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Your Audience’s Time Not Yours Is More Valuable

Audience's Time Not Yours

You need to treat your audience’s time not yours as more important.

Lets just say that how you communicate today is pretty relevant, but you need to give something in return.

It is time to get straight to the point.

One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is to treat the time of others as a valuable resource.

Many still believe that the more web pages produced and the more articles we all create and publish, the better we look in the eyes of others and easier to be found by search engines.

The longer the corporate video and more product info that is crammed in, the better the film looks. This idea of quantity and convincing others of your credibility has been something engrained in businesses for generations. It all comes back to verbose claims of self-importance, indulgence and not knowing how to use media.


Being Nothing To Anyone

We have the channels; we have the ability to distribute, what is stopping us making the most of advertising at a cost that is a fraction of what it used to be. Twitter is effectively free advertising right (but you know from reading what’s here, it’s wrong)? However, what we are doing is limiting ourselves to achieve a minimum level of reach, voice and return by not understanding what clarity looks like and meaning nothing to anybody.

Within my Facebook timeline last week (and I guess inspiration for this article) was two videos for local restaurants, one called itself a ‘country club’ the other a popular bar/restaurant.

Both videos were full of self-importance, no message, but shots of food and glasses. The audience was everyone and just taking up space.

Audience's Time Not Yours

A crowded room with loads of others on a Wednesday?

Audience's Time Not Yours

A bit of green on a plate anyone?

No message, no reason to believe, just business owners who wanted a film company to show why they looked better, but with zero clarity for what they believed in.

This is something we are all guilty of. You, me, Google, your mate’s wife, everyone. We have filled spaces with so much noise, that we have all created the problem.

More is not better anymore, it’s not 2011. More doesn’t help anyone.


Create Less But Make Bigger Impact

Robert Rose from the Content Marketing Institute coined a belief that a marketing approach today has to be concentrated on creating less content but making maximum impact.

What this is basically saying is to focus on solving the challenges of others by building deeper relationships, not thinking that increased volume is the answer.

You don’t have to be everywhere (and was signing up for Snapchat in January really going to be used?). Cluttering up the web with more is destructive to a brand.

Make an impact, not a blast.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, the percentage of page views that last less than 14 seconds was 17% (according to browsing stats taken from 59,573 page views). The average attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds, in 2015 it was just over 8 seconds (according to a Microsoft study).

If you are looking for punishment, download the Flowstate app. A writing app that punishes you if you start to lose focus, by the text starting to fade if you stop typing.

If the content you create is relevant and compelling, I argue that attention spans do not dwindle. Just for the record I started season five of Game Of Thrones last week and in space of four days down to the last three episodes). We’re not talking Game of Thrones here, we’re talking business.


So, What’s The Answer

There time is more valuable than yours.

Much content that is created and distributed, whether it is written, video or audio, normally fits this formula:

  • We (a business) produce it

  • you read, listen, watch it

  • you (the viewer, reader, listener) go figure what it’s all about

  • onto the next thing

There has to be more thought put into creating something for someone else to consume.

Treat your audiences’ time as more important than your own. Simplify what is complicated, rather than letting people make their own conclusions.


Knowing What Media Represents

There is not enough education around what media represents.

The focus is always on creating content to become recognised as better than someone else, lets be more meaningful to someone who can become part of your audience, rather than looking at the competition.

We all need to look at things slightly differently, by understanding the media we are using rather than just the content that fills the space.

The content you create has to be provided so it can be consumed in a simple way.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you really need to ask people to leave their email details in return for a PDF download that is really just an angle to sell your product/service?

  • Is there really a role for a promotional video that shows a reception area and someone on a phone or people pointing at a computer screen?

  • Is that blog article really going to get read if it’s something that has been said somewhere else before?

  • Is the jargon on that DM piece really going to make you look more important?

  • Is it really worthwhile for someone to connect with you on Twitter only to send him or her back a DM asking to connect on Facebook and never send him or her an actual message?

  • Is that blog article just a way to tick a box, rather than stand by a belief?

  • Is that LinkedIn post really just a way to pat yourself on the back with the project that you won last Wednesday?

  • Are you more bothered about creating something to persuade others rather than being more valuable to them?

  • Can you sum up what you represent by asking yourself the question ‘we are…’

We all need to become fearless crusaders of the simplification of content. Wow, I have watched too much Game of Thrones. Let me rephrase that, make your content easy to interpret.

Making your content simpler to understand, follow my fact/opinion/framework that I use, you can read about it here.


What Do You Do Now?

Lets just reiterate again. You need to remember that the reader, viewer, listener’s time is more valuable than yours.

So, what now, if you have been used to a model that is built on ‘you (the viewer, reader, listener) go figure what it’s all about.’

It’s time to take that leap of faith. Are you going to be brave?

You cannot look at the previous year to determine this year. You cannot rely on what you don’t know or haven’t experienced to make a judgement. The democratisation of media means that it is more accessible than ever to become consistent within a channel. If the ‘podcast’ conversation has reared it’s head, but stops there because it hasn’t been attempted before and out of your comfort zone, then even more reason to recognise the value and message you can provide for others.

When you use the media to your advantage, you can build an audience. If you can become consistent with a message, you can sell from it.

Why believe that you have to continually pay for attention, when others can start paying you attention? Doesn’t it feel better when you are the landlord rather than a cash strapped student tied down to paying the rent every month?


Lets Round Up

Understanding someone else’s time is a key trigger to help you get straight to the point. This is all about considering things from someone else’s view and not taking their attention for granted.

You are not the target audience for what you produce and no one really cares, apart from your family, how well your week has been.

The whole point is to create content that connects with someone that encourages a different action from someone else. They need to feel assured that you are on their side.

When there is a focus on clarity, it makes everything so much easier for someone else to interpret.

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