My Content Discontent – How Clever Is The Content You’re Consuming?

My Content Discontent – How Clever Is The Content You’re Consuming?

By Liam Foy

We consume a lot of content each day… over 10 hours to be exact (Adweek, 2016). That’s pretty much the majority of time we are awake – the only other time we probably aren’t consuming content is when we’re getting ready for work.

But the content you’re consuming… is it that great? How many times have you seen, done or shared a:

  • What type of Queen are you?
  • 5 signs you’re a sociopath or wonderful person?
  • Find out which of these pointless Eastenders stars you look like?

When did we turn into this – clicking on every Buzzfeed, Quizzly or Daily Mail article? 

More content is produced daily than at any other time in the history of man. Yet the majority of it is mind numbing drivel. Video after video, clickbait after clickbait of nonsense – that 12 months ago you probably wouldn’t have watched.

What was the tipping point?

Maybe our shorter attention span is to blame; we no longer have the patience to sit there and read something that will take up more than 10 seconds of our valuable consuming time. We hop from Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat to Facebook to BBC to Facebook to Instagram – and the cycle goes on and on. The growth of social and swiping means you actually don’t need to sit and consume, if you don’t like it you just bypass it. It’s a catch 22: short attention spans versus terrible content. 

As consumers, have we become lazy and expect everything we open to be amazing? Or have brands / publishers become lazy and think that the same piece of content will get ‘cut-through’ **shudders** across every platform? Because of course everyone on each platform has the same consumption habits, and of course your fans wouldn’t dream of following you across multiple platforms…

If, as a brand, you’ve lost faith in producing good content, then you will just churn out the easy “likes” or cheap click-throughs. That’s concerning. Where has the pride gone in writing and producing something worthwhile that actually offers something valuable? Not a quiz that affirms “You’re like Lord Farquaad from Shrek”. Perhaps the biggest concern is that consumers would rather engage with a Kardashian selfie than read something that impacts or educates them further? 

Digital Fatigue is now considered a thing – to that I say “Bollocks!”. All publishers share a crap load of content every day, everyone’s feeds are full of pointless content. People want a break from content and yet we consume more than ever. I’m not saying reducing content is the answer. My view is that more time should be spent thinking about, writing and producing content. Your audience are the ones who have to consume it, no matter what medium it’s in, so just be mindful of what they want, how they think, how they feel. Put them first – not your KPIs.

Maybe you think this piece of content is rubbish – that’s fine, but at least it’s not another “cat jumping” or “you won’t BELIEVE what happens next” video.

Feel free to share your thoughts on the world of content on any social platform of your choice, but make sure you do it in 140 characters (please keep in mind my short attention span).

This post was written by Liam Foy

As Head of Client Services, Liam ensures that all of his clients’ strategies are on track, delivering ROI and coming up with new ideas to drive them forward. Beer makes him tick, reading, learning and drinking it.