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Storytelling in an Era of Attention Fatigue

Storytelling in an Era of Attention Fatigue

Herbert Simon was the founding member of the school of social media strategists...well, that's not strictly true.

He was a Nobel Laureate, psychologist, and economist but if he started his career today he would be a great social media strategist because he came up with the theory of the attention economy.

50 years ago he predicted that "a wealth of information will create a poverty of attention." Today it has become a reality as the attention economy has taken hold, with consumer attention becoming a scarce and valuable commodity.

It's easy for even the most captivating content to get lost in the constant barrage of stimuli, in this crowded world. Attention fatigue is a real issue, and it's becoming increasingly common. It forces us to develop strategies for managing and prioritising information which creates the great challenge for brands and content creators to effectively capture and hold their audiences.

The thing that does not change though is the innate human need for good storytelling. Here are few creative strategies we recommend implementing for your brand today to fight audience content fatigue.

audience listening

How to Overcome Audience Content Fatigue

Compelling Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool for brands to create an emotional connection with their customers. Not only does it make content more memorable, but studies have shown that emotionally-inducing stories can capture people’s attention for longer as they become invested in the narrative. Professor Jerome Bruner's research has found that facts are 22 times easier to comprehend and remember when presented as a story rather than just raw data. Therefore, every fact or information you want to share with the audience can and should be presented in a storyline.

Try a playlists function to tell your story in detail from a personal angle like we did with Sam Ryders. Sam shared his Eurovision experience in 10 episodes on YouTube Shorts

Recurring Formats

Recycling content can be a great way to maximise your shoots ROI, and recurring formats provide the perfect opportunity for that. While working with Aston Martin we introduced TechTuesday series which allowed us to repurpose old footage in a totally new context. The response was overwhelmingly positive - it goes to show that even older content can still shine when given the new context and allows brands to re-engage the audience. 

Cut up Long Form Content into Easily Digestible Pieces

Breaking up long form content into smaller pieces allows it to be consumed more quickly and on a variety of platforms. It not only helps keep viewers entertained and engaged with the content, but also makes it easier for them to take in all of the information being presented and potentially encourage them to view the longer piece. Plus, when done right it can help create a sense of familiarity and anticipation among viewers - something that helps turn them from a one time viewer into a loyal fan. Our Shorts inviting audiences to watch full Jimmy Carr stand up have higher than average CTR.

Grab and maintain the attention is our main mission as people who work in content. Often it is easier said than done, however, if you keep storytelling at heart of your content, audience attention will follow. Herbert Simon probably didn't think his theory was going to be needed because of an overwhelming amount of dance routine videos and memes, but ahead of the time he was.

At Little Dot Studios, we’ve empowered brands to leverage content of all forms to connect on a deeper level with their audiences. Get in touch with Little Dot Studios today to see how we can help you build storytelling into your social strategies.