Content is the backbone of every digital communication strategy, as it the can create the perfect link between your brand and your audience. Content can transform your audience into loyal customers and even a powerful, engaged community, or make your brand undesirable. Unquestionable, content is extremely important, but how do people consume content?
Content consumption today
The way people consume content today is influenced by few key factors such as the widespread of the internet as well as the adoption at a global scale of the smartphones. With almost everyone having a smartphone with internet access, content suddenly became available to anyone at anytime. And everyone started scrolling. But this new reality changed the way people interacted with content. Their attention span shrank to just eight seconds, with many skimming articles, social media posts instead of reading them properly.
Moreover, a long text has to have a really good reason for its length, as persons tend to avoid them, labeling them as tl;dr; - “too long; didn’t read;. This term is being used widely to describe either a very long text or to introduce the summary of a long content piece.
The short attention span coupled with the things like FOMO - the fear of missing out things, creates a sense of urgency when it comes to people’s behavior on the internet. Millennials, the individuals born between the 80’ and 00’, as opposed to their older counterparts, tend to enjoy content in form of videos and photos much more than the long written pieces of content. This is most noticeable with the increased popularity of photo and video content platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, as well as the different popularity of vloggers, among younger peers. The Gen Z, born after the 00’ is even more into videos and photos, as many of them are also early adopters. This means that they will look for new technologies and explore them earlier than most people.
Besides the different types and formats of content, both Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to trust content made by influencers, and fellow peers as opposed to brand content. This also one of the reasons for which brands choose to collaborate with influencers and micro-influencers more and more.
Content: What’s next?
Technology is evolving at a faster pace than ever. New technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are coming into the mainstream, with people using them, especially when it comes to playing games. For instance, the VR creates an ocean of new possibilities for marketers to create immersive experiences for individuals. On the other hand, the AR is already gaining traction, with more and more apps having augmented reality features.
But VR and AR aren’t the only technologies disrupting the way people consume content. With the rise of digital assistants along with the smart speakers, the voice search is becoming a lot more popular and disrupts the traditional content search and SEO keywords.
One of the fastest growing fields is the IoT or the Internet of Things. This acronym refers to the network of various gadgets such home appliance, wearables, and vehicle systems, which when connected can exchange data. This unique ecosystem can provide powerful insights to marketers into the people’s behavior, enabling them to adjust their messages and shape the way the brand interacts with its audience.
The new technologies provide brands with new channels through which they can interact with people and shape to a certain degree the way they consume content. However they are not the solution to when it comes to creating a seamless experience for the people, but only an instrument that has to be used in correlation with the content strategy.
If one thing’s for sure about the future, is the fact that people will still consume content, even if it will be in different formats and distributed on different channels