Frequently I get asked the question that haunts me a little: “What is the most important content I should be developing right now?” This is problematic for me because I have no idea what your goals and objectives are. Nevertheless, let’s put that aside and assume you have a plan and goals.
One of the things that plagues content is that we tend to look at a medium and pigeonhole it into a “thing.” Let’s take for instance me recommending that you should use photography.
What a client might hear when I say “photography:”
- Create an album of photographs and place it on my Facebook page
- Make sure my blog post also includes some type of visual
- Create or utilize proper photography to support a Tweet
Are these correct? You bet – each and every one. But let’s break down the versatility of photographs and how they could possibly be interpreted with in your social graph.
Hears what I often mean when I say “photography:”
- Everything outlined above
- Creating photography for alternative applications such as Instagram
… but let’s stop right there.
The devil is in the details
I’ve created a photo for Instagram. Now the next question you need ask yourself is within that image have I @handled people within the photo that have another Instagram account? Have I #hashtagged the event, the venue, the key takeaway (e.g. #Superbowl50) and the ancillary topics that might sit left and right of the primary visual?
So you took your photo at the convention in Manhattan and created something relatable to the event worth searching for: “Having an amazing time with @tenacioustoys at the American International Toy Fair! #productname #purpose #etc.”
Although your event is at the Javits Center, some people might find your photo interesting and relatable if you hash-tagged #HellsKitchen #Manhattan #NewYorkCity #NYC #Convention. Now what you’ve done is constructed multiple opportunities for people to find your content. One visual now has become a sea of content.
Many pieces of string connect the hub
Have you ever watched the New World adaptation of Sherlock Holmes called “Elementary?” One of the countless things that I love about this program, besides it’s well-rounded acting and impeccable dialog, are the moments where you get to see the Sherlock Holmes character thinking. This is the moment usually in his brownstone where he placed hundreds of bits of paper and connected various lines to different suspects in order to solve the crime.
Get to the point Justice. We’ve seen to show.
Think of your social media in the same way. In the center is the content you created, in this case, we’ll go back to the example of our convention in New York City. Now it turns into something that sounds a little bit like a fourth-grade math question: “I have 50 photos I want to share + my consumers’ primary communication channels + the marketing directive of the content = X.”
The X, in this case, leads me to my next point …
Work smarter, not harder
In some cases, this means you spend your whole day banging out one photo out at a time dropping them on a half-dozen social networks. I don’t know how many times I have seen social media professionals take one photo and literally crop, filter, title, post, and then be bound to the engagement that it ensues. Whereas, if you placed 50 photos on a particular “hub” and then went to your associated social connections and placed one key photo to pull them in to see the rest, then you salvaged an exorbitant amount of time. Think of it as “micro marketing” within your content.
In some cases, this simply does not work because of the nature of a brand. Examples: Procter & Gamble, Ford, and AT&T, are so polished that in most cases they visually and contextually touch everything that they represent. For the rest of us that are not playing with billion-dollar budgets, we don’t have to have these as primary concerns.
No Matter What Your Size Have a Mission Control Center
If you are in the inbound marketing space and still trying to control your social channels as separate silos without tools such as HootSuite, Sprout Social, HubSpot or Sprinklr (for those of you who have a sugar daddy), then you are doomed to fall slowly behind your competitors that are using the right tools. It’s not simply just about creating a sea of content, but about monitoring, engaging and optimizing against that content.
This mission control center should have:
- associated trained team members that understands your content calendar
- a standard operating procedure as to how your ambassadors, influencers, and employees utilize social media
- an inbound marketing crisis management plan
- a testing and optimization protocol
While I realize the last bullet points might look slightly off topic, I think the more you understand how one simple piece of content can interact in so many ways to so many different types of consumers, the better you will be able to maintain a semblance of control.
Becoming pitch perfect for your CTA
One last thing to take into consideration when developing content. The idea of diversifying your visual portfolio is always something to consider. But you can also diversify your voice to specific audiences. Therefore, you can give one piece of visual content a longer lifespan if you position it uniquely for each audience on different channels.
Examples of simplified positioning are as follows:
- Discovery channels — “Have you ever heard of cleantheworld.org?”
- Influencers and Bloggers — “You’ve got to see what cleantheworld.org is doing now with participating hoteliers!”
- Affinity groups and communities — “cleantheworld.org is going to be having another amazing event coming this Friday, be sure you’re there.”
- Consumer reviews — “ You know an easy way to help cleantheworld.org is by simply going online and giving them a great review!”
- Mobile consumers — “Don’t forget one way that you can always help cleantheworld.org is by submitting a donation online!”
Now what I’ve done effectively is channel one piece of content and created a sea of messaging. I recommend that you try to leverage the content that you have and make it more than you ever imagined.