RETHINK DIGITAL CONTENT CONSUMPTION
Give It To Me Straight: Let’s face it, YouTube proves every day that just because you have great content on a popular platform doesn’t mean anyone will watch.
It doesn’t matter if you are a content creator, brand, or government organization the undisputed truth is that people interact and consume content differently today than they did yesterday. So, how is your content reaching the right target audience? Are you expecting people to find this content on their own, or does it find them? Do you optimize your content (subject or styling) based on performance data?
If you produce a TV show or write a column and now have to monetize your work online or you run content marketing campaigns it might be the time you rethink why content is or isn’t consumed. If you don’t then you shouldn’t be surprised when others capitalize on your desired target audience.
The Top 3 Takeaways on Digital Content:
#3 Pipes & Timing: Some folks say the theory of Web 2.0 is that consumers don’t go looking for content or products anymore, but instead desirable content and products will come to them. The reality is people still search for specific information when they need it, but it is a very small percentage of daily content consumption. For example, owners of major content websites will even tell you that most of their traffic is no longer people navigating directly. Instead, it is social media, aggregators like Google news, and bookmarking communities that drive most their visitors.
What does that tell you about your content strategy? Are you expecting consumers to directly navigate to your content wherever you put it, or does it find them?
Finally, let’s consider for a moment that every consumer has a series of pipes (channels) that they leverage every day to consume content. These pipes represent things like a spouse, co-worker, email inbox, newspaper, favorite TV channels, and of course social media newsfeeds. Over time, pipes will change in size, become non-existent, or new pipes appear. What happens if your content doesn’t show up in one of those pipes and what if it simply shows up at the wrong time? You may reach the perfect consumer of your content but because it showed up at the wrong time they didn’t see it or they didn’t have the capacity to consume it.
#2 Competition for Attention: It’s kind of hard to get someone to notice your content when it’s surrounded by crazy family members, an article about 5 foods to kill fat, a cat playing the keyboard, and the local gas station promoting their buy one smoothie get one hotdog free. Yes, this is the world your target audience lives in. Most companies and content creators don’t consider the competition for attention factor when they build their strategy.
A good email marketing strategist will tell you that after you ping a list of subscribers you should then segment out people who didn’t open that email. Then, you email that non-open list again with a different subject line. These same strategists also talk about send time optimization. A concept based around using each recipient’s past email open data (time opened) to determine the hour of the day he/she is most likely going to open emails. Therefore, using send time optimization allows a marketer to deliver his/her content at the right moment when being at the top of an inbox matters. These are examples of how some marketers are trying to get their message past the clutter in a pipe they know influences a target audience.
What are you doing to ensure your content is made available at the right time using the most compelling message? How are you overcoming the sheer volume of junk in social newsfeed?
#1 Pay Up: Sure, the internet can be free but reaching your desired target audience isn’t. Getting in the right pipes (channels) isn’t free, ensuring your content is seen at the right time in the correct pipe isn’t free, and overcoming the competition for attention isn’t free. Does that mean you should spend wildly and without direction or filters?
The point is simple, every great content strategy should also come with a well-designed distribution plan. There are a number of ways to creatively use funds to lift content to a target audience, including social paid influencers. Furthermore, unlike traditional media where it’s almost impossible to call money back or change syndication tactics once an order is placed digital syndication campaigns can be stopped and rebuilt if the return on investment is low.
Last but not least, please don’t place all your bets on one option. You could have your target audience wrong. Online or offline try not to lock yourself into tunnel vision, you might be surprised how playing the edges can open up decent returns.