Say Less to Get More Attention

Whether it’s a great slogan like ’15 minutes could save you 15%.’ Or a clean, functional design from Apple, Dyson or Swatch. Simple sells.

Sometimes the medium – think Twitter or a TED talk – forces us to get to the point and think simple when it comes to communication. 140 characters or an 18 minute session drives a certain structure in our storytelling, and rewards brevity. But even when we have the luxury of rich media like online video or full-length feature or e-book, it pays to think small in our content marketing as well. Not just in terms of short segments or chapters, but also format (think the ‘MyFive’ videos used to promote Inbound Marketing Summit – like this cool one from my friend Chris Brogan), delivery and takeaways.

Speaking of video, an interesting trend appears to be emerging when you look over ComScore’s U.S. Online Video Rankings: the average online video is getting shorter!  Starting in June, 2012, it was 6.8 minutes; in July and August, 6.7 and by September it was down to 6.4 minutes. Also, if you’re creating short-form videos, there’s a really good chance they will be watched first on a mobile device. Which is why a mobile-first philosophy, discussed in my latest Forbes.com piece with Mark Fidelman, is a key pillar of small data design.

And if you’re writing copy, or an article or a social post, ‘saying it short’ is a great approach, as outlined in this excellent post on the Beyond PR blog from last year. Of course it also helps to start with an attention-grabbing message, headline or statistic that sets the context as Kare Anderson points out in her fantastic (and brief!) piece for HBR last December.

So, if you want to get your viewer’s/reader’s/buyer’s attention via great content and communication –  think simple, think smart (what does my audience really need to know? How can I relate my content to an example or slogan they already know?), and design/create your story or multi-channel campaign for users on the go.

Did I get your attention?

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2 comments

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