Reading Your Blog Sucks…
…But It Doesn’t Have To
Marketers agree that the experience produced around their content pages (usually blog) can make or break audience engagement. Yet, page engagement continues to rank among the Top 2 Pain Points described by marketers when assessing their content marketing challenges.
Since you’re too busy managing your campaigns to delve into this topic and gain clarity on how to improve the experience of your content page output, Fabl has decided to tackle the subject for you (you can thank us later when your sales team is so overwhelmed with all the leads you deliver that your manager gives you some time off ;-)
By examining a vast array of inputs, processes, tools and teams, we’ve condensed leading content experience insights into the below 3 point list.
Improve Read Time
Did you know the average human attention span in 2019 is 3-5 seconds? Did you know that the average goldfish attention span is 9 seconds? That’s right, a freakin’ goldfish has an attention span almost twice that of the person you’re marketing to. The struggle is real, y’all! So, why do we keep producing pages of content that are delivered in a format that does nothing to grab and retain attention? Be it pop-ups or sidebar widgets, busy animations or a lack of immersion (think edge-to-edge, always), most content page layouts (designs) feed into the highly distractible tendencies of our audience members. Give people stuff to be distracted by and they’ll get super distracted by it! But use design, content layout, page structure and user flow to retain and guide your audience through the bulk of your pages’ content and they’ll thank you with long read times, deep scroll depth and high conversion rates. As the iconic Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe once said when it comes to creating staggering results with design: “Less is More.”
The human brain processes information from pictures 60,000x faster than text.
Yup, not 60x but 60,000x faster. So, always make it visual!
The data on high quality video speaks for itself with a 13x increase in online video consumption across the past five years #trending…
Name one person you know who doesn’t enjoy watching cool videos online. Impossible, right? That’s because it’s ubiquitous and, as marketers, we have a huge advantage by embracing these facts and calibrating our content pages around delivering the experiences that we, as consumers, love and enjoy and can’t wait to share with our friends, family and colleagues. It’s no different in marketing today; create the kinds of online content experiences that we, as consumers, as people, value, remember, are emotionally stirred by, and the positive business impact is staggering. By consolidating visual media sourcing to a couple of trusted channels or platforms that deliver files in a format that our content page creation system can ingest, process and deliver crisply removes the guesswork and busiwork that get in the way of delighting readers.
Reduce Bounce Rates
So often, we end up with ho-hum, text-dominated content pages that people bounce off, skim over or, if we’re lucky, share on social media without actually reading (it was probably a zinger-of-a-title that got the share, nothing more). The pages of content we genuinely connect with, cite to peers or fall so in love with that we willingly fork over our money (or, spend the even more valuable currency of personal contact details…), are nearly all visually captivating and slick to experience. These pages are not just populated with any imagery or video, they’re populated with stunning imagery and video. These pages also load fast, real fast. But sourcing high quality visual media, and then processing and optimizing it to ensure pages we publish with it load rapidly, is often a non-starter. The good news is this challenge isn’t much of a challenge any more.
Start by adopting a media optimization automation tool, letting software (not media specialists or agencies) ensure your rich-media is formatted for all devices, screen sizes, operating systems and browsers. Next, leverage any of the countless rights-free online visual media libraries to put imagery first. Good visuals + fast page load time is the critical combination to successfully reducing bounce rate. Still not convinced? Two data points that might help: A mere 1 second increase to page load time results in a 33% increase to bounce rate & Visual pages get 94% more total views than text pages [drops microphone].
Inadequate Engagement Tracking & Low Conversion Rates
It’s time to stop tracking what our analytics systems tell us is important and start tracking what our business results tell us are important. Most content marketers depend on the global analytics associated with their company’s website CMS. Wading through dozens of pages of exported Google Analytics reports to try and wrangle some semblance of meaning into the campaign performance report that is due this afternoon is enough to send a well-rounded person into the Psych Ward. By focusing on the “Metrics that Matter” we can through the bath water out but keep the baby…or something like that. In other words, pay attention to audience behavior and interaction with content, on a granular level (scroll depth before form submission rates jump, number of video consumption seconds before users pause and move on, time on page as relates to increased pages consumed) and allow these insights to shape your content strategy, your content creation and your content delivery (design, user experience, page navigation).
By paying attention to the core metrics associated with what, specifically, our audience does with our content before consuming more of it, or better yet, before converting, they give us a blueprint to follow for increasing the scale of success. Take the time to onboard a system that provides the engagement data you need to understand your audience’s needs, apply these insights to your process and win win win.