When radio made the shift to television, the way the average person consumed information changed. In a similar way, the transition between print media and digital has made way for an endless amount of ways in which content can be consumed.
It’s easy to find yourself chasing your own tail exploring countless different ways of creating good quality content, in the hope that it will engage your audience. A 6 month old article claiming to have found the secret to engaging everyone everywhere is likely just going to leave you feeling frustrated when you realise that what worked then for one particular company, is about as effective now as a chocolate teapot.
It’s time to step into your audiences shoes. Look around you. Observe what people are really using the internet for. What are your friends/family /colleagues doing on their mobile devices lately? What are the 35 people stood on the train platform all so interested in that they don’t even look up to notice the 90mph train that has just barrelled past them?
You probably get the idea.
We’re not all content creators. For example, only half of Twitters active users regularly tweet. That figure is even larger for Facebook.
But how are we going to engage those who aren’t likely to engage back? We hear your ask. Perhaps ‘easier than ever before’ is the answer. That’s because those incognito users are using social channels such as Twitter and Facebook as discovery tools, constantly on the lookout for something interesting, insightful, fun, or just plain hilarious. These are the content that people are sharing; these are the things that people are telling their friends about.
Website and social news organisation Buzzfeed could be considered a pioneer of easily digestible content, offering what it calls ‘listicles’. From cats that look like celebrities to 36 tastes that will take you back to your childhood, Buzzfeed reported a record 130 million visits in November 2013, made possible by Facebook’s newsfeed modification that resulted in a preference for quality, shareable content.
Usually image-led and entertaining, this fast action ‘snippet culture’ has well and truly captured the public’s attention. Backed up by the rapid growth of like-minded social networks such as Instagram, Vine and StumbleUpon, there’s no denying that the days of product-centred blog posts are coming to an end.
Of course every audience is different, and image heavy content may not be suitable for every type of business. But is a 600 word blog post about why you need a new bread knife really going to capture the hearts and minds of people on their morning commute or during the EastEnders ad breaks? We’re not convinced.
As cliché as it may sound in the world of marketing, businesses of all shapes and sizes should be making a constant effort to understand their audience, be as if you are the audience and recognise how you are being discovered. What content do you want to read and share?
The answer to creating engaging and shareable content is all around us, and it’s always changing. If you need help finding out what your audience are really up to, get in touch and we can get you on the right track.