How a Silly Content Question Led to Surprisingly Delicious Answers

It wasn’t a nice query.

But we requested it anyway: “Does it matter if people consume the content, or is it enough for them to notice it?”

To make issues worse, we posed the query to the specialists presenting at Content Marketing World 2022. Yeah, the folks sharing concepts with content material entrepreneurs (who presumably need their content material consumed).

To our delight, the specialists took this less-than-stellar question and returned one thing even higher than we’d hoped – frank contemplations, meals for thought, and, positive, loads of sass.

You don’t simply eat along with your eyes

Oh lord. Of course, it issues if folks eat your content material. That’s like asking a chef if it issues if folks eat the meals or have a look at it. – Andrew Davis, writer and keynote speaker, Monumental Shift

Offer style testers multiple course

If you’re constructing model consciousness, the connection usually begins with engineering a dozen micro touchpoints the place your content material is simply sufficient to cease the scroll or get your viewers to look twice. But it’s essential that your scroll-stopping content material finally leads your viewers to discover out extra – and search out your content material to eat.

Then the problem is: How do you make them return for extra content material?

Being constant along with your message is vital to reaching this and guaranteeing that there’s a clear path your viewers can take along with your content material, from bite-sized snackable content material to longer-form, informative items. You can obtain this with well-planned content material repurposing.

It’s a little like serving up totally different programs in a meal. Learn how to take your viewers from style tester to content material client with our information, How Content Repurposing Makes Your Customer Journey a 7 Course Fine Dining Experience. – Amy Woods, founder and CEO, Content 10x

Don’t be the noticed-but-ignored burger truck

If audiences discover it after which select not to eat it, likelihood is there’s a difficulty with the message, the design, or the focusing on. If I’m at a meals truck park and I discover the burger truck each single time however actively select to order meals from the Cajun truck, my discover doesn’t matter to the burger folks. Same factor if I discover one piece of content material however then eat one other. – Andrea Fryrear, CEO and co-founder, AgileSherpas

If audiences notice your #content but don’t consume it, there’s a problem with your message, design, or targeting, says @AndreaFryrear via @AnnGynn @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Tempt with aromas, however get them to purchase dinner

Is it sufficient for folks to stroll by a restaurant and assume it smells good? Or would you like them to purchase dinner? Ultimately, the extra gross sales you make, the higher off you might be. However, to proceed the analogy, a few of these gross sales could come from individuals who beforehand walked by and inhaled a delectable scent.

Simply noticing content material entails consuming a few of it – maybe a headline, a picture, or a brand. With repeated publicity, a particular person could resolve to dive deeper.

That stated, I at all times intention for discover and eat. If your content material is properly focused, you need these targets to have interaction with it – and reply to it – as a result of that’s what can lead to enterprise. And on the finish of the day, isn’t that what most of us need? – Nancy Harhut, CCO, HBT Marketing

Give them multiple chunk

Of course, you need your viewers to eat your content material. That’s the purpose of content material advertising. Content advertising is offering content material to the target market to assist them attain skilled targets, educate, entertain, or tackle no matter content material wants they could have.

If your content material is designed to meet these targets, you need your viewers to have a shut and intimate relationship with it. We need them to respect it and be pleased about it. We need them to depend upon it. We need them to be hungry for extra.

This will – relying in your targets – induce model belief, construct specialists’ private branding, or just create a constructive affiliation. Unless your content material is so unhealthy, you hope no person will learn it in full. – Igor Bielobadek, digital advertising senior supervisor, Deloitte

Don’t add to clickbait content material noise

Look, it’s higher to be observed than not observed. But in fact, consumption issues. The world’s consideration is extremely divided, sure. And it’s onerous to get observed. But vying simply to get observed signifies that you’re including to the clickbait, junk-content noise that already prevails.

