Is watching the new reading? Adapting your content for the 19:30 ratio

This week I’m looking at the 19:30 ratio. No I’m not going back to the 1930’s, although after a week like we’ve had in social media with Facebook and the ethics of personal data sharing, it’s tempting to want to just stuff the Jeannie back in the bottle and revert to a simpler time.

The 19:30 ratio

According to the US Department of Labor, on average we spend 19 minutes per day reading. I checked Canadian, Australian and European statistics and they are basically the same. That includes email, scanning social media, and work related materials. The time we spend reading is down by 6 minutes since 2005, roughly the time when this whole internet thing took off.

Contrast that to how we now spend on average 30 minutes per day on our mobile devices watching videos. Shockingly that is up from just 4 minutes in 2012.

There’s a reason why Facebook has a video first strategy these days. Whether they are driving the trend or simply trying to benefit from it, we are undeniably becoming hard wired to watch and listen.

Is watching and listening the new reading?

I sure hope not, but as a marketer, I am adapting to the trend, and advising my clients to do the same. It’s part of the reason you have seen me doing Facebook LIVE videos to introduce weekly content I share. And it is totally the reason behind using LinkedIn native video to share content in addition to the original post. Links from that platform alone have doubled since implementing this strategy. (I wrote about my LinkedIn native video strategy last week. If you missed it, link to the content HERE). But I’m also playing around with a cool new tool from Animoto, allowing me mix up video content in a storyboard video format to give a quick “appetizer” to weekly content. You can see a sample of it included at the bottom of last weeks post.

Chris Brogan is long time mentor, and after talking to him about it at Social Media Marketing World in Sand Diego recently, I am now re-framing my content into smaller bits, and delivering it in a variety of formats. While I will always love writing (as does Chris!), mixing it up with video and audio and keeping things shorter for the time starved is a priority. I view content now as:

Nibbles (short, on the go, images, quotes, insights)

Appetizers (lean in a little longer content, a quick 1-minute read, a quick teaser video, one major insight)

Dining (lean back content, a short 5-minute read with meaningful insight, complimenting video or audio, actionable stuff with guidance)

We need to diversity and recognize that our community is made up of different types of learners, who are all distracted – and spending less time reading. There’s lots of great content out there, but we often don’t take the time to circle back to it. That’s my insight for you this week.

Mix it up, and keep some stuff short. Use video where you can to solidify your expertise.

Thanks for “dining” on this blog content! I appreciate that you take the time to lean back and learn with me each week! If you know anyone who should be having “breakfast” with us, and getting these tips delivered directly to their inbox weekly, let me know. Tag them in a comment below or share this post out on your social media platforms. Anyone reading this to the bitter end, who is not yet a subscriber, can sign up at THIS LINK!


Mary Charleson

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