COVID-19 and the Current State of Content
There’s an interesting idea circulating that content creators are right now getting back to basics. Stripped of the glitzy studios, the majestic mountain backdrops or the artsy mural walls, the inner artist is the outer artist is the Artist. True creatives are rising from the fiery rubble of a global pandemic to simply create. These are the meme-makers and the risk-takers, the TikTokers and the House Party heroes, and they’re changing the current state of our content today and probably forever.
How? Let’s break it down …
Content is longer.
The Wall Street Journal published a report that readership across the major media outlets is up month-over-month by 30 percent. People are fixated not only by news stories but also by stories in general, which is elongating those Instagram captions and shifting focus to longer-form narratives. (Struggling with this? I know a little agency that can help.)
Content is better.
Sure there was always an over-abundance of stuff flooding the inter-webs but now, content creators are working overtime to cut through the clutter of banana bread recipes and fitness challenges to get their messages seen. This means the quality of what you produce is even more important than the quality of prolific production. (There’s another throw-enough-spaghetti-against-the-wall-and-something-will-stick argument to be made here and maybe it’s true; keep posting enough times and something is bound to resonate. Still, the by-product of hounding your target demographic with empty communications is a general tune-out of all you have to say, including the good.)
Content is living offline.
Think about why Apple instituted screen time notifications every Sunday: It’s incongruous with long-term profitability to have everyone on their phones at every second of every day. In time, we revolt. With this sudden increase in screen time, we’re already starting to see the steady and back-to-basics emphasis on non-digital activities like reading books and completing puzzles. The more content you can create that lives off the screen, (downloadable guides, printable PDF coloring books and the like), the better off you’ll be when the backlash begins.
OK, that’s my quick take on the state of content. Any other trends you’re observing with the written word? Let’s talk about it in the comments because just like all of you, I’m on an endless quest to digitally connect.