Why is time engaged more important than ever?

We all know the stats about how distracted our audiences are. They now, supposedly, have an attention span of less than eight seconds. A reader will spend, on average, only 37 seconds on an online article. Top websites aim for two minutes of engagement per visit. Even the trusty white paper engages for two minutes on average. If you are like me, it seems truly connecting becomes more difficult by the day.

The big question we have to ask is this, is this lack of engagement time hurting our brands or the consistent viewing of our content? Research would suggest it is.

Chartbeat, a leading content intelligence company, completed a research study that analyzed 100,000 page visits over a week in order to find key audience engagement metrics. One of the key correlations that came about through the study is more time engaged equates with a higher probability to return:

But what does returning to a content platform do? It begins to form the foundations for brand lift. In a recent Virgin Mobile case study, surveys showed a 278.2% increase in brand lift, here indicated by likelihood to investigate, once individuals had 5 to 9 exposures with Virgin Media’s branded content (in comparison to 0 to 5 exposures). You can see this relationship in the chart below:

This case study associates well with research projects from around the web that indicate it takes anywhere from 7 to 11 touches before a new prospect begins to exhibit pre-purchase or pre-subscription behavior.

Not only does time engaged lead to brand lift, it also positively relates to brand recall. Chartbeat completed a seperate study looking at how much time was spent engaging with an ad and ability to recall the brand.

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