Current Online Consumption Behaviors

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April 29th, 2013

Content marketing is a big component in search engine optimization and it’s at the heart of grassroots online marketing. Understanding current online consumption behaviors will help you create a content marketing campaign that is well received by your audience.

Dinner at a Friend’s House

In the past people came to a website in much the same way that a guest experiences dinner at a friend’s house. Guests can’t be too picky – they sit down and eat almost what ever is placed before them following the way they are served. Those were the days of flash intros. You typed in the URL of an entity you knew and were forced to experience the transitions of a graphical animation. Thankfully the “skip intro” button was quickly introduced. You then clicked around on the site hoping to find relevant information. There weren’t a lot of clues as to a pages contents except for the Menu label.

Thankfully those websites are being replaced by content rich websites. Widgets encourage you to visit pages by giving you a preview of the text and media on pages.

The Strolling Brunch

You enter the reception hall to see three large tables spaced evenly throughout the room. One promises various finger foods and hors d’oeuvres. Another features desserts such as cakes, cookies and a fruit fondu. The last offers a variety of beverages. As you approach the hors d’oeuvres table a polite server hands you a plate and suggests that you try a particularly good item.

The average website visitor likes to experience your website the way a party goer experiences the strolling brunch. They want to see very clearly the content options available so that they can narrow their search. From there they may appreciate suggestions on what the popular items are. They want the options to be very clearly described so they know what they are getting into, after all they are allergic to boring content that is not relevant to them. They want the description to reflect the actual content. They want the content to address very narrow informational needs. They want articles broken up by images and graphics.
After reading an article or watching a video they don’t mind being offered links to more in depth information on that subject.

The Buffet or Sample Stand

Imagine an eclectic buffet of samples in the middle of a mall food court. Some people come to experience different tastes in lieu of selecting a restaurant. Other people, having no self discipline, gorge themselves by ingesting plate after plate. This is Facebook. To attract regular visitors to your website you’ll need to provide samples of your content on Facebook. Packaging the content in engaging posts will help your message stand out in the news stream.

The Chocolate Shop

Pinterest is the chocolate shop of the Internet. The most attractive photos of the best inspirations are pinned there. People go there when they don’t want to chew on a heavy article.

Aligning Your Online Strategy with Modern Online Consumption Behaviors

Research shows that site visitors will stay longer on a site/page if they can consume content components in bite size portions. Each page should feature various multi-media components. Large blocks of text should be broken up by photos, graphics, and info graphics. Longer videos should be divided into shorter videos of between 30 seconds and two minutes. For search engine optimization, target visit duration on popular pages is 7 minutes.