How to Create Snackable Content to Keep the Attention Span of Your Readers

The fight for the attention of online readers is a challenge that all content creators face, but catching someone’s attention is only part of the battle. According to a study done earlier this year by the Associated Press, the average attention span was only 8 seconds in 2012. In the same study, they found that on web pages with about 600 words only 28% of the words are read on average - that’s only 168 words! Keeping the attention of online readers to deliver your intended message is daunting, but not impossible. What’s the answer to this problem you ask? Snackable content!

Snackable content (Not snack-sized content)

To effectively explain and expand on an idea or topic requires more rather than less words. Nothing is more dissatisfying than reading a post with very little insight and the poor quality does not help your search rankings. Rather than snack-sized content, we suggest snackable content to help overcome and adapt to today’s online reading habits.

Here are 3 things to keep in mind when creating snackable content that performs:

1. Headlines

One of the most crucial things in getting users to read your content is through your headline. No matter how amazing your content is, no one will click on it if it has a boring title.

Simple and direct: Create catchy and engaging headlines that tell readers exactly what the article is about. Simple headlines can make an impact.

Numbered-list posts: We’ve all heard it before, and though list posts are overused, the truth is that they still work, and they work well. Headlines with numbers in them are very effective. They make for easily snackable content and are often promised with a value that the reader will receive.

Use intriguing adjectives: Boost your headlines with exciting and useful words like incredible, essential, and painstaking. Check out a list here to get your creative juices flowing.

Did you know? A well written headline should be written at a grade 7 reading level.

2. Paragraph Format

Skimmable paragraphs: Start each paragraph with the most important points. Many skimmers look only at the first line of each paragraph. Most people just read the first couple sentences in a paragraph. So arrange your paragraph from the most important points to the least important points. Make the first and last paragraphs count.

Images: Sometimes an image and a couple of lines of text to describe your story is all that is needed. Simple and concise. Look at how visual storytelling has worked out for the likes of Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr!

Long-form content as snacks: Snackable content does not mean that it can’t be a lengthy article. If you have a long-form story, consider breaking it up into different forms of media or articles (a series of posts) to keep the reader engaged and clicking through your site.

3. Mobile friendly

36% of mobile users say they use their phone to consume news. Smartphones have allowed users to read anything on the go.

Responsive design makes it easier than ever to be compatible across platforms. Test your mobile experience first to make sure that content is adapted well to the readers’ experience. If you don’t, you risk losing out on a huge audience.

How do you create snackable content? Or how do you like to consume it? Leave us a note in the comment section!

Tags: writing, Atomic Reach Tips, attention span, blogging, content creation, content marketing, Content Marketing, headlines, mobile, snackable content