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Weave a story (and use every thread)

By Mikela Dennison, Account Manager

Weaving a good story is an art form. Weaving a good story in a business context is an art form - and a science. Effective business communications weaves a good story, but it also makes the most out of the individual elements in play. And that is the point at which maximising content through multiple uses comes alive.

LinkedIn. Twitter. Website. Blog. Facebook. Events.

Do you struggle to maintain all the different channels you know you should be active on, but just can't find the time (or the content) to make them sing? It's a concern for lots of businesses operating in the info-hungry world today, because there's a growing understanding that you have to be active where you target audiences are.

We know that people are busy - busier than ever, perhaps. That's why we like to be smart about the way we plan, create, share and re-purpose content for our clients. It's why we like to weave a great story, and then use every thread so that the story goes further, wider and longer.

Whether it's a blog post, presentation, report, survey, white paper or infographic, you should always aim to use your content in at least four ways, for maximum reach and effect.

It sounds like lots of work, but I promise that with the right help, it doesn't have to be as complex as all that!

We encourage our clients to maximise their content and share it across multiple platforms to get the biggest impact for the time or resource put in. Here are some of our top tips for how to make one piece of content go the distance:

Weave your content with sharing in mind:

  • Gone are the days of long and wordy documents or online articles: think short and sweet
  • Consider how easy your content is to tweet, to start a discussion on a LinkedIn group, to share as a post on Facebook, or to be a 'pin' on Pinterest
  • Use short and catchy headlines to break up your text and serve as bite sized chunks of easy to share information
  • Use statistics and facts that your reader will find interesting and easy to relate to others - for example, did you know a new blog is created every half second?
  • Don't be afraid of hyperlinks: you can create a richer experience for your reader if you link to other material (yours or others) and it shows you've done your research.

Think how content will look across different channels:

  • Not all posts will be suitable for LinkedIn, just like not all articles will fit into 140 characters on Twitter: think about the channel and tailor your content for the key platforms you use
  • Make sure you use engaging visuals to draw your reader in, to illustrate your point, and to encourage sharing on image-oriented platforms like Pinterest, Facebook and Google+
  • Always make sure your content points back to your website and directs traffic to your business.

Go direct:

  • Using email campaigns to send out interesting and original content to your customers, clients, staff and stakeholders is an ideal way to keep them involved with your business and to demonstrate you are an active and interested participant and thought leader in their world
  • Include your content in any newsletters or bulletins you send out to your audience and try to utilise the data you can access to see when your content is being opened, what people are sharing and where your traffic is coming from - data can be your biggest friend, so play nice and make the most of it
  • If you don't have a e-newsletter set up, think about doing a simple hard copy you could send to clients and prospects with a personal note, or even just send an email to key people with the content included and a short message explaining why it might be useful for them to read.

Be smart: schedule your posts

  • Making the most of your story's threads is about being simple and smart: don't be afraid to schedule your posts to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn via tools like Buffer or Hootsuite
  • Rest easy knowing that you have pointed people to your website or blog throughout the week, without you doing it every day when you are busy with meetings and closing deals.

Take your content offline:

  • Even in the big bad world of social media and Internet-mania, it is still hugely valuable to take your content offline: seek out opportunities to present your content and engage with your audience IRL (in real life)
  • A blog, report, survey or online article can easily be printed out for a simple and effective leave behind.
  • If you've been live tweeting an industry or company event, make sure you create a useful summary document for your audience. This demonstrates that you are active in the sector and are willing to share your knowledge with those who will benefit from it.

Are you ready to start weaving great content?

Once you see our content creation and sharing process in action, you will understand how simple, effective and addictive our approach is. You get maximum mileage out of tailor-made, original content that connects directly with your company objectives, while your audience gets useful, timely information, delivered to the channels they naturally frequent.

Let us help you weave a great story, and then make the most of the diverse range of ways you can share the content threads - and you'll soon see how useful this approach can be as a lead generator, business tool and value-add resource for your clients and target audiences.

For more information - or for assistance in making your content work smarter for your business - please contact us on 09 950 5304, on LinkedIn or via Twitter @ShapeTheMessage