Creating A Reaction By Breaking Things Down
When you start breaking things down, the task in front of you isn’t as daunting as previously anticipated.
This article highlights a framework for you to work to that’s ensures longevity of content that is continually relevant.
You Can’t Treat Everything The Same
Your audience is continually evolving, so how will you know what content they will be receptive to in six months time? Why regurgitate the same message over and over again, just dress it up differently?
I am a believer that you can’t treat everything with a blanket approach. For instance, a financial adviser repeatedly talking about personal finance, a gym instructor constantly spouting about better fitness or the SEO agency stating that content is king.
You cannot treat everything as one.
Ramming the whole industry mantra/rulebook down someone else’s throat just doesn’t work today.
Breaking Things Down
You’ve got to break things down.
That’s exactly the approach adopted by Japanese competitive eater, Takeru Kobayashi.
The Guinness World Record holder is famous for throwing the world of professional eating upside down with the way he eats hot dogs.
In 2001, he consumed 50 hotdogs in 12 minutes; the previous record was 25 hotdogs. This record had previously stood for 90 years.
Rather than throwing each mouthful down with an uncomfortable swallow, he embraced the Solomon Method. This was by breaking up the hotdogs and dipping the buns in water to become a lubricant (a moist bun is far easier to eat than dry bread).
The reason many people don’t pick up the momentum to create is the belief that they haven’t prioritised, state that they don’t have the time and do not understand the audience that they are creating for. You are not your target audience, so best put the ’11 reasons you have to do video is 2017’ to one side if you are the video production company.
You can’t just step into the arena to create content and just treat it as a blog, a video or a podcast. You’ve got to break things down.
More Evidence Of Being Better By Breaking Things Down
I’m not going to look at creating a stoic content strategy, determining personas or highlighting customer journeys here, but show how I break everything that I create down.
Have a look at the Marketing Homebrew 2016 podcast schedule.
Ian Rhodes and myself sat in a pub in December 2015 and identified a model to base a years worth of shows. This is where we created the 2016 Growth Programme.
As you can see every four weeks is broken down into categories and broken down further into weekly topic.
Breaking down is something that is approached by others.
This is something that Margaret Magnarelli has introduced within global recruitment powerhouse, Monster.
I recently interviewed Margaret in a recent Talking Content Marketing interview.
The content at Monster is broken down into the ‘How’, ‘Now’ and ‘Wow’ approach by creating a structure that provides guidance to the type of content that resonates with an audience.
Introducing The REACTOR Framework For Content Creation
Every article/blog that I create follows a similar pattern where there is a defined topic structure. This is the type of article that creates a reaction, a share and a connection.
This is what I call the seven step, tick the box REACTOR framework.
Every article follows one of these themes:
The dictionary definition of reactor is a ‘large container, for processes in which the substances involved undergo a reaction.’ Much like what we are looking to achieve with our businesses by creating relevant content on a continuous basis with a clear point of view to achieve an objective for someone else to react, from subscriber to becoming a customer.
Here’s what I mean.
RELATES – this is about having empathy with your target audience. This is not about creating a platform where you dictate in the hope that someone else will listen. This is about creating something that brings people together and you closer to your audience. Not a case of creating a barrier where all that is achieved is a sense of aloofness.
- Example: create value beyond what you invoice. My daughter had a favourite book that I read to her regularly, I wanted people to relate to me as a dad, not just someone who is highlighting brand examples.
EMOTION – you want others to make a connection and have a sense of feeling with what you create. The experiences that we have are what defines us and differentiates from everyone else. We can’t behave like robots telling everyone else how to behave, without experiencing our weaknesses first.
- Example: Why Business Failure Is Powerful. I highlighted my own take on nearly going out of business back in 2011 and the lessons it taught. You can’t stand by a ‘fail fast’ message if you haven’t looked desperate times head on with a sense of fear and anxiety.
ASPIRES – Whatever you create, you have to stand for something. For instance, everything that you see on this blog is intended to help others recognise that they can build a far stronger audience than they have ever done before without relentlessly borrowing audience from somewhere else via content driven/owned media approach. There is no point in creating something if it isn’t reaching to become better at what you aspire to be (and a ‘proud to have been selected as a finalist’ article does not count).
- Example: Understanding what your audience wants affects what gets shared. A 2016 study from the Journal of Consumer Research highlighted that when people find content (not sent to them by someone else), they associate the content with themselves.
CHANGE – A goal has to inspire behavioural change in someone else. Lets look at it another way, even change within yourself and acknowledgement that what you create is also part of a continuous learning curve. From the blogs that I write to the podcasts that I am part of, all involve an element of work beforehand. Research is learning, writing is teaching. If you can impart some knowledge that alters someone else’s approach, that is a huge driver for being seen as providing value.
- Example: The one word you stand for. This was intended to help others find the one word they believe in that then opens a whole field to explore. As a tip you can’t use adjectives (describing words). Describing the benefit of a product ie. we’re unique, challenging, affordable, means you are slipping back into old habits of describing the value of a product.
TOPICAL – This is bringing what’s happening in the big wide world into context with what you do. 2016 has been a pretty eventful year and from people wearing Chewbacca masks, PokemonGo and the referendum, this has provided an abundance of topics that have a wider alignment that’s brings us all together.
- Example: Failing to know you audience and the marginalised UK. This article highlighted that everything we create has to have the intention to make someone else’s life easier, better, more rewarding. The June referendum represents why the remain side completely forgot to address their target audience.
OPINION – An opinion means nothing unless it is backed up by experience or fact. The problem with an opinion is that everyone has one. Whilst it is sometimes a bit too easy in saying ‘I believe,’ if there is something to grab hold of, then an opinion is what helps shape your voice.
- Example: Why do people jump on any old s***. No one can build a foundation when they constantly chase. The reason people do this is because they are constantly distracted, a case of not focusing on the things we should be focusing on.
RESPONSIVE – Learning is a continuous process. Being responsive is about tuning into your audience and what they want and then having the ability to shape. If you’re audience are distant from ’15 ways to…’ then don’t go there. Your opportunity is to create yourself as a destination and for others and recognised as having the ability to listen and serve.
- Example: Influencer marketing and the one word that kicks it all off. A number of people have asked me how people agreed to be part of the Talking Content Marketing project, in order to look at a similar interview format themselves. What I did was go to people I have interviewed and asked them why they agreed. The short answer is, I stepped up and asked them.
That’s the REACTOR approach by providing a framework to create content. By breaking things down, you are in a better position to have longevity of content and not come to a dead end in three months.
Lets Round Up
The REACTOR framework is broken down to what I have learnt, what connects and what I want to say.
It will never work to stick to a blanket, one size fits all, tell everyone, everything about your industry approach.
It is time to recognise that the people we create content for are not a homogenous mass. They are individuals who are coming out of an age of mass media and mass production. Today we all have an abundance of choice.
If you want to be someone, you can’t create something for everyone. When you break things down, you recognise that everyone’s needs are different, it’s a case of discovering the topic areas that resonate the most. If you can tap into a space and lean into it, you start to find the time, the energy and the resources. Not everyone one has heard your version of the marketplace you are in.