If all you’re doing is vying for consideration, you’re not giving worth to your viewers. And nice relationships are constructed on worth. Think about your individual day-to-day – most likely hundreds of issues catch your consideration for a few seconds. But they go away your mind the minute you look away. Creating significant interactions is the important thing to forging a nice relationship along with your viewers. You can’t try this with hand waving. – Inbar Yagur, vp of selling, GrowthSpace

If all you’re doing is vying for attention, you’re not giving value to your audience, says @Content_Fairy via @AnnGynn @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

More consciousness equals a larger viewers

I like this query as a result of it calls consideration to a timeless advertising precept: AIDA. The first A stands for consciousness. (The relaxation stands for curiosity, want, and motion.)

While it’s nice on your tremendous followers to eat your content material, there’s better worth in additional folks in your target market noticing it, offered that it reinforces the primary factor about your model. This retains your model prime of thoughts, which leads to larger gross sales conversions in the long term. – Bernie Borges, vp world content material advertising, iQor

Do you need their minds?

Like all good content material questions, the reply is “it depends.” If you’re going for model consciousness, noticing content material is sufficient. If you need to change hearts and minds, content material should be consumed and engaged with.

But in case your objective is to promote, even when the content material is barely consumed at a floor degree (i.e., skim-read or watched to 25%) however nonetheless converts, does it actually matter? To a content material creator, sure. To the enterprise, most likely not. – Gina Balarin, director and content material queen, Verballistics

Notice, then eat

As somebody who has over 80 tabs open always, I can guarantee you that if I’ve observed good content material, I’ll eat it. I additionally DM myself on Twitter and IG, save TikToks, and so forth.

Catching the attention is nice, however the ROI of content material advertising comes when of us learn and have interaction along with your content material. – Jenn VandeZande, editor-in-chief, SAP Customer Experience

Catching the eye is great, but #ContentMarketing ROI comes when folks read and engage, says @JennVZande via @AnnGynn @CMIContent #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Sow content material seeds

In January, I observed a backyard seed firm sharing details about container gardens. When I used to be prepared to plan my container backyard in March, I went again to the corporate to study extra about the fitting crops for my rising zone and container measurement. When I planted the backyard in May, I went again once more to buy supplies. People want the fitting data on the proper time.

Often folks discover a supply that gives useful, insightful content material and are extra probably to keep in mind the model and the kind of data they share. When a want arises, folks can return to that model for instructional data and buy particulars. – Penny Gralewski, senior director, product and portfolio advertising, DataRobot

Know the cease on the journey

If you’re looking to create model consciousness or advert recall, it may be sufficient for folks to discover it with out taking any motion. If you might be focusing on folks early within the buyer journey when consciousness is your main objective, they might not act in your content material, and that’s OK. If you goal customers additional down the funnel or have a objective that entails the person doing one thing along with your content material (clicking, sharing, and so forth.), then simply noticing it won’t assist you attain your targets. – Andi Robinson, world digital content material advertising, Corteva Agriscience

If you’re targeting people early in their customer journey, they may not act on your #Content, and that’s OK, says @HijinxMarketing via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Make a dent or generate leads

It relies upon completely in your foundational targets. If you’re merely making an attempt to construct consciousness of your existence, then folks noticing your presence – ideally on a repeated foundation – could also be sufficient to make a dent.

But if you happen to’re making an attempt to generate leads, constructed belief, or create loyalty, you want true engagement.

Think about how-to content material that helps remedy a buyer’s downside or want, for instance. If that buyer merely sees it, properly, that’s a good begin. But in the event that they eat the content material, then come again for extra, you’re on the way in which to creating belief and loyalty. – Chris Blose, founder, Chris Blose Content

Go down the eye funnel

We usually discuss in regards to the gross sales funnel. Here, I’ll introduce the idea of the “attention funnel.” While we’d at all times choose that customers eat and deeply respect our content material, let’s give it some thought by way of the phases of a funnel.

