I always joke about the short attention span of my 3 year old… one minute she will be engaged in her dollhouse and 5 seconds later, it’s not good enough and poor dolly is being shoved down the toilet while she moves on to the next victim. That is, until another shiny thing takes her attention away 10 seconds later and she starts playing with that.
I feel we are all 3 years old at times. I know myself how hard it is to stay focused (…sorry Boss). We are bombarded by so much new and shiny stuff every day and a fear of FOMO that can stop us from engaging with information or even people on a meaningful level. It all becomes noise.
But meaningful interactions are what we crave, even these ‘always connected’ generations crave real life experiences over digital ones (Netflix aside).
And what is an actual meaningful interaction in the first place? and how do we know what is meaningful to different people?
Well here I go back to the kid and the one thing that does command her attention for more than 10 secs.
Videos on YouTube of someone opening different sized plastic eggs and revealing what’s inside. If you are a parent you will know which ones I mean. There are loads… ice cream shaped Playdoh that hides eggs, gunk that hides eggs, chocolate Smarties baths that hide eggs… You get the picture and my kid is obsessed – as are the other millions viewers of these type of videos…. who knew!
And I believe it’s because of these reasons.
- It’s a really simple premise
- It totally gets its audience
- It educates – it helps her learn colours or sizes
- It surprises – there is always something unexpected
SO WHEN LOOKING AT YOUR CONTENT, ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
- Do you know your audience? What do they need? If you don’t know, find out more about them with surveys, research or just ask! Find out where they spend time online, what’s of interest to them and crucially, what are the problems they are trying to solve? In essence, be audience centric.
- Is there something new here they could learn from me? Whether you’re sharing expertise, contributing to a debate or simply making something beautiful, if it’s interesting and relevant, your audience will probably love it.
- Have you surprised or delighted them in some way? Make them smile, give them something unexpected, a twist in the tale, just something that can evoke a positive reaction and makes it that extra bit more rewarding for your audience and keep them coming back.
- What can you simplify? Whether messaging, editing, or simplifying the idea, simple is often most effective. Still one I need to learn from!
- Is this me? Do I sound like a robot or an actual human being? Kids spot a phony from miles away, and your content will feel disingenuous and false if it’s not created from the heart. Unless robotic is your goal, be human, be you and most importantly, be your brand.
The reality is it’s getting harder and harder to differentiate yourself from the competition, which is exactly what most content gurus will tell you needs to be done! Someone will always come up with a product or service that disrupts and takes attention away. Someone will always have funnier, wittier, more concise content. So how will you respond?
Be relevant, be helpful, and with a touch of something unexpected, you will create those meaningful moments for your audience that will bring them back time and again.