You’ve probably recognised the change in yourself – perhaps it began during one of the lockdowns, or maybe something altered for you before. But in general, we are consuming and engaging with content very differently than in, say 2019. It’s important, as content creators, we recognise those differences and respond. So here are five ways we’ll be doing content differently in 2023.
More hungry but also more choosey
There are some big generalisations here, but on the whole we’re even less tolerant of poor content than we used to be. So much more of our time is spent online, which means we don’t want to waste time reading or viewing stuff that doesn’t hit the spot. If it’s not giving us what we want immediately, or as soon as our interest starts waning, we’ll leave. That’s the thing with the internet, there’s always something else right there, and it might be better.
"What we choose to focus on and what we choose to ignore...plays in defining the quality of our life."
When we do find something we love, it’s a relief. We binge. When we love something we love hard and we want all of it NOW. Algorithms feed our bingeing habits, lulling us into distracted reveries. Time slips by unnoticed as we watch short videos seamlessly served up on Instagram, one after another, until something really wrong or rubbish appears and we snap out of it. We vow to be more discerning, until next time, when we find ourselves doing it again.
If we’re Gen Z, we might not read content online at all. It’s video or nothing. If we like to read, we’ll gravitate to places that make the reading experience more enjoyable. Substack is quietly serving up high quality written content that you can sink into without distraction.
Swimming in the waterfall
The changes in the way we consume content has implications for us as content creators too. The days are long gone since you could share a link to a blog once online and expect to find an audience. The universal love-hate relationship with social networks – particularly Twitter – means potentially smaller audiences who’ll stumble across your content. But there’s no drop in people using the web to search for answers to their questions. We’re still there, online, and we’re craving good content.
Here are the changes we’ll be making to our content in 2023, to navigate the new world of content consumption.
5 ways we’ll do content differently in 2023
1. Create content playlists | Spotify is brilliant at learning what you like and serving you more of it – we might resent intrusive Facebook ad targeting but we can’t wait for personalised music and podcast recommendations. We’re borrowing from this and creating playlists of content for our clients. Connected blogs, animations, guides and how-tos and short insights that can be served up separately as a one-off hit, or sequentially, to feed the curiosity of a reader who wants to stay in the moment and read/watch more of the same. The playlists are a good visual way for marketing teams to navigate their way through the content we create, and to really make the most of it.
2. Think about what our audience is doing, not just who they are | Most communications target what a person ‘is’ – where they live, what their job is, their gender. While this is useful as it can help the author or creator determine someone’s motivation, it’s also important to think about what they might be doing as they are engaging with your content. Are they looking for a distraction on a commuter train, something to spark the beginning of their workday while drinking a coffee, relaxing at home or working with others to identify useful references? By considering where and why they are looking and reading what you’ve written, you can tailor content even more effectively and help your audience feel seen.
3. Make the most of what we create | Aside from the playlists we’re going to get savvier about sharing our own content. That means a place on the website for The Clec – where our best stuff always surfaces first – and improved website functionality so that you can search our archives. There is so much good content on the Cohesive website, but it’s just out of reach. We’re also going to get smarter with LinkedIn. Of all the social networks, that’s the one where our clients and potential clients spend time, and so using our content to spark conversations is a good use of our marketing time.
4. Develop our relationship with data | Wherever you find content, you find data. It’s simpler than it ever has been to understand how others receive what you write and create and yet we sometimes struggle to engage with that information. In 2023, we’re going to get more curious about our audience and their behaviour. We’ll build in regular, agnostic learning sessions to unearth more knowledge without ego. We’ll share information and talk about it so that it’s a muscle we flex, not pull because it’s out of practice. And we’ll encourage our clients to do the same.
5. Take pride in our role as curator | In a world of content overload, there’s increasing value in the people that find the good stories and save you the trouble of searching. It’s a relief to go straight to the prince, without having to kiss a whole pond full of frogs first.
One nourishing goal
Our goal for Cohesive’s content this year, as well as our content for clients, is to prepare a nourishing and fulfilling diet that looks different from the often junky, click-bait menu many outlets serve up. And we know that good content works. It changes the way you feel, it influences your actions and it helps you to feel inspired about the world around you. Who doesn’t want more of that?
Your next step?
This year we’ll be sharing even more how-to guides, toolkits and stories. To be the first to access these, subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter, The Clec.
Interested in telling a different story this year? We’ve got just the thing. Talk to us about how you can Discover your story.