We’ve long suspected it, but now there’s proof; the more glued we become to our devices, the less we’re actually engaging with content.
A recent TrackMaven study found that the amount of branded content across social media increased by 35% in 2015, while content engagement decreased by 17%, a phenomenon called the content marketing paradox. As Americans become increasingly glued to more and more devices, spending 5.6 hours per day on Internet-enabled devices and 88% of their time spent on their phone in a mobile app. As such, they’re engaging with brands less than they did when they were spending less time online with fewer devices.
One reason audiences could be shying away from content marketing could be content fatigue. As brands up the ante to churn out content at the breakneck speed of social media, consumers tend to retreat, too overwhelmed by choices to engage with anything.
However, content fatigue doesn’t have to be terminal. Here are the best ways to beat the paradox:
All too often, content creators miss the trees for the forest when it comes to content; which is to say, they spend so much time building content that they forget about the ways in which the user will engage with that content.
Paying close attention to microinteractions, or contained moments that create engagement within content, can make the audience feel included in the message. Take a cue from social media; when users press the “like” button on a piece of content, they’re sending three messages: they appreciate the content, they want the content creator to know they appreciate it, and they want the public to know they support this content’s message.
When you’re creating your own content, think about the ways in which the user will engage with it across devices. Clicks, taps, and swipes are little engagements that can add up to a lot of user appreciation.
As Noah Kagan at OkDork found, audiences love to share lists and infographics. In fact, according to the OkDork study, short content that contained hard facts, such as infographics, got more social media shares than any other kind of content. However, it’s easy to assume that just because your blog post or white paper contains a great chart or infographic, audiences will start sharing away. Instead, audiences want a way to easily share information that’s directly applicable to them, so make sure that you’re breaking your research into easily sharable pieces in order to ensure that your stats rise above the content clutter.
The Content Marketing Institute recently found that 71% of B2B marketers use white papers, while 82% use case studies—and for good reason. Those types of content were also reported to be over 60% effective; but, if everyone in town is churning out the same kind of content, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.
Adding interactive elements, like quizzes, to static content is a surefire way to get audiences engaging and sharing. In fact, Playbuzz, an online quiz generator, recently found that quizzes based on memory and personality were much more likely to be taken and shared than any other type. That’s probably because both types of quizzes offer a reward to the audience: the memory quiz gives the audience credit for paying attention, while the personality quiz allows the audience to divide, classify, and align themselves with a certain type of consumer.
Why not incorporate these elements into static content by offering sharable quizzes that enable audiences to test their knowledge or classify which elements of your product are right for them? Allowing customers to discover answers for themselves is much more effective than any sales pitch.
While most marketers are sinking increasingly large portions of their budgets into creating new content, most are ignoring the fact that some of their best messaging is right under their noses. Static content, such as white papers, blog posts, and even product catalogs are the perfect source for interactive content.
Turning research from a white paper into an interactive infographic makes your stats three times more likely to be shared on social! Recycling product photos into an interactive lookbook can not only make content more easily sharable, but also provide feedback about which products are most appealing.
On the surface, the content marketing paradox can seem plenty depressing, but in reality, it just means that marketers have to do what they’ve always done: find new ways to make great content stand out.
For more tips and tricks to make your content great, and to ensure that it will stand out, download the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Content Marketing today.