Jan 23 2024
Megan Reschke

3 Things to Know About Capturing Audience Attention in 2024


Take a moment and pause. As you read this, consider the environment you’re in right now. How many tabs do you have open on your browser? If you’re on your phone, take note of how many apps you have running, the notifications pinging for your attention, the subtle pull of the endless stream of tasks vying for your focus. Perhaps you’re reading this while listening to music or a podcast? Maybe you’re skimming as you walk on an under-desk treadmill, or (perhaps most likely of all) you’re switching back and forth between reading this post and working on a project you need to complete by end of day.

In today’s digital world, we live in a near-constant state of distraction and multitasking. We are ever connected and our attention often divided, dispersed across screens and responsibilities. Given this inundation of content, it’s no surprise our attention spans are shrinking.

For digital advertisers, then, seeking and capturing attention is critical. After all, attention matters for memorability: If audiences can’t remember what they’re seeing from an advertising standpoint, it’s going to be difficult for them to remember the messages being served to them and the brands and advertisers connected to those messages. And if they can’t remember the brands connected to those messages, it’s unlikely they will use or purchase the products or services they offer.

So, how can advertisers better capture attention in the year ahead? By taking an audience-centered approach, crafting creative that captivates, and focusing on high-quality ad placements. Read on to learn key considerations for capturing audience attention, cutting through the clutter, and crafting winning campaigns in 2024 (and beyond).

Compelling Creative Is Key

We live in an age of endless distractions fueled by a desire for instant gratification. Bored by the video that popped up on TikTok? Just scroll. Underwhelmed by the show you’re watching on Netflix? Hop over to Hulu. Not a fan of the playlist you originally picked for your workout? Here’s an AI-generated one based on the songs you listen to most!

How can advertisers break through this noise to both capture attention and sustain it?

It starts with having strong creative. With a literally endless supply of other content available at all times, advertising teams need to ensure their creative is standout so that their audiences don’t tune out, scroll by, switch apps, or simply forget about it.

In 2024, audiences will consume more than 12 hours of digital media per day.  In this context, it’s not simply enough to get a message in front of audiences. Advertisers can do every single thing right with their tech and targeting—getting in front of the perfect person at the perfect time—but if the creative is a miss, then they’re not going to capture that individual’s attention or make the most of that opportunity.

Instead, advertisers need to produce thoughtful creative that tells their client or brand’s unique story in a way that resonates and drives action. To do so, advertising teams can embrace a host of strategies and tactics, including:

  • Investing in research to better understand their audiences (more on this below!)
  • Employing narrative techniques that evoke emotion and foster connection
  • Embracing interactive elements (such as AR, VR, quizzes, and polls) intentionally
  • Implementing A/B testing to determine which ads foster the highest engagement
  • Incorporating timely elements based on current trends
  • Maintaining consistent messaging across different digital channels

Considering Quality of Impressions vs. Quantity of Impressions

Beyond investing in standout creative, digital advertisers looking to capture attention must focus on the quality of their ad placements. There’s a big difference between delivering 100 impressions on a low-quality site (or with low-quality targeting) that lead to zero conversions vs. 10 high-quality impressions that lead to two conversions. This focus on quality is especially important given the rise of made-for-advertising sites (MFAs) and the steady increase in low-quality AI-generated content, both of which can syphon ad spend away from higher-quality inventory.

Advertisers should actively seek to avoid bidding on this inventory in their campaigns, leveraging tools like a dynamic MFA blocklist and taking advantage of buying methods like programmatic guaranteed and private marketplace (PMP) deals to secure high-quality and premium placements. Additionally, advertising teams will benefit from leaning into KPIs that gauge the quality of impressions to determine not only if their ads are being seen but also if they’re sticking with audiences.

Taking an Audience-Centered Approach Is a Must

The final consideration for capturing audience attention in 2024? Focusing on identifying, getting to know, and targeting ideal audiences with precision.

Marketers should re-double their efforts to familiarize themselves with their target audience, conducting (or investing in) thorough market research to grasp their demographics and behaviors. From there, advertisers will want to tailor content to those distinct audiences by creating personalized ads addressing their specific needs, desires, and pain points—and, of course, to make sure those ads are reaching those audiences on the channels where they’re spending time.

Advertising teams can leverage pre-bid segments and custom PMP deals, and tools like custom bidding algorithms and pixel-based verification, to both capture and measure users’ attention, helping marketers answer the questions: What have people actually seen, and what’s stuck with them? They can then use the data and insights they gather to make optimizations responsive to their audience’s wants and needs. By putting audiences front and center, advertisers can maximize outcomes and craft campaigns that inspire action.

Next Steps: Capturing Attention in 2024 and Beyond

In digital advertising, seeking and capturing audience attention is not simply a strategy—it’s a necessity. As consumers gain access to an increasing amount of captivating content, advertising teams that focus on getting a compelling story in front of the right audience on the right channel will find success.


Want to learn even more about how to make the most of your campaigns this year? Check out our webinar, Future in Focus: 2024 Digital Advertising Trends. In it, Basis Technologies’ VP of Media Innovations and Technology Noor Naseer shares insights and strategies to help advertisers tune out the noise and instead focus their attention (see what we did there?) on the most important, proven trends in 2024.

Watch the Webinar