Marketing to Consumers with Short Attention Spans

How many times have you checked your phone, looked up from your work, or stared into space in the past hour? If you are anything like the majority, it is probably a decent amount (don’t worry I am guilty of this too.) With new technology and apps constantly emerging, (hi TikTok), our brains are flooded with information 24/7, making it more and more difficult to focus on just one thing. This poses a struggle when you are marketing your product or service in the digital space. Keep reading to learn just how much time you have to grab your consumer’s attention and ways to keep it!


Just How Shortened Have Attention Spans Become?

In the early 2000s, a study conducted found that the average attention span to a screen was 2 ½ minutes. Today, that has decreased to 47 seconds (Source). Even shorter, you have around 8 seconds to grab someone’s attention on social media (Source). With limited timing to pull your consumer in online, the length, size, and even color of the words, photos, and videos you create are crucial to the difference between a conversion and a missed opportunity. 


Social Media

  • Choose your cover photo wisely. Whether it is a video, an Instagram carousel, or a static post, ensure that the first thing users see will grab their attention. Choose the most aesthetically pleasing shot, or emphasize the savings of the sale you are promoting! Users want to see something that will benefit them.
  • Include titles and captions on videos. Studies show that 69% of people view videos with the sound off in public places and 25% watch with the sound off in private places (Source). Including captions for all videos makes it more convenient for users to watch, increasing the likelihood that they not only watch the video but stay on the video for longer!
  • Keep it short and sweet. On average, users spend 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media per day (Source). Keeping that in mind, users want to see something quickly and automatically understand its benefit and purpose (a common trend across the board.)  Keep your posts and captions short and sweet for users to digest easily before scrolling away. If you find you have a longer post or idea, break it up and implement it across multiple platforms!



  • Include the most important information above the fold. With short attention spans, users will not pay attention long enough to scroll down on a webpage for more information. Include the most relevant information in the first scroll of your page. Make sure a call-to-action (CTA) is included as well to drive users to action.
  • Keep load time under 3 seconds.  Don’t let loading time deflect users from seeing your content in the first place! Surveys show that most users will leave a website if the load time is over 3 seconds (Source). To ensure your site loads as fast as possible, consider the hosting provider you are using cheaper providers may load slower. In addition, take note of the size of your images and videos. The larger they are, the longer the load time will be. Lastly, cache your pages. This allows the server to load pages quicker by requiring fewer resources.
  • Include videos. Including videos on your site is a great way to increase time on the page and hold the user’s attention. Remember to keep in mind the size of the video!
  • Implement Pop-Ups. Have you ever been about to leave a website and something pops up saying “Before you leave!” or a coupon for 10% off? These are great ways to introduce something new to your user to stimulate their mind, pull them back in,  and keep them on the site longer.

Pro Tip: Check out Optin Monster for a Pop-Up platform.



  • Lead with an engaging subject line. Grabbing your consumer’s attention starts before they even open the email. A few ways to create killer subject lines are by including [brackets], a personalization token with the consumer’s name or company, or even emojis! These will ensure you are standing out in their inbox amongst the other emails they have received.
  • Include video content. Video email marketing has a 300% higher return on investment (ROI) than generic email marketing campaigns (Source). Aside from that, it is also highly engaging, easier, and faster for consumers to digest — perfect for short attention spans. Make sure to include those titles!
    • Pro tip: If your company does not have ample video content, include gifs or animation within the email instead!
  • Personalize your content. Consumers will be drawn to your content if it directly affects them. Use their first name, company name, or any additional information they have given you to personalize each email to them. This will grab their attention from the start and keep them engaged.
  • Keep it short. With only a few seconds to engage your reader and drive them to action, keep your emails engaging, but short. The fewer words they have to internalize, the easier it will be to understand the purpose of the email, how it will benefit them, and what to do next. In the same vein, make it easy for readers to know what is important! Bold important aspects such as promo codes, the biggest benefit, or the date the sale ends. In addition, include optimal white space around buttons so they stand out.


If you made it to the end of this blog, congrats on your attention span 😉 Overall, shortening attention spans has led users to crave what will benefit them as fast as possible. Use the tips above to capture their attention from the get-go, keep it as long as you can, and ensure your end goal is achieved in the shortest amount of time. 

Looking for support?  Reach out to a TribalVision representative today for support on social media, websites, emails, and more.