At the highest of the funnel, we would like folks to merely discover our content material or discover our model. The backside of the funnel is the place they eat it deeply and share it with pals. In these phrases, having customers discover your content material might be considered the start of a great, full-funnel relationship. – Dennis Shiao, founder, Attention Retention

Having users notice your #content can be the beginning of a wonderful full-funnel relationship, says @DShiao via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Not face worth

Content will not be a façade. We create it to be consumed (learn, watched, clicked). If it’s simply to be at face worth, we will simply create a couple of fairly photos and be carried out with it. – Michael Weiss, vp of consulting providers and options, Creative Circle

Think in regards to the viewers’s why

I don’t see this as a binary. It won’t be essential for a particular person to eat a piece of content material at a particular second.

Instead, I take into consideration the “why” underpinning this. In the occasion of somebody noticing a piece of content material however not consuming it, why is that? Was that the target within the first place? Did the theme not resonate? Is the setting a mismatch? Was one thing off-putting in regards to the content material that induced the particular person to scroll previous? Was the particular person simply busy and couldn’t dedicate the time?

Frequency and high quality impressions are additionally essential metrics to think about, and engagement is a medium- to long-term technique. There isn’t any proper or incorrect reply right here. Instead, it’s vital to think about the context and nuances of a specific model, marketing campaign, or group. – Michael Bordieri, senior content material options guide, LinkedIn

Be a content material marketer, not a model marketer

Getting discover or consideration is the intention of the model marketer, however the content material marketer is searching for deeper engagement. When folks eat the content material, it signifies we are literally assembly the informational want of our viewers, not simply making an attempt to draw consideration to ourselves. – Ali Orlando Wert, director of content material technique, Qlik

Make it sticky

Content takes on myriad types, so it relies on your objective. If your viewers wishes a fast repair, then perishable content material may take advantage of sense. But if you happen to’re making an attempt to drive house worth, you need sticky, memorable, instructional content material and, if relevant, entertain the person. That’s the way you achieve mindshare and foster recall. – Karen McFarlane, chief advertising officer, LetterShop

If you’re trying to drive home value, you want sticky, memorable, educational #Content that entertains, says @KarenMcFarlaine via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Go for binge and share

If you assume deeply about why you’re doing what you’re doing, then the reply to this query is clear. If you commit every single day to be on a search-and-destroy mission to discovering out the easiest way to create memorable and significant content material that meets your clients’ actual wants at each second, then there’s no probability they’ll simply discover it.

You’ve made it for them to devour. It’s stuff that they need to binge and share with their pals mid-binge at 1 within the morning. Wait, who does that? “Hey, Rhonda, did you see that blog post from that brand?” appears farfetched. But if you happen to’ve carried out your job, followers will search you out, thanks for it, and share willingly and overtly. You’ll have tons of Rhondas. – Jon Burkhart, founder, TBC Global Limited

Not every thing wants a click on

If the objective is model consciousness, you possibly can meet it with out a click on. Just seeing the e-mail within the inbox or the put up within the social stream creates some model consciousness. No one has ever clicked on an out of doors billboard, however these have advertising outcomes, proper?

That’s extra frequent for B2C manufacturers the place you want to be seen to a number of folks (low-value, high-volume content material). But for B2B manufacturers the place you promote one thing costlier (high-value, low-volume content material), model consciousness is inadequate. You want leads. You want the content material to get clicked and consumed. You want belief. – Andy Crestodina, co-founder and chief advertising officer, Orbit Media Studios

In B2B, brand awareness is insufficient. Brands need leads. You need the #Content to get clicked, says @Crestodina via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Neither noticing nor consuming issues

It’s the subsequent step that issues, and that’s the one one value measuring: The viewers has to share it. Remember, shares are about ego. People share your content material as a result of they get credit score for it by default.

Your job is to make them look cool/educated as a end result. Like in faculty, when somebody introduced you a new report? And then you definately shared it? And then you definately bought the props for being the tastemaker? It’s precisely like that.

