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Attention Span 2.0 - Building a Stream Of Content Your Audience Will Be Starving to Consume

Posted by StellaPop on Mar 3, 2020 8:17:00 AM
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Attention

Marketing metrics have moved beyond clicks and impressions and towards attention metrics. Attention metrics measure how a user is engaging with your content. Likes and shares are indicators of engagement; comments are an even better one. Then there are the micro indicators, such as scrolling, tilting a phone, swiping or completing/rewatching a video.

If your content is being shared, talked about, and added to "must-read" lists, you're doing it right. Here's how to ensure that your content is exactly what the public is hungering for.

Give the People What They Want

Your audience wants smart, relevant content packaged in an appealing way. There's a reason even corporate Twitter accounts speak in a breathy tone devoid of punctuation, and that gifs are everyone's preferred reaction shot. Your users want to be informed, entertained, and part of something.

Here are some of the most popular content types. You can use them on their own or in tandem with other types - it all depends on your audience and your strategy.

Video. We're all suckers for a well-done video. From short-format TikToks to longer YouTube recordings to live streaming on Facebook or Instagram, video offers plenty of ways to capture attention. In fact, it accounts for about a third of all online activity. For audiences, video is easy to engage with and can be consumed on the go. And for businesses, making quality video is getting easier and cheaper every day.

Lists. Who doesn't love a good list? No one, according to FastCompany. No wonder list-based sites like BuzzFeed are thriving. Pick a topic, a number and go from there. Add details such as links and images, and ensure that your list is (even if obliquely) answering a question or a need. For audiences, lists are useful and shareable, while for businesses they're easy to create and great for SEO. 

How-tos. A how-to delivers powerful value to your readers, and they're great for positioning you as an expert in your niche. How-tos can be general to your industry or ultra-specific - for how-tos that run the gamut of both, keep a list of things you do or get asked on a daily basis, and refer to it when brainstorming topics. Use as much detail as possible, and if you can round out your how-to with videos, photos or other media.

Podcasts. There's nothing like a podcast to liven up a commute or a workout. Podcasts help humanize your company by putting a "voice to the name", and are a great way to speak at length about industry news, events or goings-on. Whether you hold forth with an opinion, talk recent research, or interview experts, they're a great way to offer valuable insights into what you do and how you do it. Podcasts do take time and effort, but they also generate lasting, loyal followings. 

Polls and quizzes. It's hard to resist voting in a poll or taking an online quiz. Humans are both curious and opinionated by nature, and polls and quizzes let us have our say, while also revealing whether our opinion aligns with others'. Whether you opt for simple Twitter-based polls or more in-depth, multi-step ones like the ones the New York Times runs, you'll find that your audience engages. As a bonus, you'll get to gather some audience insights along the way. 

Keep Them Coming Back for More

Creating high-quality, meaty content will capture attention and interest. But you don't want to risk that attention being a one-off. Here's how to encourage users to return again...and again.

Get their details. Always strive to capture your audience's email or social details. Use those details to build outreach lists so that people are notified when you post something new. Offer a variety of sign-ups that capture various bundles of your content sliced depending on different audience segments. Make sure there's value to it, though - no one wants to be inundated with sign-up messages.

Be consistent. Build a schedule and stick to it. Humans are creatures of habit, and if your audience knows that you post every Friday or upload a podcast once a month, they'll start checking in to discover what's new. If your schedule is all over the place, you'll make it hard for people to make your brand part of their routine.

Try multi-part content. There's nothing like a cliffhanger to encourage binge-watching. The same is true of your content. Creating multi-part or series content will give people a reason to come back or keep reading - especially when you tease what will be in the following posts, and when they'll appear.

Tease with social. Social is a great channel for teasing content, engaging with your audience, and sharing tips, stats, and insights. Make your social a microcosm of your larger content strategy, and you'll find that you get great cross-pollination from one to the other.

It's Time to Get Creating

Inspired? Check out some of your favorite brands and take note of why it is that you can't get enough of their work. Maybe it's their witty tone, their smart topics or their top-notch use of GIFs. Channel that same vibe into your own content creation (being mindful of staying on brand), and start driving new traffic. It's also worth doing an audit of your most successful existing content to figure out what's already resonating with your audience so that you can serve up more quality content in the same vein.

Not quite sure where to start? The team at StellaPop are experts at crafting irresistible content strategies and the content to go along with them. For help getting started, get in touch! 

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See Also:

Why Every Brand Should be a Publishing Company

8 Ways to Create Shareable Social Content

Fill'er Up! High-Octane Content Increases Prospect Engagement

Topics: Creative, Design, Marketing

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