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Capturing your audience’s attention with the “Moment of Next”

Do you know when consumers are more susceptible to different content components? Nielsen and Taboola created a study to determine the key moments which marketers should focus on when creating a content campaign. 

According to Nielson, in only 8 years, the human attention span has decreased from 12 seconds in the year 2000, to 8 seconds in 2018, leaving us with an attention span that is shorter than that of a goldfish’s. This discovery inspired Nielson and Taboola to find the key moments in a campaign that help a consumer remain entertained with a brand’s content. For this study, Nielson and Taboola focused on “The Moment of Next,” which consists of instances in which an audience is most open to new content, and where attention spans are at their peak. This is what they discovered. 

The Cognitive Load: 

  1. The cognitive load is the amount of mental effort required by the working memory to process new information. 
  2. The higher the cognitive load is, the harder it is for the consumer to take in and retain information. The lower the load is, the easier it is for consumers to do so. 
  3. The cognitive load is 8% lower at the end of a piece of content, specifically articles, indicating that consumers are most attentive at this key moment and have stronger and more positive emotional connections. 
  4. The best moment to include a CTA is at the end of an article. 
  5. Similarly the best location for an ad is at the end of an article or piece of content in comparison to other site locations. 
  6. The “Moment of Next” happens around 20 to 30 seconds after initially consuming the piece of content. 

Feeds: 

  1. Consumers pay 20% more attention to the “Moment of Next” when they are presented with content recommendations at the end of an article. 
  2. Feeds generate 17% more emotional responses. 
  3. Content recommendations at the end of a page are more effective when there is endless scrolling. 
  4. Consumers are more interested at the end of a piece of content that has recommendations at the end since they don’t know what to expect next and are ready to consume more content. 

Videos: 

  1. The best way to present a video is through an endless scroll feed. 
  2. Advertisers and marketers have a better chance at engaging their consumers by placing video ads at the end of an article than placing them on platforms like YouTube that have a pre-roll video ad format. 
  3. This is due to the fact that ads presented in a continuous scroll feed are less intrusive than pre-roll ads and do not interrupt the consumer experience. 

These results were obtained using AI and VR technologies to determine users’ reactions to content. This was made by tracking eye movement to determine where consumers focused the most and for how long. If there is a key takeaway from this study, it’s that even though the consumer attention span is diminishing, it does not mean that our marketing efforts are in vain. Even so, we can optimize our CTA’s and ads by simply changing their placement, taking into consideration when our audiences are more open to new content, or the “Moment of Next.” 

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