You’re Distracted Right Now, Aren’t You?

Are you here? Paying attention? Or… are you super scattered and probably just scanning?

Society has attention issues, if you haven’t noticed. 😏

And with that in mind, I want to talk about “big picture” content strategy today.

You’re free to think and do whatever you want, but personally… I think most all cases of “attention-deficit disorder” are fake. It is a symptom of the way society conducts itself today. The kinds of media, the constant competition for attention, the fast-action video games and Youtube videos. Social media. Oh, and don’t forget crappy diets full of sugar and artificial crap.

That’s the cause of most attention issues today. It has little to nothing to do with a “disorder”. But, people like their quick fixes and don’t want to change, so they go “ask their doctor” instead of just getting back to basics.

Anyway, this isn’t an editorial about all that.

As content creators and bloggers, we operate in this world of short attention spans.

We operate in a world where people just don’t read as much. They don’t have the patience, in many cases, to actually sit there and read a blog post.

They look for the TLDR.

The idea of the redwood blog post that I used to talk about has to be adjusted accordingly.

The way we create and publish content has to be adjusted.

We’ve got to cater to different types of information consumption. Different ways of learning. Different abilities to pay attention for any length of time.

As an old-school blogger, I love the written word. I write easily. The easiest type of content for me to produce is a written post or an article just like this one you’re reading now.

But, yet, I am producing more video today. And you’ve likely noticed many others do, too.

Just a few days ago, I found out that the email app I use (FastMail) is starting a podcast. Of all things, a company that made a web-based email service sees the need to have a podcast.

The reason is clear.

The importance of producing audio/visual content today is quite high. In a lot of ways, you don’t exist today online unless you do.

This shouldn’t be “news” to you since it has kinda been this way for a little while now, but the need is simply increasing. And I hope this is a reminder.

A cohesive, full content strategy today needs to include more than just the written word. Blogging today really should include video.

These days, I barely ever publish a post without a video component. I usually write the post, then I record a video for it. I use the written post as a guide for the video, but my videos are never scripted. I simply use the post as a set of bullet points and then I “wing it” on video.

My written post is not a transcript. It is a fully-formed written blog post that can fully stand on it’s own. The video is the same way. The video is then published on Youtube and embedded on my post using the video post type.

That’s MY workflow.

Some people record a video and then post the transcript as the written post. That works, too, however I personally find that transcripts don’t read very naturally so I don’t do it that way. Most of us don’t speak off the cuff in an easily readable way.

If you don’t do videos now, you should consider it. It doesn’t need to be some Hollywood production. You don’t need to script it or make it into a formal thing. Just have a few bullet points and then “wing it”. Be natural. Be yourself. If you try to be formal, you’ll likely look rigid and fake. Better to just talk like you would to a person sitting in front of you.

And from a marketing standpoint, there’s no better way to create a connection with people than for them to SEE you. It is real. More personal.

As for podcasting, this is super effective, too. If you’re up for it, then go for it. But, I don’t think podcasting is as useful as video today. Video hits all senses.

The one advantage of a podcast is that people usually consume it while they are otherwise occupied (like driving or the gym). This means you usually have their full attention, whereas even video suffers from people’s lack of attention spans. If you’re too slow, they move on.

This topic could go deep. But, the summary version is simply as a reminder…

We must be creating multi-sensory content today. We cannot just rely on the written blog post anymore. Written blogging will never go away – ever. But, I think it is more important than ever to have a video at the top.

Youtube is the new TV network. Personally, I have major issues with Google. And I can’t wait for Youtube to be dethroned as the “top dog” and be replaced with something less controlling and less centralized. But… Youtube is how things work today. And you should be there.

When people evaluate whether to buy something, or how to fix something, or how to accomplish something…. they VERY often go look on Youtube.

Create accordingly.