Content That Is

In the last two weeks there have been several updates to social media platforms and Google that send one clear message to digital marketers & content developers. That message is quite simple. Your audience wants more content.

Google

The giant search engine that we either love or hate has made changes to their search results. You probably have not noticed but the titles of pages are now longer. Titles used to be 60 characters or less but you might find some titles are now approximately 70 characters. That could potentially mean 1 or 2 extra words in your web page title.

Google has also increased the meta description from 160 characters to 278 characters. This is a significant increase if you look at it from a real estate perspective. What I mean by that is if you utilize all 278 characters you will add 1-2 lines of text to your description. If the search results surrounding your placement don’t do the same your placement will stand out more. It might sound a little silly but psychologically that does leave an imprint on people viewing the results of a search page on Google.

In another move Google has announced just today that they will be allowing more characters to AdWords ad copy. Google usually makes changes because of what they see as trending from the users of Google. These would be clear indicators that people want more information and content.

Your Audience Wants More

Twitter

Twitter has been tossing around the idea of expanding beyond 140 character for some time now, much to the dismay of long time Twitter users..including myself. There was even talk of expanding to 10,000 characters which would seemingly change the dynamic of Twitter completely.

Instead they have announced they will no longer count media, mentions or hyperlinks towards the character count of a Tweet. They will still keep Tweets at 140 characters but not counting these items towards the character limit will allow users to be a little more creative with Tweets, and provide more content.

Facebook

Not to be outdone by Google or Twitter, Facebook is also doing their part to increase the amount of digestible content for its users. No, they are not increasing the character limit of a post but they have made some other interesting moves.

Facebook Live is really taking off. People are starting to produce content on a consistent basis using Facebook Live. Facebook recently announced they would also host a live morning show several times a week. The show will have news, weather, recipes and workouts.

Perhaps the biggest signal on Facebook that people want more content in different formats is that Facebook will soon allow post comments in the form of videos.

Facebook also continues to develop Messenger. There are plenty of hidden features within messenger that will allow business owners and marketers to create and share content, and communicate ideas efficiently and effectively.

Instagram

Instagram increased their videos from 15 seconds to 60 seconds not too long ago. It was first thought that people wanted to view quick videos. This created a brief war of sorts between Instagram and Vine. It became increasingly obvious that users of the platform wanted commercial length videos (30-60 seconds). They quietly obliged their aging audience (yes I said aging..it’s no longer just kids). Now brands are developing commercial type videos, walk-throughs, informational videos and short interviews. Instagram users wanted more content, and Instagram delivered.

LinkedIn

Well, I am writing this blog post for LinkedIn. Hopefully it finds its way to Pulse and I will have accomplished what I set out to accomplish. I will have delivered my content to a larger audience, an audience looking for more content.

While it didn’t occur within the last few weeks LinkedIn also recognized that their audience was looking for more content. Like all of the other platforms mentioned earlier they delivered. LinkedIn enhanced their blogging platform. They also “encouraged” higher quality content by purchasing Pulse.

Develop Quality Content

It’s not enough to create content for the sake of creating content. Your content should also have some quality to it. We can get spammed anywhere. Make sure you’re delivering on what you envision your ideal audience wants to read, watch or listen to.

If you’re stuck trying to figure out what it is your audience wants to read, watch or listen to here are a few ways to get unstuck:

  • Use questions that have been asked of you
  • Set up Google Alerts on relevant topics to find trending news
  • Create Polls
  • Use past content to come up with new content
  • Look at related blogs (don’t copy, just use to motivate)
  • Hop on a live streaming platform and start talking, it will come to you once you get an audience.
  • Develop content in multiple formats (images, infographics, blog, video, podcast)

Final Thought

If these platforms are going out of their way to allow for more content in one way or another then it is a safe bet that their users have indicated they want more content. Are you delivering?