12 Tips On How To Increase Attention Span 

Maintaining your audience’s attention span can be challenging; that’s why the type of content, whatever it may be, needs to capture and hold attention quickly.

Nowadays, information is just a click away, and digital distractions are forever present. Understanding and managing attention spans have become paramount as we navigate through a sea of notifications, social media feeds, and a constant bombardment of stimuli.

From the intricate neurological workings of our brains to the screens in our pockets, attention span is a multifaceted subject that influences every aspect of our lives.

A lack of alertness can be a problem we all face daily. Having sustained attention is becoming harder and harder to achieve. 

Not only does it form part of the very foundation that enables us to learn and comprehend new information, but also to retain it.

In this piece, we will cover: 

  • Understanding Your Audience: The Key To Capturing Attention 
  • The Science Of Attention: How To Keep Your Audience Engaged
  • 12 Tips On How To Increase Attention Span
  • Case Studies: Successful Campaigns That Captured And Maintained Attention 

Understanding Your Audience: The Key To Capturing Attention

Understanding your audience
Understanding your audience

The foundation of understanding your audience lies in thorough research. Utilize market research, surveys, and social media analytics to gather data about your audience’s demographics, interests, behaviors, and preferences.

Understand the challenges, needs, and pain points of your audience. Pinpoint specific problems or obstacles your audience faces. 

What problems are they trying to solve? These could be related to usability, accessibility, affordability, or relevance of your product or service.

What information are they seeking? Often, audiences seek solutions to solve a lack of knowledge or understanding of a particular subject. They might look for educational content, tutorials, or expert advice.

Addressing these directly in your content can significantly increase its relevance and engagement.

Approach your audience with empathy. Understand varying viewpoints and create content that they can relate to. This strategy builds trust and a deeper connection.

The decline in average attention spans is not just a challenge to lament; it presents an opportunity for adaptation and growth.

It encourages marketers to develop new strategies to harness human focus through mindful practices, structured cognitive exercises, and leveraging technology for cognitive enhancement rather than distraction.

Acknowledging the importance of balance is vital – the equilibrium between embracing the benefits of a fast-paced, information-rich digital age and nurturing our innate capacity for deep, sustained concentration.

The key lies in understanding the delicate balance between engaging content, technological innovation, and empathetic storytelling. 

As marketers, it’s crucial to keep a finger on the pulse of changing consumer behaviors and preferences, adapting strategies to meet these evolving needs.

The Science Of Attention: Facts And Figures

Your attention span is how long you can focus on a task or information before becoming distracted.

Appealing to your audience’s attention span and cognitive abilities is vital to ensuring your content gets the clicks and leads it wants and needs.

Fun Facts About Attention Spans

  • Humans have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, which is 9 seconds (perhaps not such a fun fact in retrospect).
  • Women tend to have longer attention spans than men.
  • Nearly one in 10 people forget their birthday.
  • The average attention span of an audience is around 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Mindfulness and meditation have been shown to improve short attention spans.
  • The average person spends 2.7 minutes watching a video.
  • Attention spans can vary culturally. Different cultures foster varying attentional practices, influencing how people focus and for how long.
  • No two people have the same attention span.
  • The average page visit lasts less than a minute, with many visitors spending only 15-20 seconds on a page.

Why Do Attention Spans Seem To Be Getting Shorter?

Before we explore ways to increase audience attention span and a renewed approach to content creation, we need to understand what affects a person’s concentration. The answer to that is our environment.

It is worth noting that the average audience attention span is 8.25 seconds. This number can vary depending on the individual, cognitive control, and environment. The average human attention span from the 2000s to 2015 has decreased by approximately 25%.

Below are a handful of reasons why the average attention span keeps decreasing.


Over the last decade, technological advancement has spiked along with social media usage, with no interest in slowing down over the coming decades. 

A rush comes with receiving a new notification or a like on a photo on our digital devices, which is addictive. With our cell phones being hosts to distractions, it’s no surprise that our brains have learned how to navigate constant diversions.

Social media users often switch between social media sites numerous times per day. This constant shifting of attention can reduce the ability to focus on single tasks for extended periods.

Engaging with social media often involves multitasking (scrolling through feeds while watching TV, for example), which can increase the cognitive load on the brain and reduce its ability to process information effectively.

The quality of screen time is also crucial for cognitive function. Educational and interactive content can benefit us, while passive consumption or exposure to potentially inappropriate content can have adverse effects. 

Information Overload

There is so much information that our brains process every single day. You have probably heard the expression ‘our brains are sponges’ before. The human brain can process around 74 gigabytes (GB) of daily data; for reference, that’s like watching the entire Game of Thrones series in one day.

Constant exposure to diverse and abundant impulses makes it difficult for the brain to focus on a single task for prolonged periods, leading to a shorter attention span and brain fog.

Evolutionary Adaptation

Some scholars and scientists argue that shorter attention spans might be an evolutionary brain function adaptation to a fast-paced, information-rich environment, where the ability to shift attention rapidly could be advantageous.

