Buffet Time, by Matt Hintsa, some rights reserved, http://www.flickr.com/photos/matt_hintsa/3410861764/

Content Is a Banquet

Is Your Audience Being Served

You blog, have a unique voice, tell a fascinating story, are your personal brand, engage on social media—but do you know the appetite of your audience? Content is a banquet for digital consumers. Not some fancy old-school feast. We’re talking a fully stocked all-you-can-eat buffet or maybe just an endless highway of burgers and fries. Web content is consumed on impulse, from desire, with abandon, and in real time.

How do we get content on the cybermenu for today’s special?

The standard advice for bloggers goes like this: Write first, then add search engine optimization (SEO) with keywords, metadata, and other content marketing tactics to spice it up. Some flip the recipe and recommend grabbing SEO ingredients from keyword generators, then add content to fluff it up.

If it were only that simple.

Anyone with a blog or website realizes that you can build it and load up content, but it may take time to develop an audience. So you keep adding more and more fresh content, and wait to go viral. And wait some more. Then you trade links. Then you try search advertising. Then start an email list. Then you launch a Facebook page. Then you start tweeting. And the content marketing options seem endless.

Street Chefs
Photo by Village Square, some rights reserved

Can we know what content consumers really want?

If content is a banquet, it’s anybody’s choice. The content channels on the web, like so many food trucks, cater to all tastes and race to park all over town. Just like street chefs who both make and milk the taste trends of the day, content for the web is cooked up every which way by digital chefs who feed a steady stream of information and satisfy the cravings of the mind of content consumers everywhere. At this feast, they want it all.

Take a bite or share a bite?

“All our words are but crumbs that fall from the feast of the mind.”
—Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam, 1926

You don’t have to be a foodie to appreciate the role of food in our lives. It’s natural for people to share good food together, exchange recipes, and recommend restaurants. Word of mouth matters, and people consume and share online content in a similar manner. Online content is what people hunger for with 53% of Internet time spent directly attributable to content consumption, according to AOL Research and Nielsen. And social consumers are a link in the distribution chain with 23% of all social media messages containing links to content.

Todays Special: Hot Dish
Todays Special: Hot Dish

As the fast food lanes of Internet content go further and faster every day, it’s tricky to stand out from all of the taste-makers and  thought leaders. It involves learning the appetites of your audience, offering delicacies of your own creation, and leveraging the influence of social consumption. It means making the right connections between you, your content and your audience; and engaging with the connections with your audience. Vegan, carnivore, locavore, omnivore, it’s a never-ending feast when content is a banquet.

David Hedrick Skarjune gave a full presentation on the topic Content is a Banquet at the Minnesota Blogger Conference on September 22, 2012.

Buffet Time, by Matt Hintsa, some rights reserved

download Content Is a Banquet slide deck

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