How We Consume Content

How much content do we consume a day? 

It’s not an easy question to answer. With a handy thing called the Internet at our fingertips how we consume content became a complex matter. 

Not because it’s a difficult task to perform, otherwise the masses would not be able to jump on online trends so easily, but because of how we consciously (or subconsciously) integrate our time online into our daily routine. 

All we do is consume content

Woman working on a laptop.

No matter your pretext, while you’re online you’re actually consuming content. What do I mean by this?

You may have told yourself you’re researching your paper, but you’re actually consuming content.

You may have set out to look into competitors’ engagement, but you’re actually consuming content.

You may do some quick reckon on the new computer you want, but you’re actually consuming content.

It’s the bottom line you didn’t necessarily sign up for but get anyway because that’s how the online medium engages an audience. 

Content marketing and the average attention span

Let’s point out the obvious here: those who hold the key to content marketing strategy, hold quite the eyeball power. 

It’s no easy thing to catch and hold the attention of others. Ask the guy who keeps getting talked over. 

It’s especially challenging to connect with your audience via the web. Or is it? Surely the continuous rise of social media platforms would have you think otherwise. 

But if you scratch the surface on the whirlwind of social media apps popping out more and more, you’re forced to take into account the issue of relevance. Of course, it’s brands and businesses that notice it first. How to make your social media stand out is a matter of high stakes for them.

Audiences respond to skimmable content

Chat bubbles in front of notes taped to a wall.

How we consume content is whether we like it or not conditioned by the fact that large amounts of all sorts of content can be accessed anywhere anytime. 

Knowledge of online content trends, perseverance in the desire to connect with your audience, and purposeful creativity to make your social media stand out from the crowd are your major allies in helping you measure up against such standards. 

The internet is whatever you want whenever you want it. Good old hard work on its own is simply not enough to overpower such a combo.

Know the reality of your audience

A woman and a man reaching out to one another with the help of the online medium.

The popularity of memes and few-second-long videos is all the proof you need to accept that as a marketer you’re working with a specific kind of reality when it comes to online trends. 

And by specific in no way do I mean definitive. I simply mean that you’re working with an audience:

  • who doesn’t pay attention for long (so you have to give them concentrated, skimmable content);
  • who dips at the first inconvenience (I myself click off a site if I have to scroll all the way down to find the price of something I want to purchase, for instance. Surely I’ll find more consumer-centric practices elsewhere.);
  • who is highly attuned to scammy tricks (think about it: the younger generations have been raised with clickbait-ridden Google searches, they scroll right past stuff like that).

Therefore, accommodate your audience with bite-sized content. Keep your headlines brief (and not clickbaity), provide brief descriptions, brief subtitles, brief table of contents if you must. Did you catch the insistent use of brief

Don’t be mad the people who visit your website aren’t passionate literature geeks willing to sit through blocks of info they have to take as gospel. 

Also, don’t be mad at yourself for the content you’re putting out. All it needs is probably a bit of re-formatting. 

Wanting to connect with your audience means understanding and strategizing for the quick scanners. Fail to do so and you might lose major user engagement, as quick scanners represent the majority of all current audiences. 

If you don’t find a solution for your block content (I jUst dOn’t kNoW whAT to eDiT oUt, iT’s aLL iMpoRtaNt), someone else will with the increasingly popular tl;dr

And now they have all the eyeballs you were aiming at.

Do influencers know how we consume content?

Influencer lady liking a post.

Keep an eye on influencer marketing. If you want to be up to date with online content trends, there’s no escaping it. 

Too much of a big shot to look into what these kids who entered contracts with managers leaving them with fewer pennies than what they’re worth are doing online? Well, maybe when you’re done looking at all the things they’re doing wrong, you can look at what they’re doing right.

Influencer marketing plays on the market need of people wanting to feel like they have authentic relationships with the individuals (but in reality the brands) they are supporting. 

The TV era where brands spoke at us and we weren’t given the chance to reply is dead and gone. Now we’ll tell you what we think of your brand in a DM or with an @ if we’re feeling particularly petty that day. 

The value of online trends

A woman making an exciting announcement.

“It’s a trend, it’ll fade.” 

So is what you’re currently doing. If that’s your excuse for not bothering to look into what’s working online at some point, you don’t really get the point of online marketing. 

Online marketing is about advantageous content just as much as it is about advantageous timing. And when you think about how much content we consume a day, advantageous timing starts to sound like a solid thing to leverage. 

Figuring out how your audience consumes content isn’t something that happens once. It’s something that happens constantly. Do your research and get to know them because it’s only when you listen to them that they’ll listen to you.

Blogging, SEO & SEM

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