Our attention spans have never been smaller. In the face of a relentless stream of breaking news, and with mobile devices ever-present, there’s never been a better time to tell a story quickly.

If you’re still reading this, then you’re doing better than many.

Research has shown that the average human’s attention span is now eight seconds. That’s right, just eight seconds – a third less than when the mobile revolution began in earnest in Y2K.

And yes. That’s less than a goldfish.

Making an impact fast matters. There’s simply too much noise out there to waste time.

To reach an increasingly visual audience with the written word, it needs to pack a powerful punch. Follow our three tips below and make every word count.

Think: what does my audience want?

You’ve attracted visitors to your website or business blog. That’s a great first step. But they’re only going to stick around if you keep them interested.

Before you begin writing, always think: who is my target audience and what do they want from me? That’s a far better starting point for effective content marketing than what you want to say.

Be mindful not only of your target audience’s desires, but also of their existing knowledge. Pitch your content and tone of voice at the right level to avoid turning readers off.

Remember: less is genuinely more

The days of long-form journalism are gone. A casualty of the digital age, lengthy written articles are a rarity these days.

In the place of 2,000 word in-depth articles now comes 60-second videos, podcasts and listicles.

We live in a world where soundbites are the new currency. So embrace it. Focus on getting across no more than three key messages within your article, and then cut to the chase. Don’t waste time and run the risk of your reader being attracted elsewhere.

Always: add value

Time matters to all of us. It’s the most valuable commodity in the world.

Each and every individual that you are trying to reach is under a ton of pressure. Impending deadlines. 101 personal commitments. An overwhelming to-do list.

The chances are that your audience will be reading your content while also juggling three other tasks. To keep them hooked, you need to be succinct, choose your words wisely, and reward the precious time they have given up to read your content.

Always deliver on your headline’s promise and provide valuable insight. Use simple words and terms that everyone can understand. And offer an incentive to come back for more.

With people now spending twice as much time online compared to just 10 years ago, the opportunity to reach new customers with engaging content is there for the taking. Our clear, straight-talking approach will get people talking about your brand or company, making sure you make the biggest possible impact.