As the pace of life accelerates, especially in urban and digital contexts, there’s a greater need for rapid decision-making and processing of information in the human mind. 

From an evolutionary standpoint, rapidly switching attention could have been advantageous in environments that required quick reactions to various triggers—think of a hunter-gatherer needing to be alert to multiple potential threats and opportunities simultaneously.

Task Orientation

For example, if you are driving to work, you will likely focus more on operating the vehicle safely than the focus you give when scrolling social media.

But before we blame technology and the Internet of Things, let’s look at another interesting contributing factor affecting brain health and focus. The attention span of an individual is also primarily determined by what they are learning or doing.

“It’s very much task- and priority-dependent. How much attention we apply to a task will vary depending on what the task demand is.”

Dr. Gemma Briggs, a Psychology lecturer at The Open University

The tips below aim to help you and your team understand how to work alongside the selective attention spans of the human mind in this high-tech world and why your content needs to stand out to maintain audience focus.

12 Tips To Improve Your Audience’s Attention Span

12 Tips To Improve Your Audience’s Attention Span
12 Tips To Improve Your Audience’s Attention Span

Fret not, as there are many ways to avoid having a dwindling audience attention span and make a lasting impression. 

1. Know Your Audience

You must tailor your content to meet your target audience’s interests, needs, and preferences. Data analytics can be instrumental in understanding their behavior patterns and pain points.

Appeal to consumer desires and pay attention to how your audience engages with your content. Which subject matter do they respond to most? What formats (videos, articles, infographics) do they prefer? Use this information to refine your content strategy.

Try implementing mechanisms that gather direct feedback from your audience, such as comments and surveys or direct interactions. This feedback is valuable in understanding what you need your content ideas to achieve.

2. Create Engaging And Relevant Content

Ensure you produce quality content that is interesting, informative, and relevant. Content that resonates with your audience will likely keep high engagement rates and returning visitors.

Modern audiences are constantly bombarded with overwhelming information. Creating engaging content can help stand out in this crowded space, grabbing and holding attention more effectively than generic or unengaging material.

Exciting content is more likely to engage the audience emotionally and intellectually. When people find content relatable, informative, or entertaining, they are more inclined to invest their time and attention.

Thought-provoking content has a positive impact on building brand loyalty. Audiences are more likely to return to sources that have provided valuable, enjoyable experiences in the past.

3. Use Storytelling

People are naturally drawn to stories. Use storytelling to make your content quality more relatable and memorable.

From early history, storytelling has been a primary means of communication, education, and cultural transmission. Stories engage us emotionally and intellectually, creating a more profound connection than facts or data alone.

Information presented in a story format is more likely to be remembered than cold, hard facts. Stories create a narrative structure that makes information more coherent and meaningful, aiding memory retention of key messages. 

Stories often build on curiosity and interest. A well-told story can engage an audience and keep them hooked until the end.

4. Incorporate Visuals

It is well known that visual elements like images, infographics, and videos can capture attention more effectively than text alone.

The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. By including visual imagery, you can make your content more engaging and more accessible.

A phenomenon known as the “picture superiority effect” suggests that images are encoded more easily into long-term memory, enhancing recall.

A well-placed visual can break the monotony of text, making the content more dynamic and attractive. Variation in how you present your content helps capture your audience’s focus.

5. Optimize For Mobile

With the increasing use of smartphones, ensuring your content is mobile-friendly for easy consumption is paramount and can be challenging but worthwhile. 

Optimizing content for mobile attention spans is crucial, given the significant and growing number of users accessing their information primarily via smartphones. Mobile users often have shorter attention spans and different browsing habits than those predominantly using desktops.

Ensure your website and content are mobile-responsive for a positive impact on readers. Your content should automatically adjust to fit the screen size of various devices, providing an optimal viewing experience without the need for zooming or horizontal scrolling.

Mobile users expect quick loading times. Increase your website’s navigation speed by compressing images, leveraging browser caching, and minimizing redirects.

6. Keep It Concise And Clear

Keep your content concise and to the point. Mobile users are often on the go, and long-winded articles can be off-putting. Use engaging headlines and lead with the most essential information.

Jargon-free content reduces cognitive load. When content is straightforward to understand, it’s less taxing on our brains, making it more appealing and more accessible to retain.

7. Use Interactive Elements

Polls, quizzes, games, and interactive infographics can increase engagement by involving your audience in the content.

Interactive content encourages active participation rather than passive consumption. This active engagement can significantly increase audience concentration and improve involvement in absorbing information.

Interactive content can also enhance learning capabilities. Applying brain game design elements in non-game contexts, like points, levels, and challenges, can make content more engaging and enjoyable, increasing users’ time with the content.

Content gamification is particularly effective in educational contexts, marketing campaigns, and employee training programs, where engagement and retention are key objectives.

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8. Leverage The Power Of Emotion

Content that evokes emotions, whether humor, empathy, or shock, can be more impactful and memorable. Emotional content taps into the human psyche, creating meaningful connections.

