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5 Tips to Create Appetizing Content From Ordinary Ingredients for Buyers Short on Attention - contenttriggers blog

5 Tips To Create Appetizing Content From Ordinary Ingredients For Buyers Short On Attention

Appetizing content for Buyers with short attention spans
The average focused attention span in 2000 was 12 seconds. In 2012, short-term attention spans deflated even more, to just 8 seconds.
( ) This is the aftermath of the addictive nature of Web browsing and getting what you want at the touch of a finger.

That means you may only get 8 seconds (or less) to grab and keep your buyer’s attention with your reports, eBooks, white papers, Slideshare presentations and whatever else you create. In terms of video, you may get a little more time with 10.39% clicking away after ten seconds and 53.56% after one minute. ( Study by Tubemogul ) Even so, you’re talking about very little time.

What can you do to create appetizing content that captures attention?

Let’s jog your imagination and look outside your industry for a moment.

For instance, take a look at Food Network. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s a television channel that airs shows about food and cooking. Food Network relies on all their content channels—TV, Website, social media, video, magazines, books, events and even merchandising—to engage their audience and keep their attention.

But it’s more than just a cooking show. Food Network is really helping fans use their passion for food, along with their imaginations, to create a lifestyle they may never have discovered without it. Because of this, they have raving fans and followers who keep coming back.

Think of crafting content for your company like a specialty chef, using ordinary ingredients, to teach food enthusiasts how to mix up a tasty meal. Like on Food Network. And keep their attention for longer than 8 seconds.

Here are 5 tips to learn from Food Network:

  1. Don’t try to please everyone.  

    Each chef caters to a unique audience.

    Giada De Laurentiis (one of my favorites) and her Everyday Italian cooking show specializes in Italian delights you can easily whip up.

    Fun-loving Guy Fieri in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives satisfies baby boomers that crave “greasy spoon” spots.

    Ellie Krieger and The Healthy Appetite focuses on health conscious cooks.

    Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, mixes up down-home creations for down-home cooks. And to think, she started out as an everyday blogger. (That’s a subject for another post.)

    In other words, every buyer is not going to be interested in what you have to offer. Create content that is targeted to a specific type of buyer, her challenges, her desires, how she likes to consume information, and what does she need to know to make  the big decision to buy. Who are your ideal customers for your different products and services?
  2. Plan in advance. Or not?

    Planning for a daytime cooking show starts months in advance. According to, behind the scenes there’s a team of at least 15 to 20 people prepping each show. They take extra care in getting everything just right for their audience. From picking out camera shots so viewers can see the ingredients … down to the “G.B.” (garbage bowl) to hide scraps.

    So when the show begins the chef can concentrate on her audience and the recipe, telling the best parts of her story within 30 minutes.

    The tip here is to craft a plan for creating content consistently.

    First, determine what business needs you’re trying to fulfill. Then, pinpoint who you want to connect with by fleshing out your buyer personas. Next, gain true insights on what your target buyers feel is important to them and determine how you should communicate with them. Then plan where you’ll be promoting the content and repackage what you need. 

    Plan in advance to craft multiple pieces of content that work together and share a similar cause. You can get a lot more done in less time, reach more people in more places, and tell the best parts of your story.

    On the other hand, watch out for Breaking News. Be prepared to slip in content that takes advantage of “what’s going on RIGHT NOW!”

    Check out Food Network’s “How to Put Together a Hobbit Menu” and eat like a Hobbit. They came out with this post right before the premiere of the movie, The Hobbit. A few days before the premiere they encouraged Hobbit fans to dig into their recipes and have a marathon party. Check out the Hobbit Menu. Now decide who will be creating it. Determine who at your company can help craft and track all the pieces of content. Besides the writing and possible interviews, do you need visual content such as pictures, charts, graphs, infographics, video? Keep in mind, outside content creators can save you time and internal resources, as other priorities pop up, and get the job done.Last, put all these components into a content calendar. This way everyone can track the stages, know what they need to do, and your content will be a great success. Just like the daytime cooking shows…

    Do you have a plan for creating your content?
    Do you keep abreast of “Breaking News,” so you can jump in the middle of what people are interested in at the moment, and put your spin on things?
  3. Have a bigger cause. 

