Hey, friends! Today we are going to be attacking — and, yes, I use that word very carefully — short attention span marketing.
Alright, so most of my articles revolve around tactical ways to expand your authentic automated marketing. I have dished on how to be authentic and also automate to save yourself time, what content buckets are and how to create them. I’ve dished on visibility, what it is and why you need it to make money. I talk all about the various content mistakes I regularly see service businesses making.
And I’ve invited guests to talk about everything from how to add an SEO practice to your content, how to build real authority driven PR for your biz, which statistics to pay attention to in your marketing, and so much more. If you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know this, if you’re new to the show, feel free to go back and listen to any of those episodes. They’re good. I stand behind all of them. I have even talked about the new swing back to organic content.
And you know what, you guys? I am “le tired.” Now, that is a reference to a very, very old school internet video about the end of the world. And for the record, at this part of the recording, I actually paused it and had to go look it up. It was from 2003. If you remember it, you’re going to remember, “hokay.” If you know it, you are my people.
Now, I recently a few weeks ago put out a piece of content about how I strongly dislike video. I will stand by that too. But this old school video in which the quotes are like “WTF, mates,” and “fire ze missiles,” they are in a category all of their own. And if you go and Google it — please do, by the way — you will probably laugh your little butt off.
But even viral videos have haters. Now Jason Windsor, who was the actual creator of that video, he even said YouTube comments are a good place to humble you a little bit. And that right now brings me to the whole point of this piece of content.
Social Media Examiner recently put out their predictions for 2022 social media trends, and right there at the very first spot, it’s that Reels will contribute to overall Instagram success.
I am going to go ahead and say it: I don’t like reels. Why? I’m not good at quippy sound bites. I also already said I don’t really like video very much. So you put those two together and it’s like, “Uhhhhh, why?”
Well, here’s the deal. Most of what I teach, most of what I do for clients, cannot be distilled in a short sentence. I am not gonna say I’m the most cerebral marketer out there. Many, many outshine me. But I do spend a large amount of time thinking about the supporting arguments to anything I put out there. And I like to share those reasonings. So when I tried to turn a podcast episode or a blog post into a tweet thread, or an Instagram carousel, I end up with, like, at least 10 slides, not three. And Reels really do best with fewer clips than fingers on your hand.
So here’s a quote from that Social Media Examiner article. It says, “It’s important to note that your audience’s attention span has gotten shorter and shorter over the years. The need for quick and new content has become more and more prevalent. So your Instagram marketing strategy needs to align with that by leveraging Instagram Reels and short entertaining videos.”
Now that quote is correct. Next week’s podcast guest Lisa Simone Richards shares that instead of the traditional seven points of marketing touches needed, we are now at 26. Yes, your audience needs to see or hear about your offer at 26 points before they’re really going to take it seriously. Lisa and I actually even share in the episode that we each followed our current coaches for a significant amount of time before we ponied up and hired them. That is the world today.
Now, if you’d like a more widely spread quote then “but I am le tired.” I’ll give you some old school Russell Crowe from the Gladiator: “Are you not entertained?” Are you not entertained is what he screams out in that movie (which, by the way, has one of the best soundtracks ever — I still listen to it). But that is the whole point. I am le tired. Are you not entertained?
This is the crux right here: entertainment can help you learn and in fact, I think the best learning is entertaining. But only if you still learn something. You’ve got to learn otherwise it’s just entertainment. The whole Netflix and chill thing? It doesn’t necessarily grow your business, right?
Reducing an entire message down to three soundbite clips can certainly be entertaining, but is it going to lead your audience to the ultimate goal? Maybe. And maybe not.
I know for myself reducing my message takes all the personality out. And since my personality comes largely from the words I use, not my abhorrent dancing and pointing skills, I don’t think I’m going to sell or help well on content that relies solely on the entertainment factor. I am all for providing value, but I am not for providing entertainment at the expense of value.
Okay, lest you think this whole episode is sour grapes about how I don’t like Reels, know this: I’ll continue to create the occasional Reel. I am not saying they’re all bad, but I will not alter my entire marketing strategy to showcase a watered down version of myself. That is not how I’m going to build my KLT factor up. Watering down your message to fit into someone else’s box is never going to get you ahead. Playing puppet to a tech giant’s dangling strings might give you a tiny algorithm lift. But it won’t last. There’ll be on to the next thing soon enough, and they’ll expect you to be as well.
Infuse your marketing with your personality however you best can. Your people will follow. And as for the rest, feel free to “fire ze missiles” at whatever new dangling carrot they’re trying to offer you. The dawn of the short attention span marketing does not have to be the end of marketing as you know it. It simply means you need to dive more into your personality, more into your strengths, and more into your unique message. And of course, then track. Track your results, track your content, refine it, and repurpose what is working well. That is what’s going to work well in 2022 and 23 and 24 and beyond.
Is it going to make for a really good clip on Social Media Examiner? Probably not. But we’ve already said I’m not great at sound bites. I am, however, really good at thinking a lot about how to support the marketing message I am putting out there. And that is why I am saying use what you’ve got as strengths. Lean into it and you will be successful. You will make it happen.