Pro tip: Effective content material all comes down to emotion. Rule No. 1: Don’t be boring. Rule No. 2: Make them react. To purchase, click on or share, I’ve to really feel. Emotion is the driving force. Content that triggers emotion beats the hamburglars outta every thing else. – Kate Bradley Chernis, co-founder and CEO, Lately

Get to the targets

Noticing it’s the first objective. Consuming content material is the subsequent objective. Converting from content material is the last word objective. – Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

Education requires consumption

If the objective is consciousness, being observed could also be sufficient. If your objective is to educate or have interaction along with your viewers, they most likely want to eat it. – Ruth Carter, evil genius, Geek Law Firm

Noticing is consuming

Isn’t noticing it consuming it at a fundamental degree? – Meg Coffey, managing director, Coffey & Tea

They’re not your viewers

If the viewers doesn’t eat the content material, they aren’t, in actual fact, your viewers. – Joe Pulizzi, founder, The Tilt

If the audience doesn’t consume your #content, they are not, in fact, your audience, says @JoePulizzi via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Consumption habits are altering

Noticing it will be significant. Consumption habits are altering, and we might have to replace what consumption means. – Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder, Keeping it Human

Define what consumption means to your model

If your objective is to improve model consciousness or push inaccurate/unfavourable search outcomes off web page one, it may be sufficient for folks to merely discover your content material first as they scroll.

But outline consumption on your model. Does that imply clicks from Google search outcomes? Email sign-ups? Direction requests? How will you realize in case your content material was profitable? What issues is that if what folks do, matches your definition of success. – Haley Collins, director of operations and content material, GPO

Become a trusted supply

Content advertising is an unbelievable approach to achieve credibility and construct belief with patrons, however these advantages don’t come from catchy headlines alone. By creating content material that helps your prospect discover a solution, remedy a downside, or sharpen their expertise, you’ll construct loyalty and be the trusted supply they return to when it’s time to make a buy. – Wendy Covey, CEO and co-founder, TREW Marketing

Consumption creates extra metrics

It relies on the content material’s function: Is its job merely to improve consciousness? Or do you count on it to change minds, educate, drive demand, or cut back buyer help calls? Also, it’s more durable to monitor and measure the impression of content material that your viewers doesn’t really have interaction with. – Carmen Hill, principal strategist and author, Chill Content

Noticing is sweet sufficient for stopping scrollers

Every content material merchandise and kind has a distinctive objective. If the objective of the content material is consumption and engagement, sure, it issues. If the objective is, for instance, to cease a scrolling passer-by and drive amplification, the scroll depth and reader patterns aren’t as essential. Only essentially the most magical content material gadgets in magical conditions will obtain multi-goal realities. – Jeff Coyle, co-founder, CSO, MarketMuse

Stay no to junk

With shrunken consideration spans, it’s unrealistic to count on shoppers to learn each single phrase on a piece of content material. However, shoppers are good. They count on high quality content material and know once they’re studying junk. It’s very important for manufacturers to sustain high-quality requirements when it comes to content material – regardless of the place it’s posted. From social media to weblog posts, serve up top-tier content material and shoppers will reply with clicks and conversions.  – Brittany Graff, senior director of selling, Painting with a Twist

Focus on the larger image

Noticing it’s going to get you some ROI. The focus positively must be on getting of us to eat your content material for a true transactional relationship to start. – Chris Ducker, founder,

Change it to get the consumption

Consumption issues. Engagement issues. Engagement builds dialog, which builds belief, which drives relationships. If individuals are not consuming and fascinating along with your content material, think about how one can alter it to spark the type of schooling, inspiration, and conversion wanted to drive enterprise efficiency. – Mark Emond, president, Demand Spring

Liberty, Liberty, Liberty

If you possibly can talk an concept about your model in a picture or passing headline, noticing might be sufficient. I don’t listen to Liberty Mutual commercials, however I can sing that rattling jingle in my sleep. And I at the least know what they do, so if I’m ever in want of insurance coverage – “Liberty, Liberty, Liberty … Liberty.” – Jason Falls, senior affect strategist, Cornett

Make it worthy of consumption

One of the largest issues we face is the quantity of content material that’s produced every single day. It’s simple to get misplaced within the deluge of weblog posts, podcasts, infographics, and movies that come out each minute. If your content material isn’t adequate to be consumed, it’s not offering worth to anybody and is a waste of your time. Start searching for methods to make much less content material and make higher content material. – Brian Piper, director of content material technique and evaluation, University of Rochester

