Reshape Your Content So It Can Go Further
Finding a way of shaping your ideas so that your content goes further, lasts longer and finds a wider audience is something you should be thinking of right from the start of your content creation journey.
Ensuring your content develops momentum means not only creating for your core audience but also thinking about extending your media delivery to encourage others to come into your fold.
Same idea. New format. Different experience. More distribution channels.
This piece started as a conversation with a client. They were wary of resurrecting an article they had produced a couple of years ago as they felt they might be judged, with their audience thinking “I’ve already seen this before, what’s new?” But the reality is, publishing something once, doesn’t mean that everyone who might benefit gets to see it.
What I want to get across is that with all the time and effort you put in to producing a piece of content, you shouldn’t feel you have to constrain yourself to only sharing it the once. A good idea deserves to be seen in a variety of different ways over time and it’s up to you to get creative, making sure your work can have a life beyond its original format and publication.
So don’t just press publish and move on to the next idea – put the brakes on and get smart with what you’ve already produced. Distribute for wider reach and challenge yourself to be seen in different formats.
From Home To Further Away
Let me explain. Your audience will have become attached to you via the medium they most associate with you. For instance, You Are The Media’s ongoing work is via a weekly email and blog. For those who are a part of the YATM community, our relationship probably started via the email with its central weekly topic. It’s a touchpoint that makes people feel connected.
Then again, not everyone in the YATM community reads the email every week and that’s fine. As long as receiving it reminds them they’re a part of things, leads them to other ways of accessing our content or they’d miss it if it wasn’t there for them.
My overall content strategy is one where I aim for subscribers to become settled in familiar surroundings. This could be reading a blog and email, and then reshape what stems from that into other types of content which can then be distributed into other spaces.
Introducing new ways of conveying your message can mean a new audience gets an opportunity to see it. For instance, my weekly writing is also made into a weekly podcast with a call to action at the end of it asking people to subscribe.
Think about how you can make more of the message you want to get across, adapting it to different formats so it can become a different experience for someone else. You begin in one place and then take that experience into multiple formats to extend your reach.
So, from an original topic (an article in my case)
Immediate audience : email, audio embedded in the email, video summing up the main article
Extended audience : audio in iTunes/Spotify etc, video event, microStory on LinkedIn, topic means you become a guest on someone else’s podcast, original work is shared on someone else’s platform such as Converge Today
What About You?
Being creative means believing that you always have choices. You can be choose to be happy with sticking to one format or you can make, adapt, extend and change things up to grow your audience.
What works best for me is starting off with the writing. This may not work for you so identify what does and lean into that. For instance, you may be better at articulating an idea in audio format.
When you begin, you have one message delivered in one channel. Over time this becomes a means of driving traffic and growing your audience. For instance, what starts as a blog on your own website can become an article adapted for LinkedIn and also Medium. The video that sits on Vimeo or YouTube can be edited and loaded up to your LinkedIn or Facebook Group.
When you take some of your best work from over the years and give it the opportunity to be seen, read, or heard again you’re making the most of the time you spent on your original content creation.
Give People The Format They Prefer
People probably won’t specifically be seeking out your voice and message but if they discover you in a format they’re comfortable with and you have a message that resonates, they may well stick around and subscribe.
For instance, if attending your webinar means asking people to download a new app that they’ll never use again, getting people to come on board and stick with you suddenly becomes a whole lot more difficult. We all seek the path of least resistance, so don’t make things unnecessarily complicated!
When you shape your message into a new format so it can travel further, what also should start happening is that the tone becomes slightly different based on where the message will be residing. Let me explain:
💥The blog article (which you are reading right now) is my scrapbook which goes deeper into topics that relate to building an audience, authority, trust and being seen as a leading voice in your industry.
💥 LinkedIn is a place where the idea for that is tested out. It’s where I discover if people can get on board with something, what resonates and what misses the point. This article started as an idea that was tested out here.
💥 The You Are The Media Podcast is a way to present the same topic in an upbeat way so that people who perhaps aren’t familiar with YATM can get more of a feel of what it’s all about.
💥 The You Are The Media ‘highlights from the hut’ video is a way of me looking at the camera and getting the main point across in a one-minute segment. It’s done in the moment, one take, no edits – and demonstrates that I only share what I believe in.
A future YATM Online guest Mitch Joel said, “On a macro level businesses ask themselves ‘how do we sell to people in the digital channels’ (from blogs to the social web). The thing to realise is that every channel has its own type of culture with an unwritten rule of engagement and connection. Most brands go into channels to sell from them instead of learning to become part of the culture.”
A message that resonates is one that is easily consumed. It is not always what you say or how you say it, but where you say it.
You build momentum from your creative efforts when you build outwards from the home base you created – extending and repackaging from a clear original idea that you’ve already put time and effort into.
As well as finding and becoming comfortable in new channels and platforms, it’s important you develop your content along the way too – updating, refining and repositioning it for its most recent iteration.
Bear in mind, as you create, that it’s around both the platform and the person, not just cutting and pasting the same work to different channels – a 200 word LinkedIn post copied and pasted into Twitter is going to cut off mid-sentence.
As well as bringing its own rewards and a feel-good factor, it makes great business sense to extend the shelf life and reach of what you produce. Start off small with repeatable formats so you can track what happens. In this way, you’ll be helping new audiences become familiar with you, beyond the initial medium you created for.