Eight seconds. According to a 2015 Microsoft report, that’s the average attention span of a human. It might sound crazy, but our attention spans are actually shorter than a goldfish’s.
So, when it comes to creating content that engages your audience, time is of the essence. With this in mind, let’s take a step back and look at the content we’re creating for our marketing, public relations, and sales efforts.
The goal is to tell a story and to engage our audience (or our clients’ audiences, for my fellow consultants out there who tell other people’s stories). Ask yourself, are you hooking and holding your audience’s attention? Are they engaged?
If you’re not happy with your results so far, now is your opportunity to revisit your content. Whether it’s a PR pitch, article, blog post, press release, or social post, it’s important to tailor your existing content in a way that delivers the most impact. And a great place to start is with the Seven Cs of Communication:
Get clear on the story you’re telling in each piece of content you write. A good rule of thumb is to keep it short, simple, and sweet. If you’re not crystal clear, you risk confusing your audience.
Remember, you only have eight seconds. Short and sweet wins the race, so reduce filler words like “as well as” or “definitely” or “most likely.” If it doesn’t add to the story, strike it. Your storyline and the facts you share should be consistent too.
Know your audience and speak directly to them. Focus on the facts, don’t exaggerate, check your grammar, and refrain from colloquialisms that might be unfamiliar to your audience.
Include all of the relevant information your audience needs to understand and absorb your content. Your call to action (CTA) should make it clear what you want them to do.
If you’re writing for an audience that’s passionate about fashion, you probably shouldn’t use semiconductor (an electronic component) examples to back up your story. Consider your audience for each piece of content you create and speak directly to them.
This comes down to ensuring your content is factual and clear. Consider using research, third-party data, case studies, or other relevant information to support your ideas.
We all want to feel respected and heard, so remember to engage your audience with content that is friendly and approachable.
If I’ve followed the Seven Cs correctly, I should still have your attention, so here is your call to action. Now is your chance to revisit past content you’ve developed. Look for ways to repurpose and leverage that content into blog posts, articles, social media content, and more, while applying the Seven Cs. No need to start from scratch—leverage the content you have to create new and engaging stories and notice how the story evolves as you employ the Seven Cs. Once you learn the steps, they’re easy to implement.
Krista Bordner serves as President of Handle Your PR (HYPR) where she helps small business owners, entrepreneurs and startups leverage PR to boost their credibility, expand their audience and grow their business. As a PR and communication evangelist for nearly 15 years, Krista is on a mission to make PR accessible to all, regardless of a limited skill set or budget constraints. She works with businesses across several industries, including travel, tech, fashion, beauty, and more.