When developing social media messaging, there is often a knee-jerk reaction to constructing a post per channel. This is not an unfounded best practice. We often see good social media marketers crafting unique posts for each channel based on network constraints such as character count, media limitations and so forth. However, the best-case scenario is to construct content in a way that it can be utilized across your social graph.
This is the “create once, use many” methodology.
Let say for example you are working with a client you have very limited access to. It is in your best interest to maximize the opportunity with that client in order to aggregate content for distribution over an extended period of time.
Example — creating content for a conference or live event:
- First you need to determine the social media channels you will target for this content.
- Then put together the equivalent of what photographers would refer to as a “shot list.” This will be a content list of items you hope to aggregate during the event. Let’s just say it will be photos and video.
- Now you need to have a basic understanding of the types of content that you want to collect during this time. More often than not they will be photos, video and audio. You also can get a lot of mileage out of digital white papers and presentations.
- Next, determine what type of content you will create. This can range from “behind the scenes” to “man on the street” footage, to a corporate industrial overview of products and services, to the traditional sitdown interview with a focus on a particular topic or pain point.
- Decide whether you will distribute the content on the fly, in pseudo-real-time or if you intend to polish it and distribute it at a later date. I have often used “street teams” of young social professionals to infiltrate and collect content during an event.
SIDE NOTE: You can never have enough content. So take advantage of the opportunity to shoot as many photos and videos as you can, and record every interview possible. The material can always be repurposed at a later time.
Now this is where the rubber meets the road. How do you intend to take one piece of content and distribute it across multiple social channels in a way that feels appropriate to that particular network or audience? This, ladies and gentlemen, is an art form. It is part scheduling, part storytelling, part channel-specific audience expectation.
Allow me to explain this practice in content marketing. Let’s take the example of a five-minute video with your lead customer.
- A five-minute interview with a customer will not be perfect in one take. Also keep in mind that no one in their right mind is going to sit around and watch a five-minute YouTube video. Therefore, you want to do a little post-production and cut out any errors, gaps and irrelevant content.
- Now take another look at the content and see if it can be parsed into several sections. The sweet spot will be roughly 30 to 45 seconds for YouTube. Shorter clips of 10 to 15 seconds make great content on Instagram and Vine.
- Now let’s take it upon ourselves to develop a teaser campaign for this content. Establishing several social media posts (perhaps even a short blog post) that talks about an upcoming educational interview with a celebrity client might spur the interest of your audience base.
- Now you can liberally distribute those videos across your social channels over a period of time subject to your particular campaign directives.
- To further clarify the fourth point, one might write an engaging blog post about the interview and the back history of the interviewee. The blog post would include one of the more profound and longer video clips. Follow up by distributing other key points in a shorter format against on the appropriate channels.
Now we have taken one video and constructed a multi-channel distribution program from the content. This approach can be incredibly powerful with any number of content elements. With a SlideShare presentation, for example, you could pull one slide and make it a powerful Facebook panographic image.
I hope this article gives you a better sense of what can be developed utilizing the content you collect. Above all, spend time crafting the best product possible. To paraphrase Ricky Bobby: If it ain’t compelling – it’s boring.
Boring content won’t be shared. Moreover, it can even be a handicap. So grab your camera and go see your client. It’s time to shake … and bake!