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The News Chair

Prepare to Clear Up the Content


The average adult’s attention span is now just eight seconds … which is down from 12 seconds in 2000. An interesting twist? That’s less than the average attention span of a goldfish, which is nine seconds, according to Statistic Brain.


Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

And while you may think you are multi-tasking, you probably really aren’t. As noted in Entrepreneur Magazine, “Psychology Today” reports only two percent of people are actually good at multi-tasking. The rest of us are just scanning and browsing.


That means we need to make the content we deliver to clients and consumers more scannable and easier to digest.


Making content snackable

So what is snackable content? Kevin Dugan says, “Content is snackable when it is designed for simple and flexible audience consumption.”


While valuable content is a must, there are other elements that make your audience more likely to consume your content, whether it’s a blog, news article or social media post.


  1. Tell a story worth sharing: Ensure useful, timely and engaging content is created for the target audience.
  2. Headline grabber: Best practices for headlines include a focus on lower word count, asking readers a question, using a colon in the headline and giving an odd-numbered list of tips on a topic.
  3. Visuals matter: We process visuals more quickly than text, and they help the content stand out, inviting more user engagement.
  4. Get a design: Bring your content to life, no matter the platform, by applying a mix of aesthetic and utility to attract readers and make it easy for them to browse.
  5. Make it flexible: Your content must be compatible and ready to be consumed across many platforms, including mobile and desktop devices.


Get your list ready

Whether you love them or hate them, list-format articles — listicles — seem here to stay. Rachel Edidin from Wired says while lists may be overused, they are really, really useful.


Do you know why? Here’s a list. Lists:

  • Curate. Lists give us focused tables of contents in a world with near-infinite information at hand.
  • Give us additional ways to interact with information. Lists let us process complicated information spatially and place digestible bites of information in the context of a larger whole.
  • Are jumping-on points. A list will skim the surface of a broader body of content, giving you a series of contact points from which to explore further in your own time.
  • Are ethically neutral. Lists are not rotting your brain or lowering the standards of journalism. They are just another tool in the toolbox.
  • Are not giving you ADHD. As Edidin says in her article, “Is ADHD just a word you throw around when you want to complain about how much better things were in the Grand Old Days?” While lists have been picked apart and attacked, they probably won’t go anywhere soon.


The basics are evolving

Sure, a compelling story with valuable content is still most important. But if your company or organization wants to continue to engage clients and customers, then you need to adapt to our modern world filled with information and distractions.


Want a fun and factual list for every second of the day? Check out BuzzFeed’s The ListiClock!


Then, contact the Coles team to take your content to the next level.


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