Reel ‘Em In! Grabbing your Audience’s Attention

The probability is high that you won’t read this entire blog post. In our fast-paced culture, readers’ attention spans are limited. We seek quick answers (“According to Wikipedia…”) and instant gratification (“Google it!”). We skim, looking for nuggets of information we can use, and then move on. Many of us share articles via social media even though we’ve only read the headlines (I admit, I’ve done it).

So, if you’re a blogger, educator, marketer, or consultant, much of your success is dependent on more than simply grabbing your audience’s attention. You must hold their attention as well.

To accomplish this, keep your content clean, concise, and captivating.

How can you achieve the “three C’s”?  Infographics!

Information graphics use visuals to present complex content quickly and clearly.  Although the catchy phrase “infographic” is relatively new, we’ve long been familiar with the visual presentation of data (such as graphs, charts, and maps).  Infographics are beneficial because a viewer can process the meaning of data quickly, without having to read large blocks of text. The imagery also catches the eye and engages the viewer’s attention more than a lengthy article.

There are a multitude of tools that allow users to create attractive and professional infographics.  I’m currently experimenting with a website called Smore.

No, not s’mores! National-Smores-Day-2012-e1344375954525Smore!

Smore allows users to create online flyers, which take the form of a single-page website.  The site is easy to use (it provides you with templates) and the resulting product is concise, clean, and captivating!  After creating your flyer, you can share it via social media or embed a link on your website.  You can try Smore for 30 days, then you will be required to sign up for a paid subscription.  They do offer education pricing packages, which are pretty reasonable.

Check out the Smore flyer I created as a Google Drive tutorial:

Workshop with Google Drive

My Smore

Further reading:

Check out Farhad Manjoo’s article in Slate about Internet users’ lack of focus: You Won’t Finish this Article

Want to learn more about infographics? Forbes provides a good overview, including a video: Use Infographics to Boost Your Credibility and Traffic

Interested in best practices for using images in promotional materials? Check out KISSmetrics: The Shocking Truth About How Web Graphics Affect Conversions


About pastprof

Recovering academic. Starting a new adventure as a college instructional technologist. Ph.D. in Communication & Information. Reside in the lovely Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
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