Let’s face it… you are swamped. From logging the 9 to 5 grind (uh… more like 9 to 7) to squeezing in parent-teacher meetings to trying to plan something special for the weekend with a loved one, there are simply not enough hours in the day. Well, guess what? Your consumers feel the same way.
In fact, your target market is so inundated with daily tasks that they are in search of pointed, succinct marketing pitches. Just to give you some perspective on the information overload you are currently experiencing, consider the following:
- The average person receives 63,000 words of new information every day.
- The average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month.
- 114.8 million emails are sent worldwide per day and the average time spent reading and answering emails per week is 11.2 hours.
With so many messages competing for our attention, it comes as no real surprise that some of the leading content marketers are predicting that in 2014, content will become pithier, shorter and, as a result, more impactful. As was shared in Content Marketing Institute’s “50 Content marketing Predictions for 2014,” if the surge of Vine, gifs and Instagram has taught us anything, it’s that short form is here to stay. Let’s take a look at what some industry juggernauts are predicting:
“Agencies will compete over who can tell the shortest stories with the biggest impact. Consumers will be charmed as their attention spans continue to deteriorate” – Julie Fleischer, Kraft Foods
“The volume of content necessary to earn and keep attention will skyrocket… thus, short-form, mobile-friendly micro content will be the new strategic darling, with Instagram, Vine, SnapChat and other tiny executions leading the way.” – Jay Baer, Convince & Convert
“There is a definite trend toward small. If we can’t get big chunks of content through a limited ‘pipeline’ of brain cells, maybe we can get grains of sand through.” – Mark W. Schaefer, Schaefer Marketing Solutions
But at the end of the day, all of this should make sense to you. After all, just take an introspective look at your own habits: do you have the time to gloss over a thousand-word blog post about the latest product offering at a company? Or do you much prefer the digestible, quick-to-read 250-word blog post about tips and tricks to keeping the weight off in the New Year? It’s probably the latter.
At the end of each day, our brains are tired; therefore, it is your job as a marketer to not add to the noise but rather to provide a nice escape. While writing shorter probably goes against your instincts—after all, your writers have a lot to say!—try it. Lose that last paragraph or omit needless words. Divide some of your longer pieces into a blog series. And at the end of the day remember that if it feels long to you, it’s definitely way too long for your target audience.
Well, seeing as though I am way over the word count here, it’s time for me to end this post. But I want to hear from you… Do you find it challenging to write shorter? Do you think writing shorter works? Tweet at me!