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How the land of content consumption is changing; and how to make the most of it

For a moment, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Do you remember when sharing content on social media meant posting a simple status update or uploading a photo? Today, the landscape of social media content consumption is rapidly changing and evolving.

These aren’t just small changes – we’re seeing major shifts that are transforming how we consume, engage with, and interact with content. Let’s have a look at how content consumption and algorithms are changing, and how we can best adapt to it.Whether scrolling endlessly through a sea of videos, podcasts, or bite-sized content, to sharing our personal narratives in new and creative formats, social media platforms constantly finds ways to surprise us, such as:

  1. Interactive Stories and Live Streams.
  2. Augmented Reality (AR) Filters and Experiences.
  3. Engaging “Day-in-the-Life” Content.
  4. Short and long-form Video Content.

Diminished Focus: Understanding the Modern Attention Span

Our attention spans have taken a hit in this fast-paced digital era. The allure of quick, bite-sized content has conditioned us to crave instant gratification.

In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds; today, it's shrunk to merely 8 seconds, according to a Microsoft study.

Platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels thrive on this shift, offering engaging content snippets that captivate viewers almost immediately.

Research indicates that our brains are adapting to this new norm. Eye-tracking studies reveal that users often skim through content rather than delving deep. The dopamine rush from rapid interactions, such as likes and shares, reinforces this behaviour, making it harder to focus on long-form content. Therefore, the way we consume information has transformed significantly to accommodate our changing attention spans.

People don’t want to be sold to; they want to feel seen and heard

The days of highly curated and polished commercials on social media are out. People don’t goon social media to be sold to, they go for entertainment, relatability and personality. To capture and retain your audience’s attention on social media, it’s pivotal to craft content that resonates with their preferences and lifestyles. They don’t care what you sell, they care how makes them feel and if it solves a problem for them.

So, what do we do?

  1. Start by focusing on authenticity: share real stories and genuine experiences that stir emotions and build trust.
  2. Experiment with short-form video content: such as TikTok clips or Instagram Reels. These formats are currently favoured by many users for their brevity and entertainment value. This gets you going on the platform, and can help you build an audience.
  3. Test everything, and see what sticks: The best thing to do to start off your platform is simply having fun with it. Take part in trends, make behind-the-scenes content, aesthetic content, voiceover videos etc. Post many different types of videos, review what performs well and do more of that.
  4. Mix in long-form content: We have seen a shift recently, where long-form video content is being favoured by many platforms again, including TikTok. This can be tricky for many, as it is hard to keep the viewers attention. But once you have an established account and grown your following a little, try out longer forms of content. This can be 1-10 minute videos, or even longer. This is where it is crucial to keeps your viewers attention.
  5. Keep your viewer entertained: With our diminished attention span it is important to keep the viewer watching. A rising trend is to have a stimulating visual while talking about a topic, these can also be unrelated. An example of this can be to tell a story while cutting vegetables, give tips & tricks while doing your makeup or similar. This also makes the video seem more natural, as if you are having a conversation with the viewer. People crave authenticity, and setting up a camera and simply talking to it doesn’t seem natural.
  6. Make it seem natural: Following on from the previous tip, some of the best performing videos on TikTok at the moment are videos that seem like they were filmed on a whim. People take a short video in their car talking about an experience or important topic, give lifestyle tips while walking. These videos are closer to how we connect and talk to each other in real life. Not staged, perfectly filmed or polished. Simply humans sharing information with each other.

And so much more

There are many other tips, tricks & strategies to apply to ensure you get the most out of your social media platforms. Here at Blackline it’s our job to know exactly what those are and how to apply them. Are you a small business wondering where to start? An established business looking for a new strategy? Well, wherever you’re at, Blackline is here to take your business to the next level.

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