Good content deserves to be set free.
When you have a great idea, a good product, a valuable service or a life-transforming message, the world needs to know about it. You need to be heard. But the content that you create to convey your message, be it a blog post, podcast or video has a high probability of getting lost and buried among the millions of blog posts that are being written everyday and billions of videos that are being viewed by people everyday.
How do you set your content free from this crowded-digital-space? There is a way.
The technique that I am going to talk to you about is not an innovative, modern, digital age solution that I recently discovered. This probably is one of the oldest methods of promotion and advertising. It is called ‘Amplification’. Amplification is an age-old technique used to get the attention of people. Let us take a closer look at this simple, yet powerful marketing technique that has worked effectively for mankind for 100s of years.
In the early 18th century, in Europe there were men and women who were called Town Criers or Bellmen, who would grab the attention of the people in the town square by crying out ‘loud’, ringing a ‘bell’ or using a ‘hunting horn’ to make people pay attention to them while they could make an important announcement. Here is an example of how loud they were: Major D.H. “Bob” Burns who held the Guinness world record for the loudest human speaking voice, was a town crier for St. George’s in Bermuda.
This technique was (and still is) very common in Villages in India and Africa. I grew up in a small town in India and we had our own version of ‘town criers’ -they had huge drums and they would come and stand in the middle of the main marketplace and make announcements (we call it ‘thambattam adiththaal’ in Tamil). The main job description of these professionals was to drown the existing noise in the marketplace and make an announcement that was helpful to people.
That is exactly what we should be doing for our content marketing today – drown unwanted noise (useless blog posts, posts, tweets, snaps and live videos) and loudly announce the good news about good content.
But how do you do it on the Internet and Social Media channels today? You can accomplish it in 3-steps. I call it the ‘Art of Amplification’.
How to Set your Content Free: The Art of Amplification
Step #1 Content Packaging – Package content in different formats
Town criers had it easy because most of their audience, the people in the town, gathered in one place, so their one type of content (the loud scream of more than 100 decibels) was sufficient to make the announcement. But now we have a bit of a challenge on our hands because our audiences are spread out all over the world (for most businesses) and they consume all types of content, using all types of devices in different time zones. So, we need to start packaging our content into different formats. Some in my industry would choose to call this step ‘content repurposing’.
Take your ‘core content’, your original message and repackage it into multiple types. For example: If you’re comfortable with writing, you would probably convey your message in written format (as a blog post or a ebook). Then you could take that content and repackage it in other formats like video, audio, etc.
Why should you do repackage? The first reason is, people have their own preferred way of consuming content. Some of your audience might prefer reading, while others (most) prefer video. Some of them might prefer listening to a podcast, while others like to browse through slide decks. You just need to be ready to present your idea in as many ways as possible, if you value their attention. In this day and age, if you do not give the content in the format people prefer, then you’re not going to get their attention.
The second reason is, different people are on different social media channels. That is also a matter of preference. For example: I have a friend who spends most of her social media time on Instagram. She is so loyal to the channel, she feels connected to it, she is comfortable with the interface and the visual experience she gains out of it. She does not spend much time other major social media channels (like Facebook or Twitter). But what if she is the perfect target market and audience for you, but your content is not on Instagram, because you are not packaging it in a format that will suit Instagram? The message that you are sharing might be relevant, beneficial and value adding to her, but she is never going to come across that content of yours. So, the best way to reach this person would be to take your original written content and package it in a format suitable for Instagram. Now you get the idea.
Here is a ready reckoner for the type of content that works best on various channels.
Step #2 Content Multiplication – Take packaged content and multiply it
After you package your original content into various formats, you are ready to ‘multiply’ them. Start the multiplication process by creating several little ‘child’ content from the one big ‘parent’ content. Let me explain.
Let us go back to the village-setting again to understand this concept better (I am amazed at how much digital marketing we can learn from the good old village lifestyle!) How does a farmer multiply his crops? He takes small, tiny seeds and he scatters them all over the field. Right? Some of them grow and some of them die. But the ones that grow, even though they are few, are statistically sufficient for him to get a big harvest.
That is exactly what we need to do with content marketing. From one major original content, we should take smaller ‘seed-like’ key points and scatter them across social media channels. For example: Let us assume you create a video titled “How to be a successful in the stock market”. Let us assume you have 10 points that could help someone understand this complicated concept with ease. You would take each of those 10 points and use them as a ‘seed’ content and ‘scatter’ them across social media channels. From one big content, you now have 10 smaller pieces of content that are going to help you multiply and propagate the message.
Some of the ‘seed’ content that you ‘scatter’ across various channels will die without being seen or consumed by anyone. But some of them will land on good ground and will start helping someone who consumes it. Those seeds will grow and eventually produce a fruit for the person who is consuming it (and therefore a fruit for you as a producer). Now, we do not know which one will live and which one will die, but we still need to keep scattering our seeds across the beautiful land of social media. So start multiplying your original content today by publishing shorter versions of your content on different channels and prepare to receive your big harvest.
Step #3 Content Promotion – Ignite and promote to boost reach
Just like the farmer in a village, who will not just scatter the seeds and go and relax, but will constantly work on the ground adding fertilisers, watering, removing weeds and helping the growth process, we also, as content marketers, cannot rest once we publish our content on social media channels. With the organic reach of all social media channels coming down day by day, we need to ignite, push and promote our content to ensure it reaches as many people as possible.
Some of the ways in which you could promote your content are:
- Resharing on other content platforms like Facebook Note, Medium and Linkedin.
- Partnering with others in your industry for cross promotion
- Working with influencers in your industry
- Webinars and live video promotions
- Events related to your industry
- Guest blogging on relevant properties
- Paid promotions on top social media channels (if you have the budget)
Setting the content free by amplifying it is not only a smart thing to do but, in a way, the ‘duty’ of every good content creator. Because it is a shame to see good content trapped in unread blogs and unseen newsfeed. So go, set your content free by amplifying it using the above steps.
Let me know if you have any specific questions in the comments section and I will be happy to answer them (or find answers for them). All the very best!