By Lachy Banton on Thursday, November 24th, 2016 in Uncategorised.

2016 has been the year of content and looking at the trends, 2017 appears to be no different. But in a time where content is king, and a content marketing strategy is the kingdom, many businesses have fallen into the trap of posting content without any real purpose – an instant content killer.  

Attention is a privilege, not a right.

In a world of impatience – and gold-fish like attention spans – consumers are bombarded with an almost endless stream of messages across all forms of media.

As we scroll through our social media newsfeeds, browse online shops and even catch up on news, we’re constantly swimming in a sea of white noise – most of which we’ve learnt to block out.

The median time people spend on articles is 37 seconds! [source]

So in the constant skimming and skipping, it takes high quality content to first stop you, then engage you. Now, more than ever, for a reader to give you their attention, your content must give them something equally valuable in return – be it the solution to a problem, helpful information or even a relatable story.

Now it’s all well and good saying that. But how do you know if the content you write will be valuable? Easy, start with a simple question:

What’s your ‘why’?

Too often, campaigns are still focused on the products and services the business offers, rather than the value they provide. Instead of a two-way dialogue the consumer so craves, the content is largely one-way, talking at them, not with them.

And all this can be avoided simply by asking ‘why?’

Before you start crafting your next piece of content, address these keys ‘why’ questions:

  1. Why are you posting? – (what’s your purpose?)
  2. Why would someone read it? – (what does it offer?)
  3. Why is it of value? – (what can the reader take away?)

By addressing these questions prior to writing, your post won’t be guaranteed success, but it will give your content the best chance of getting attention, and more importantly, engagement.

But surely posting something is better than not posting at all? The short answer is no. Although regular posting is shown to increase your organic search ranking and improve brand awareness, it has to be good quality content.

When it comes to content, quality over quantity wins every time.

Posting often – for the sake of being visible – won’t get the results you’re looking for. In fact, the opposite can happen. If consumers constantly see irrelevant content with no value coming from your channels, they’ll quickly ignore – or even block – any future content you may post in the future.

So next time you sit down to write, ask yourself why?

And remember: post with purpose, post with a plan and post only when you have something valuable to share.