    Food Network is more than just a mix of cooking shows, ratings, and selling cookware, cookbooks and cooking tools. It’s a movement. It connects people who are passionate about food and cooking. Food Network educates, entertains, and gets their viewers to do something.  They draw loyal fans and customers whether it’s online, on-air, or at in-person events. (Yes, I admit, I’m one of them.)

    What is your company’s passion? Can you create a movement that brings all forms of marketing—online and offline, including face-to-face meetings and events— together with people passionate about a common cause?
  4. It’s about the customer experience. 

    Each chef has to create the experience their audience will get.

    For instance, Ree Drummond pulls foodies into her environment as her family is busy cuttin’, rakin’ and haulin’ in hay bales. She carefully uses voice inflections, hand gestures, eye contact and shows personality. She describes the flavors and the smells, the ease of finding the ingredients and even the act of cooking to make it interesting, but easy. She tells her story in a way that makes her audience feel they’re a part of it.

    These chefs draw their viewers in with the power of visuals, their stories and interactions. If they don’t connect and engage, the remote is clicked and their viewers are gone to another station.

    Do you know your audience well enough to tell meaningful stories, answer their questions, and give them information they care about so they don’t have to go searching for it? Do you give them a variety of content they can use in different ways and in different places? What experience are you creating for your prospects and customers?

    Speaking of Interactions…

  5. Interact With Your Audience and Make Your Content About Them. 

    Food Network makes sure to interact with their audience wherever they are. For example they were able to build a very engaged audience that turned into a big community on Pinterest.  They currently have 89 Pinterest boards with 9,851 pins ranging from Let’s Entertain to Let’s Learn. With 558,904 followers they have lots of opportunities to interact, and they take advantage of it.

    Food Network created a video series called “It’s Pinteresting!!” They take a popular pin from one of their followers and recreate it in the Food Network Kitchens.

    They even have a board called Let’s Cook: 5-star Recipes. These are recipes with 5-star ratings from 500+ reviews and over 319,979 followers. These pins bring people back to their site.

    Hmmm, talk about an engaged audience.

    But wait there’s more.

    I can’t forget about the Feel-Good Food Pinterest Sweepstakes on their blog. To enter simply pin one of their healthy recipes and you can win a Home Juicer Kit  from their Food Network Store. (Among several other sweepstakes and contests.) 

    Have you checked out Pinterest yet? Can Pinterest work for you? Here are 25 Tech Companies Using Pinterest. See what will work for your brand to visually connect with your audience. Keep experimenting and see what catches on while using Pinterest. 

    Pinterest, videos, slideshows, and sweepstakes are just a few ways to engage and interact with your prospects and customers. But remember it’s not about the format itself. They used the pins and interactions from their audience to create the content. The content was all about their fans. 

    Think of how you might implement any one of these in a unique way.

    How are you interacting with your prospects and customers?

Some Final Thoughts

Information is exchanged at rapid speeds. As a result, attention spans keep dwindling down. But one thing remains constant.

Whether your a B2B or a B2C company, you’re marketing to people.

To survive, a new mind-set must be adapted … to create content “that matters” in the eyes of your buyer and grab her attention for longer than just a few seconds.

Try to incorporate the 5 tips gleaned from Food Network:

  1. Don’t try to please everyone , just those who are a good fit for your products and services.
  2. Plan in advance the content you need to create and repackage for a stream of relevant information. Or not? Don’t forget to jump in for the “on the spot” breaking news too. This content is not planned. It’s takes advantage of the hot topic people may already searching on.
  3. Share a bigger cause and create a community of passionate fans.
  4. Create an experience your buyers won’t forget.
  5. Get your audience to interact with you and create content about them .

Photo: Courtesy of iStockphoto | SKashkin  Video: Courtesy of Food Network Kitchens in YouTube.

What about you?
Do you have raving fans and followers?
Are you using any of these tips in your business to attract customers?
Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.


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