How Can My Business Get More of Consumers' Time?
Time is precious. It's what people value most! So how can your business steal away consumers' time from their friends, family, work, and everything else?
There are two things you can do. Both are fairly simple, and we'll cover each below.
- Actively engage with your audience, and
- Make it easier for them to engage with you
One involves reaching out to people. The other focuses on people reaching out to you. Let's dive in.
The first question we need to answer...
The average amount of time people spend on websites is measured in seconds, not in minutes.
That's because website viewers normally don't stick around very long (about 10-15 seconds). Grabbing people's attention is only half the battle.
Even when you do well to get viewers to your website, you still have to keep them there.
How do you keep consumers' attention, and therefore keep consumers' time? That's the billion-dollar question!
Answers will vary depending on what you do and who your audience is. But you can learn a lot by looking at some of the top brands for engagement, like Facebook, YouTube, Buzzfeed, and the Washington Post.
These brands and other big names do two things really well.
- They actively engage their audience, and
- They make it easy for their audience to engage with them
Whatever your brand, in whatever sector, you can implement these two common factors.
Actively engage with your audience.
Getting in front of viewers.
Let's start with video.
Video entices viewers. We're drawn to this combination of visual and audio stimulation.
How many times have you gone to a restaurant, and paid attention to the TV just because it was moving?
Static images are about as effective, too. Your brain processes images far faster than text. That's amazing!
So if you want to keep more of consumers' time and attention, you need to be visual. Your website, your content, your graphics, your emails - there needs to be a visual component to everything you do.
When consumers can process your content and messages faster, you'll be able to engage with them better, and hold their attention for longer.
New is (almost) always better.
One reason all those brands mentioned earlier are so successful is because they're always churning out new stuff.
They always have a new piece of content, or offer, or change to their website. They always have something new to give their audience.
Consumers all have a "been there, seen that" mentality. Partially we want to be the first to know things, and partially we don't want to be bored. New is novel and exciting.
What are you offering that's new and different, that changes, or that isn't just the same old thing over and over again?
By giving new things to your audience, you'll be able to keep consumers' time and attention for longer. But what can you do that's new?
A few options are:
- New features for your product
- New products
- Promotions or discounts
- New content (blogs, videos, images, podcasts, tweets, etc.)
- Press releases
- Staff/employee updates
- Email campaigns
- Website (partial) redesign
- Website Tip of the Day
- A new free tool on your website (e.g. ROI calculator)
Your options are nearly limitless. Just make sure you can regularly offer something new to your audience.
Facebook lets you interact with your friends. YouTube lets you interact with influencers.
Buzzfeed is known for their quizzes, where you engage with a single post twenty times before leaving the page. The Washington Post is always encouraging feedback and conversation.
You can take some or all of these options to get more of consumers' time.
Could you add a comments section to your blog posts to start discussions? Could you encourage viewers to share your content across Facebook or email?
What can you do to get people interacting with your website, and to get people sharing your content?
Being interactive is a bit of a 2-way street (in the best way). You go out and engage your audience with new and sharable content or features. And then they get their friends to start engaging with you.
When you get interactive, everyone wins!
Make it easier.
This one's - well - easy.
No one is interested in making their life more difficult, but everyone is interested in making their life easier. And guess what.
There is always a way to make it easier. If your product is easier to get to, more people will buy. If your product is easier to use, people will use it more.
It's like texting.
Texting is way easier than writing letters to everyone, or trying to call someone for a quick question 50 times a day. Texting makes your life easier, so you use it more.
Your product should do virtually the same thing.
If a consumer can spend less time using your product or service to get what they need, they'll actually keep coming back for more.
So how do you become easier?
Trim the fat. Audit your product, your website, your sales funnel - everything - and see what can be simplified. There's always something that can be easier.
If you want more of consumers' time, do everything in your power to take up less of their time.
The less time you take while still adding value, the more time consumers will give you.
So, how do you get more of consumers' time?
It's simple, and it works for everyone!
You need to actively engage you audience, and you need to make it easier for them to engage with you.
Give the people something new, something that catches their attention, something helpful, and something they can share with others.
Make your product so easy to use that they want to keep using it over and over again, like texting.
That's how you get more of consumers' time.