Stop Falling For Constant Content, Look At Content Distribution
Lets stop getting so driven with the insatiable desire for the creation of fresh content that when it’s left the building, we’re onto the next piece.
What I’m alluding to here is not just about blog articles and ‘give us your email address for this pdf’, but all content that is created, distributed and ultimately forgotten about.
A conversation I had this month was that a company was starting to run out of ideas for what they want to say. The editorial calendar was starting to run a bit low on the ground, but this is a similar situation for many companies where they begin to run out of things to say to their audience. The end result is like a once flowing river, rich with habitats and wildlife that has now become a dry basin. To read more on the ‘flow and grow’ geography textbook approach to marketing and social media click here.
The Huff And Puff
Companies (and individuals) begin with the best intentions to create information and then they start to loose momentum. I say this is all down to the campaign mindset that marketers and owners have had since they started business. It has been drummed into us all that everything has a start and end date because that is how our education within the commercial hemisphere has always been.
The ebooks, blogs, newsletters, printed materials and guides are created with energy, love and a heavy heart of commitment, but when distributed, it’s a case of onto the next project. We’ll never get the hours back for what we’ve created, lets make the most of it. Lets accept that content that takes time to create deserves time to be consumed.
The World Cup Bandwagon
As businesses it is our duty to now look at the content we have created and not just look forward and clamber around for the next seasonally related article or jump on a World Cup bandwagon that draws on what we can learn as businesses and people from the ‘take your pick’ of: Neymar; Holland beating Spain; Mario Balotelli, goal line technology etc, etc. We can’t just have a myopic view on what we create and the part of history it represents, we need to reposition what we have created.
Ann Handley and C.C.Chapman discussed with the excellent Content Rules that businesses should ‘reimagine their content, but not recycle it.’ Whilst a straight regurgitation of information from content that was created a year or so ago is downright lazy, what is important is looking at reinvesting in what has been created to connect with an audience.
The intention for developing our audiences is to grow and nurture them. There will be people who subscribe to your website and your blog who were probably unfamiliar with you this time last year. As we develop our voices and what we stand for, there is always an opportunity to take the introduction of an idea you ran with historically and create something new from it.
Maintain The Shelf Life
As we evolve as businesses, so does our audience. The communication materials that we produced, still has a place by recreating our thoughts and reengaging with people we haven’t had the opportunity to build a conversation with. Single pieces of content won’t last forever and whilst the Oreo Super Bowl ‘you can still dunk in the dark’ tweet is now in social media folklore, that single piece has its moment in time (alongside the ‘Oscar selfie’). The opportunity for businesses is to keep the content that has a shelf life and progress thinking that has longevity and credibility.
Coming back to the campaign mindset and the need for businesses to evolve their thinking to a world that now encourages social empowerment via the web and the democratisation of traditional media routes (such as press advertising, DM) by allowing businesses to create, curate and distribute content on their terms in places that they own (their web, their blog) and distribute via spaces that encourage reach (LinkedIn, Twitter etc), encourages the remarketing of what we do as businesses.
Better At Content Distribution
As businesses we shouldn’t become too focused and blinkered by looking to create that one lightning bolt of content that bring crowds to your door begging to become customers, but getting better at the distribution of our messages to create a dialogue. For instance, the blog article that you created and gained a number of retweets on Twitter can now be adjusted to have a conversation on the LinkedIn blogging platform and to engage with a different audience and gain reach to others social channels didn’t deliver. The sound bites that people commented on from your article can now be repackaged as a tweet (as other people have brought this to the fore) and if the article strikes a chord with an audience, we now have the opportunity to remould within pdf guides, Slideshare presentations, newsletters, case studies and topics to talk about and engage with new audiences. Plus, for each new piece of information that is created, search engines will index each item that is available online and widen the opportunity to be searched and found by others.
The Birthday Cake Analogy
Think of the content you create as your birthday cake. It’s taken time to prepare or from a shelf in the supermarket that has a bit more gravitas than the box of Krispy Kremes. The cake itself is the overall message (the blog, the video, the presentation) and once the candles have been blown out, each slice is for a different audience. Some is consumed as soon as the cake is brought out for everyone (notably those within your immediate circle of friends and family), some may make an appearance to another set outside of your immediate circle (work colleagues) and towards the end of the cake are the slices ready for the end of the day when someone pops round for a chat and a catch-up. The original piece has always been there, just broken down and consumed by different people. What I’m trying to highlight is that there has been consideration for different audiences and how they receive is just as important as the original message.
To Sum Up
The overall message is that the curation of content is important but we need to understand that to ensure longevity (and more importantly information others want to read, watch and listen to) we need to tailor our distribution and reposition what we create. If companies want to steer away from the ‘we haven’t go anything to say’ scenario, we need to remarket our approach and move away from the moment in time production and launch into the next project. Content that involves thinking and consideration deserves to be thought and considered by others.