The average human attention span has been decreasing extraordinarily in recent years. In fact, thanks to smartphones (and undoubtedly social media too), our average attention span is now shorter than that of a goldfish. Over 200 million pieces of online content is being produced every minute, and consumers are drowning in it. This leaves brands with one of the biggest challenges of all – making the audience care about you and your content.
The truth is, good content needs to connect with users on an emotional level. If a piece of content resonates with a user, they’re more likely to engage with it. We’re human – that’s how we operate. If you create content that is relevant for your brand, resonates with your target audience and is put in the right context, you are more likely to come out on top.
Engagement is the greatest form of social attention. More than reading, watching or listening – this means interacting with content. And people don’t want to spend time engaging with a piece of content unless they capture both quality and context. They won’t “like” it unless it captures their attention. Now, some would say that “likes” are decreasing in value, and while this may be true, it does not mean they’re worth nothing – far from it. It’s still engagement.
Change Is the Only Constant
In three years time, 80% of the internet will be video, which will absolutely affect the way we engage. Just look at Facebook Live, which is changing real-time interaction behaviours as we write.
Different social media platforms allow, and indirectly invite users to have different types of engagements and reactions to content. Facebook links to your individual personal profile which deters commenters from vile, unwanted opinions – something YouTube’s anonymity has had trouble with for years. Platform features affect the way users engage. And brands need to adapt to that.
Marketers should strive for content engagement, yet constantly question the quality of it and consider how it can be improved. Here’s a list of questions to ask yourself before producing and publishing each piece of content:
Is this content relevant to the brand?
- How will it resonate with the target audience?
- What reaction should this piece of content generate?
- What incentive do you give the audience for that reaction?
- Is the CTA aligned with your main objective?
- What are your expectations to the performance of this piece of content?