The Goldfish Theory

November 13th, 2023
This is a photo of the write of this blog, Corben Surio
Title card for Corben Surio

Seven Seconds

In today’s fast-paced digital world, capturing and maintaining your audience’s attention can feel like a daunting task. With the rise of social media and the constant influx of information, there’s a prevailing belief that our attention spans have shrunk to that of a goldfish – a mere seven seconds. But is this theory accurate, and does it mean that short-form content is the only way to engage with modern audiences?

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the intriguing concept of the “Goldfish Theory” and explore how it impacts content creation. We’ll uncover when short-form content shines, when long-form content reigns supreme, and most importantly, how understanding your audience is the key to capturing and maintaining their interest.

The Goldfish Theory suggests that the constant bombardment of media and information has reduced our attention spans to seven seconds. This theory makes sense in an era where social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram dominate our scrolling habits. But is it the whole truth?

Short-Form Content: The Scrollable Snack

Short-form content, characterized by its brevity, is designed to cater to our ever-scrolling habits. It’s the perfect solution for capturing attention quickly and delivering bite-sized information. However, it’s essential to recognize that short-form content isn’t universally effective.

While short-form content is ideal for rapid consumption, long-form content has its own unique strengths. Think about binge-watching a favorite TV series on Netflix; you eagerly click “Next Episode” because you’re engrossed in the story. Perhaps the content is the key?

The Goldfish Theory doesn’t mean everyone has a uniform seven-second attention span. It means that people have shorter attention spans when consuming content they don’t care about. Your audience’s level of interest is the critical factor.

Storytelling is a potent tool for keeping your audience engaged. Humans are naturally drawn to stories, and video is an excellent medium for storytelling. When creating content, consider your audience’s pain points, interests, and motivations. Craft a narrative that resonates with them, addressing their problems and showcasing how your solution can make a difference.

This theory doesn’t demand an exclusive focus on short-form content. Instead, it highlights the importance of balance. Create short-form content for quick engagement and long-form content for in-depth exploration and storytelling. Understand your audience’s preferences and adapt your content strategy accordingly.

Audience-Centric Content

The Goldfish Theory, while intriguing, doesn’t pigeonhole us into seven-second attention spans. Instead, it reminds us of the importance of audience-centric content creation. By understanding your audience, telling engaging stories, and finding the right balance between short and long-form content, you can effectively capture and maintain their interest. In a world where content is king, connecting with your audience is the real crown jewel.