That’s right. Research shows you generally have no more than 8 seconds to reach your audience.
Unless you connect with them, that is. In which case, they’ll give you their undivided attention. And often their business.
(Something that’s a bit of a broken record with me, as you’ll see in other posts.)
That’s why concision is so important in content marketing. It lets you create immediate connections that can evolve into lasting connections — or into brand loyalty, as we’re used to calling it.
But we should be careful not to confuse concision with simply using fewer words.
Len Markidan, CMO at Podia, puts it this way:
“It’s not just enough to say it quickly: you need to distill your copy into the cleanest, clearest possible form without making it dull and lifeless.”
And I’m with Len on this one.
Because concise writing is about activating language to connect with people in ways they can’t help but respond to. It’s about creating excitement, relatability, and trust without sacrificing your unique voice or diminishing the importance of your value proposition.
Len goes on to note that “if you can squeeze your copy into 100 words or less, you’re 50% more likely to convert than competitors with word counts over 500.”
Now, Len’s talking about web copy here. But, it’s a lesson that’s equally applicable to your other marketing collateral, too.
How do you get to that level of directness?
“Think about your argument. Think about your audience.”
Pretty straightforward, right?
In just two short sentences, the team at the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reminds us that the most effective strategy is to get to know the person you’re writing for so well that you can speak directly to their aspirations, questions, and concerns.
Without beating around the bush or dressing up what you’re saying.
Because the truth is no amount of snappy, well-executed writing is going to cover for a bad product or a poorly delivered service. Period.
Which means that a lot of writing comes down to listening. And reflecting. And empathizing.
And then turning that listening outward so you connect with your audience — in meaningful ways — within the 8 seconds you usually have their attention.