Ben Young
Ben Young
October 11, 2023

We talk about attention a lot, but what is it really other than an expression of demand? If a consumer is active on a page, or with your content, they are expressing demand for what you offer.

With attention the hot topic in advertising, it feels like its applicability in other areas, like content, your website and downstream parts of the advertising mix are missed out. Attention is the currency which drives demand for advertisers & marketers.

The limits of attention

I enjoyed Caseys piece last week, and he picked up on some research about how we have about 47 seconds to complete a task, before we get distracted by something else.

“That was so much worse than I’d thought it would be.” But that was just the beginning. By 2012, Mark and her colleagues found the average time on a single task was 75 seconds. Now it’s down to about 47.

The piece continues:

This is an acid bath for human cognition. Multitasking is mostly a myth. We can focus on one thing at a time. “It’s like we have an internal whiteboard in our minds,” Mark said. “If I’m working on one task, I have all the info I need on that mental whiteboard. Then I switch to email. I have to mentally erase that whiteboard and write all the information I need to do email. And just like on a real whiteboard, there can be a residue in our minds. We may still be thinking of something from three tasks ago.”

So each second of attention is valuable. When people visit, they have a task, and limited time to do it.

In fact, we found, analyzing 1m people, that each second 2.44% of your audience leaves. Which is astonishing, speed, impact and experience are vital. Because the next best thing is a click away.

Nudge data from this website

I decided to take a peek at some of our own data on the Nudge website & content (using Nudge data of course!). Here’s what I found:

  1. The top 6% of content made up 80% of all attention on our site. Or the top 10% of content made up 87% of attention. Talk about 80/20 rule.
  2. 3/4 conversions from content aren’t happening on content, users navigate and explore, then convert elsewhere.
  3. Of the top 20 attention generators, 19 were content.

So content gets the attention, and helps us convert it.

Now imagine, if you had a site, with no content! In our case we’d have 4x less attention. Circling back to attention is demand, imagine the downstream consequences that would have.

Without content we would have a 75% decline in attention.

Final thoughts

Regrouping, now what do you do with this?

Lets say, we could take our top 10 pieces of content, and improve them 15% what would that do?

That would improve overall attention by 4%. A very very achievable improvement, on the right content, has a tremendous impact on overall results.

Improving the top 10 pieces of content 15%, would improve overall performance by 4%

What about bringing ROI into the conversation? What would it cost to create 10 new pieces of content, or to improve your top 10, 15%? Given it could create a 4% overall improvement.

It may be possible you are underinvesting in the very things that shift the dial.

Or, when assigning budgets, thinking about the same.

This budget is responsible for maintaining AND growing this attention/demand we are getting. If we don’t invest, we risk it decaying.

Or striking partnership deals, if we invest in this, here’s how it grows our attention pie.