you. An impactful photo can communicate a thousand words. The next time you’re driving down the interstate, take note of the billboards that draw you in and those you gloss over, and ask why. Likely, the photos used on the billboard elicited a strong emotion or prompted you to think about a topic in a new way. This likely took less than eight seconds.

Encourage participation on social media channels. Inviting consumers to participate in creative social media campaigns can forge personal ties with your brand and keep you at the top of their mind. Plus, they’ll look to you for thoughtful and entertaining content down the road.

Keep it simple. You have a lot to say, and using text to communicate your message is great, especially if you’re trying to optimize your website for SEO purposes. But the reality is that most consumers don’t want to read or hear lengthy, text-heavy ads. Campaigns that overcomplicate a subject or confuse consumers can convolute your message and quickly push them away. Use short, catchy phrases, be purposeful with words, and try bundling your content ideas into a video. In an oversaturated, fast-paced online environment, a clean, simple campaign will be much more appealing and refreshing to consumers.

Your advertising and marketing efforts ultimately boil down to the first eight seconds. In these crucial moments, consumers decide whether they’ll buy into your brand or move on. After that, engagement drops drastically. The good news is you don’t need a massive marketing budget to get your message across in a flash. Keep it short and sweet, and relate to your target audience on a personal level. Once you defy the attention span odds working so adamantly against you, you’ll be able to market to any distracted consumer.