Choose words and phrases that evoke emotions. The language should resonate with the tone and feeling you wish to convey. Including real stories, testimonials, or user experiences can add authenticity and promote trust and empathy from your audience.

9. Frequent But Relevant Updates

Regularly update your content to keep it fresh and relevant, but avoid overwhelming your audience with too much information.

Search engines also favor fresh content. Regularly updating your content can improve your website’s search engine rankings, making it more visible and accessible to new and returning visitors.

10. Use Attention-Grabbing Headlines

A headline is the first impression your audience receives of your content. A captivating headline is crucial to stand out and capture interest in a digital space crowded with information.

Including relevant keywords in your headline can also improve the SEO performance of your content, making it more discoverable to users searching for related topics.

11. Implement A Multi-Channel Approach

Reach your audience where they are. Use channels like social media, email, blogs, and podcasts to distribute your content.

Keep in mind the differences between a multi-channel approach and an omnichannel one. With multi-channel marketing, remember the goal is to promote your brand and its product/service. 

Despite the rise of social media apps, email remains a powerful tool for direct communication. Use email newsletters to provide updates, valuable content, and personalized offers to your subscribers.

Podcasts offer a way to connect with audiences through audio content. They are ideal for in-depth discussions, interviews, and storytelling.

Cross-promotion of content is vital to remember. Use each channel to promote content on other channels. For example, mention your podcast in your email newsletter or share snippets of your blog posts on social media.

12. Gamification 

Take advantage of gamification in marketing to create fun, seasonal challenges for your audience to participate in – for instance, a Halloween-themed Dropper Game or a Christmas Advent calendar with daily tasks or quizzes.

Incorporating gamification elements into your seasonal marketing campaigns can make them more engaging, interactive, and enjoyable for your audience.

When executed well, seasonal marketing campaigns can significantly boost a business’s visibility, customer engagement, and sales during crucial parts of the year. They offer an opportunity to connect with your audience promptly and relevantly.

This approach enhances the user experience, captures the audience’s attention, and also increases brand loyalty and customer engagement.

Case Studies: Successful Campaigns That Captured And Maintained Attention

As marketers, you understand the importance of what an ad campaign can achieve when directed at the right target audience at the right time.

Observing and learning from campaigns that were successful in the past is critical to developing a long-lasting message you want your audience to walk away with.

Spotify Wrapped

An annual campaign where Spotify provides personalized yearly wrap-ups for its users, showcasing their most listened-to songs and artists. The personalized data and shareable graphics make this campaign highly engaging and lead to its going viral every year.

The campaign often includes interactive elements, like quizzes or story-format presentations, which engage users through their listening journey. These features improve user engagement and make the overall experience more enjoyable and easier to share.

Spotify also understands that their listeners want to share their wrapped results with friends or family, and now offers the option to share on Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and others. 

Tesla’s Cybertruck Launch

Tesla’s launch of the Cybertruck in 2019, despite (or perhaps because of) its unconventional design and the mishap with the unbreakable windows, generated massive media attention and public discussion. Elon Musk’s bold design and presentation made it one of the most talked-about vehicle launches.

Its angular, almost brutalist design resembles something out of a science fiction movie and immediately grabbed public attention. The controversial design polarized opinions ignited widespread discussion and debates across social media, design circles, and the automotive industry.

Ben & Jerry’s Climate Change Campaign

Ben & Jerry’s has been known for its activism, and its recent campaigns focusing on climate change and sustainability have resonated well with environmentally conscious consumers, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to social issues.

In their “Save Our Swirled” campaign, Ben & Jerry’s aimed to mobilize fans and encourage leaders to take action against climate change. The campaign included an ice cream flavor named “Save Our Swirled” to bring attention to the issue.

Gucci’s Virtual Sneaker Try-On

Gucci launched an AR (Augmented Reality) feature in its app that lets users try on sneakers virtually. This innovative technology created buzz and provided a practical solution for shopping in a socially-distanced world.

Gucci increased customer engagement by allowing users to visualize products in a personalized way. Users could see the products and interact with them in a virtual environment.


Known as Mexico’s premier convenience food chain, OXXO was looking to expand its brand influence and make itself known throughout Latin America, most notably Peru. 

Brame assisted OXXO with increasing their brand awareness and user engagement through gamification. Introducing a digital scratch card game, OXXO focused on promoting the game through its Peruvian social channels. 

Ultimately, it was a resounding success, with nearly two-thirds of participants in the game making a trip to an OXXO near them. 

The Future Of Engagement

It’s important to realize that effective communication is more than just catching someone’s attention; it takes a long time for them to pay attention and have an effect. To do this, you need to combine creativity, empathy, and a deep understanding of what your audience is looking for.

We should focus on producing messages that are not simply spoken but also deeply felt and understood as we deal with the complexity of human attention spans. By doing this, we do more than succeed in marketing; we also create a more engaging and meaningful experience for everyone involved.

Our communication efforts are bettered by prioritizing content that teaches, inspires, and establishes a real connection.

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