Content that people engage with is different from content that is read or watched.

Recently, analytics company Chartbeat asked an interesting question: Do we read what we share?

Apparently, not necessarily. It seems, according to two studies they analyzed, that content that people engage with the most is different from the type of content that people actually take the time to read.

Content that draws audience attention and retention is not necessarily what goes viral. This is important as these results are directly linked to the success, or not, of your content production. It all boils down to your initial strategic objective.

If your goal is to grow and acquire a new audience, go for types of content that people engage with. If your goal is to work on retention with an existing audience, go with content that people spend time with.

Of course this sounds very simple, and there aren’t any magic recipes. This is something you have to take into account not only when planning, but also when measuring.

The Chartbeat article focuses on reading-time and article-length, but this thinking can also be applied to video content.

I’ll let you read the article, but also feel free to click-through on the links within, they lead to the two referenced research articles.