End random acts of content material

If you’re creating content material, however nobody is studying it, you’re losing your efforts. My mantra (and our consultancy’s tagline) is “no more random acts of content.” Everything must be created along with your audience’s needs in mind – the challenges they face, their most frequent questions, and the methods you possibly can assist them excel of their lives. Unless you’re creating one thing with a particular viewers want in thoughts, you’re simply including to the noise and losing your content material advertising finances. – Erika Heald, founder, lead guide, Erika Heald Marketing Consulting

If you’re creating #content but no one’s reading it, you’re wasting your efforts, says @SFerika via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

It’s amount vs. high quality

Our mission as entrepreneurs is to make certain folks will eat our content material. However, I see many managers fairly frightened about amount. If your model is area of interest targeted, its viewers will naturally be proportional to the market measurement. So, don’t count on your model to be common outdoors the boundaries of your goal. – Cassio Politi, founder, Tracto Content Marketing

Action requires consumption

If the objective of the content material is model consciousness, then I suppose noticing it might be an OK final result. But if nobody is definitely consuming it, and taking motion as a results of it, then you definately most likely want a extra targeted content material technique. – Paul Roetzer, CEO, Marketing AI Institute

Get them to know you

It will not be sufficient for folks to discover your content material. They have to eat it. Noticing that you’ve content material doesn’t assist them. They aren’t getting to know, like, or belief you if they only see that you simply’re making content material. They have to spend time-consuming it for it to profit both of you. – Tim Schmoyer, founder/CEO, Video Creators

Who cares?

I suppose it comes down to: Does it matter for me or them? Stats, numbers, clicks, and likes may be sufficient for finances justification. But to impact actual change, your viewers wants to eat your content material.

Recently, I began sharing a tip a day from my ebook 101 Ways to Rock LinkedIn – bite-sized items. I’m not asking for a enormous time dedication from my viewers. People simply seeing and liking and sharing my posts may assist construct my credibility. It does nothing for them except they make investments the 2 to 5 minutes to learn/watch the content material after which take motion. In the tip, I’m in my enterprise to assist different folks succeed. I really feel consuming the content material is vital. – Viveka von Rosen, chief visibility officer, Vengreso

Scanners are audiences too

I would like folks to scan the content material. I would like them to discover it, click on on it, and scan it to see what they like and any takeaways. For these scanning audiences, I like to embrace downloadable content material (usually in deck format) and shorter type variations of long-form blogs to allow them to simply repurpose the deck for inner displays. (This is essential for mid-market and bigger audiences.) So, the viewers doesn’t want to eat all of it. They do want to do extra than simply discover it. – Tracey Wallace, director of content material technique, Klaviyo

Why create it if nobody reads it?

It issues if folks eat it. If they solely discover it, then why was it created within the first place? My favourite metric to reveal is the engagement on gated e-books. For instance, why are we creating lengthy guides that take months to create if nobody reads them? If a type is stuffed out, however nobody downloads the information or reads it throughout, how a lot may you’ve got saved in assets?

As a creator, I would like my content material to encourage folks, assist them, and have interaction them – I don’t simply need them to fill out a type or see it in passing. – Amy Higgins, senior director, content material advertising, Twilio

Imperfect query however considerate perception

If we’d requested this as a multiple-choice query, essentially the most chosen reply would’ve been: “It depends.” Some folks held robust emotions about getting folks to eat content material. But nobody thought noticing alone was sufficient.

So, after asking a probably silly query and studying all of the considerate responses, right here’s my reply: Don’t create content material simply to get observed. But getting observed might be an essential step to having it consumed, remembered, or shared.

What do you say? Please share within the feedback.


Join us at Content Marketing World 2022 for brand spanking new concepts to drive what you are promoting, gasoline your inspiration, and pace up your profession. Register today and use promo code BLOG100 to save $100.

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute