Privacy Policy Cookie Policy Dwindling Attention Spans and Fun Size Content

fun size online contentShort. Sweet. To the point. It’s not just for candy bars anymore.

Chobani now has 3.5 ounce servings of their Greek yogurts. They call them “bites.”

Just enough to get you through a 30 minute meeting before your blood sugar drops again and you’re ready to start gnawing at the plastic cover of your Venti latte. A bite only stops the mutiny going on in your stomach for so long.

At some point, the “fun” in fun size content is gone. Sustainable trumps quick and easy in the long run.

Your business needs more than bite size online content

There’s a time and place for the short blips of information to be shared. Think Twitter, Facebook, and all the other social networking platforms. These are the vehicles for generating conversations, connecting with customers and staying front and center on people’s radar screens.

Being able to consistently tell your brand’s story in 140 characters or less has become a necessary skill. Between technology and dwindling attention spans, people expect easily digestible chunks of information.

“Great!” you say. “I can get on board with shorter attention spans. Who needs all this labor intensive, detailed content anyway?’

If you’re a business owner, you do.

The case for long form storytelling

Every time I talk to small business owners who tell me they can’t afford the time or expense to create content for their websites, I ask them one simple question.

How can you afford not to?

Beyond crafting high quality and well optimized copy for the static pages on your business website, you need to be doing the same for your blog.

Yes, that four letter word so many of you don’t want to hear. BLOG

Online search is alive and well. According to a post on Search Engine Land, Google handles 100 billion searches per month (as of August 2012.)

And, what are all of these people looking for? They want answers to questions that someone just like you can be providing.

Inquiring minds want to know and Google has figured out how to send people to websites with the content that brings forth the best results. Websites with continually updated high quality content are the ones that come up in the search results, get the visits and shared on social media.

Your blog can do this provided you make a point of answering the types of questions that your target market needs the answers to and you do it in a thoughtful and compelling way.

Yeah, you really need to be doing this… here’s how

I read a lot of online content. I see the good, the bad, and the downright abysmal. Make it worth your time adding content to your site by following a few simple guidelines:

#1: Give people a reason to read by digging deep

The best posts I’ve read online have been filled with detailed examples to back up cogent arguments. They provide screenshots to depict what’s being said along with links to more information.

better blog content

One of my favorite blogs is on the Help Scout site. Gregory Ciotti consistently does a phenomenal job of providing useful information and answering the kinds of questions his customers are interested in.

He will cite research studies and experts findings to illustrate his point. When you’re done reading one of his posts you feel like you’ve gotten something out of it that you can actually apply to your business.

#2 Speak your customer’s language

I’m talking tone here. It’s the words you choose and how you put them together that resonate with the people who buy from you. The key in doing this well has to do with not only knowing your target market but your own brand.

What values does your business represent? How can you express them in a way that informs while providing a connection with your customers?

Take a look at The Middle Finger Project. The tone is brash, the copy peppered with words that will make some people cringe. But, for this business a major part of its appeal is its take no prisoners kind of attitude.

Extreme? Maybe. And, no I wouldn’t necessarily recommend mimicking them. Find your own style that you can live with and keep it consistent.

#3: Add something to the conversation 

More is not necessarily better. Creating content merely to get something new floating out into the ether rarely does anyone any good.

It’s time to circle back to knowing what your customers questions are and positioning yourself to answer them. This goes well beyond the SEO argument. Being able to provide value added information regarding the things they care about positions you as an authority.

Authority builds trust. Trust builds relationships… I think we all know where this is going.

Don’t just tell people what they want to hear or what’s convenient for you to spit out on the screen. Give them what they need to know.

Believe it or not, it’s been the best way I’ve found developing my business.

What are your thoughts on dwindling attention spans and generating content? Do tell…