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As a society, it’s time to rethink our approach to content creation.
Let me be clear, creating content for everywhere vs. engaging with your target audience on their platform of choice; are two totally different situations. This article will touch on how to make your content accessible across multiple platforms by applying simple rules to create your own recipe for success.
This can be achieved through the use of content management systems and gaining a deeper understanding of how to connect with people from a technical standpoint. We are living in a World today where data is big business. Who likes what, who follows who and how does this demographic like to communicate?
If you’re not making money from the data that you produce than the chances are someone else is! Whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or even the recent expansion of the popular review website Yelp. The prolific rise of the Internet is undeniable, data should be viewed as an infinite resource that we can gather at will. You create content, you gather data. In return, you use that data to create better content.
For example, one brand that has been gaining popularity online is ‘Earn Your Leisure‘. Their core brand values are financial freedom, creating advantages and making the right decisions when it comes to your finances.
The two faces of the brand are ‘Rashad Bilal‘ and ‘Troy Millings‘ with their marque slogan being “Assets Over Liabilities”. The two highlight the back stories of entrepreneurs, break down business models and analyze the latest trends in finance.
From an economic standpoint this is a genius move. Why? Black women are among the fastest growing entrepreneurs in America. THAT IS HOW YOU FINESSE THE CONTENT GAME. You help to solve problems, create value and address a need that isn’t being met.
For me, being from Atlanta and based in Minnesota. I’m not rapper nor artist, but I do know what to do with music (distribution, branding, politics, etc). So my natural demographic would be touching base with artists who need that information, that support and to help them focus on creating value through their creative endeavors.
For example, recording music is ONLY 25% of the process! Infrastructure is key! Rome wasn’t built in a day!
With that being said, you have to challenge what’s possible and what’s impossible? Content consumption is at an all-time high and the demand for new content seems to be infinite with more and more people are gaining access to the Internet. I believe deep down as a society, we are still mentally triggered to see content creation as an act of newspapers, radio stations, magazines, etc.
In reality, we are actively seeing the results of what content can produce with individuals like Gary ‘Body Builder’ Vee pumping out hundreds of pieces of content in a week.
Content creation is simple.
The key is to connect process, technology and people together to form an overlaying initiative. Whether it be from local community gatherings or discussing the latest popular show on NetFlix. Creating content for everywhere is a matter of approach:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What is the conversation being created?
- Is your content ready for display on mobile, desktop, tablets, etc?
It all starts with focus and knowing who you’re trying to reach. First, let’s discuss the ‘idea’ behind content as a whole. Content is made up of three total components:
- Knowledge – What are you trying to communicate?
- Format – How is the content presented? Visual? Readers? Listeners?
- Layout – How is the content distributed? Is it interchangeable (Audio > Video > Print)?
These three components are often at times confused by brands. It all starts with clear messaging and being able to construct a reality around your brand.
Knowledge = Opinion (Perspective or Fact)
Format = Consumption (Audio or Visual)
Layout = Conversations (Platforms or Channels)
Although we should always be rethinking how we create content. Learning from the past still holds it value when it comes to this topic. A great example of ‘how to talk’ to your audience can be learned from Print media and Broadcast. They are still used today and have been in place for the better part of the last century.
The only difference about creating content for everywhere is that our means of communicating with people are much more personal. Everyone has a phone and the majority of people use social media channels as a form of communion. Creating content for the masses begins with finding your place throughout these transactions. The key is to cultivate your voice, add value and be consistent when it comes to building your brand.
Embracing the idea of ‘creating content for everywhere’ introduces a number of challenges. Let’s go back to the key facets of creating a process around your content. You break ground with content consumption: bringing process, technology and people together. It’s human nature at its finest.
A relatable example I like to use are gas stations. You drive a car, you have places to go, YOU NEED GAS. It all initiates with creating a process around your content and helping people fulfill a need. Whether it be knowledge, entertainment or simply answering a question. People remember situations where a problem was solved and value was added to their life.
Another key is to embrace trial and error, this is why creating a process around your content can be challenging. Through the content iteration process, it will get better and increase your odds of success. The more you experiment, the more you learn about what people like about your brand, business or you as an individual. Creating content is about being able to apply your skills, talents or product with the advantage of technology to meet the needs of the consumer.
What is the remedy to this challenge?
Multichannel Content Creation.
The purpose of multi-channel content creation is accessibility. One way to provide this is through social media platforms. Websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have (literally) made it their business to provide accessibility. Content is available everywhere from mobile, desktop and tablets. So your brand’s top responsibility should be fostering your individually owned properties (website, blog, podcast, etc.) in conjunction with your social media distribution.
To add focus and simplicity to the situation. If you’re providing a service, product or educational information. Your website needs to be a place where people can come to complete a task. So the way you organize content for consumption plays a major role in growth and your brand’s overall success. Your content will travel across the Internet reaching those who seek out what you have to offer.
Whether it be on social media, your website or a feature post.
This is where content format makes an introduction. How will you communicate across channels to reach your target audience? Writing is always a great start, then eventually you can convert your information to audio and video with writing being the foundation. Writing is a great way to experiment, gather data and reach your target audience. You can also begin this process in reverse, with video leading the way.
Either way you choose, leave room for content structuring. Breaking down pieces of content into smaller pieces of content for consumption. This is a great strategy for all content creators to use because it allows you to produce at a prolific rate. Even if it’s a talking point or a conversation starter on Twitter. Anything that can add value to your brand is worth the time of creating.
Creating Adaptable Content
Overall, we can’t predict what type devices our target audience will use to view our content. We can use data visualization to predict what type of conversations people want to have, how they connect and choose to communicate.
For example, Instagram is mainly a visual platform but one of it’s most popular features is the comment section. People read, engage and communicate through the comment section of a post. Whether they are on a desktop computer, mobile or tablet is insignificant when it comes to adaptability. Creating adaptable content starts with knowing what gets people going and engaging through conversation.
(What really gets people going crazy in the Instagram in the comments?)
How do you create reusable content?
The key to creating content for everywhere is producing content that can be reused across multiple platforms. Videos can always be chopped up into mini-clips for Instagram and blogs can always tweet out talking points that create discussions within your target audience.
Screenshots of tweets can go a long way when you are re-posting content on Facebook or Instagram. The same concept can be applied for video. It’s all about creating a process around your content to give you an idea about how to repeatedly structure content so it becomes second-nature.
How do you structure your content for consumption?
Structuring your content should be a mental exercise that is practiced early and often. It is a valuable skill when it comes to deconstructing content as your in the process of creating content. For example, right now I am working on a ‘Tax Planning & Budgeting’ piece for Medium. That one — individual — piece of content will produce at least ten more pieces of content for me in the near future with tax season approaching. So I have to keep that in mind when it comes to researching and writing the actual parent article.
This is why creating content with the help of an actual content management system is essential. It will allow you to fully organize, produce and edit content without moving too many pieces. Accessibility is key when it comes to structuring (or deconstructing your content). Another key to content consumption is having an open mind to the fact that people might not want to visit your website to consume your content.
Going back to earlier and touching on accessibility. Some users may choose to solely consume your content on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and THAT IS OKAY. Because that is why we’re creating content for everywhere.
Take a deep look at your content creation process. What can be improved? Where does the value lay? Can you create content for everywhere through video? Or can you build your foundation through writing? What’s the future? How can you create content for ten years out?
It all starts with accessibility.
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