If you want to attract the right clients and have them approach you to work with you rather than chasing leads, you have to create valuable content and get it out there. You need to maximize content reach, and to do that, you need a strategic workflow. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
Why maximize content reach?
The problem is, content creation takes time. It takes a lot longer to write a great blog post than it does to read one. It takes longer to record and edit a podcast that it takes to listen to it. Same goes with videos, slides, infographics, or pretty much any other type of content you care to create. So if you are going to put the time in to create it, you owe it to yourself to maximize content reach.
And with so many types of content out there, and so many social networks and other sites blooming all over the place every week, keeping up with your content creation schedule can get to be a nightmare fast.
How do you decide what to focus on? If you’re a long-form text type of gal, like me, the thought of reaching potential clients who prefer audio or video content can be daunting. But if you ignore those content types, you’re missing out on a large slice of your audience, and making it harder for people who really need to hear what you have to say to find you and make a genuine connection with you.
So failure to maximize content reach is also a disservice to your audience. It would be like a film studio releasing a film on DVD, but not on BluRay, or an app developer releasing a iPhone app with no Android equivalent.
That’s where the strategic workflow comes in.
What is a strategic workflow?
I told you it isn’t as scary as it sounds, right? A strategic workflow is simply a method of doing things that makes the most of your work. It’s a way of producing content in multiple formats as an organic process, rather than as an afterthought. It might take some getting used to at first, but once you’ve done it a few times, and tweaked the order to suit how you work, it has multiple advantages:
- Maximize content reach by exposing your content to a wider audience in multiple formats
- Save time, because you create images in batches, and simply resize for multiple distribution channels
- Help produce branded assets because images are replicated across channels with only minor alterations, so your audience recognise you wherever they come into contact with you
- Help build your reputation because your audience sees you everywhere and becomes familiar with your brand
- Build your mailing list by creating referral loops between channels that funnel visitors to your signup pages
Sample Strategic Workflow
Choose your subject
I’ve talked about this before, but it bears repeating. When you’re thinking about what to create, before you even jot down an outline, ask yourself:
- Does this provide genuine value to my customer/reader/client in its own right?
- What question does it answer?
- What problem does it solve?
- Is it transparent, honest, and ethical?
- Or is its sole purpose to add to my bottom line?
If your answer to the first question is no, and the last answer is yes, step away. Think about the other three questions until you can reframe the content in a way that adds value for your customer, or just focus on something more useful.
Decide on 3-5 main topics
In this example, we’re looking at why you want to maximise content reach, what a strategic workflow is and how it benefits you, working through a sample workflow, and finishing off with a look at connecting the dots, so all your pieces of content fit and work together. Some topics, like the sample workflow here, may be much longer than the others. That’s okay.
Research the most asked questions on the topic
Use sites like Quora.com, Yahoo answers and Google’s keyword planner and trends tools. A quick search on Quora.com for ‘maximise content reach’ returned questions like ‘what kind of image content maximizes click through?’ ‘what is the cheapest marketing way to maximize reach for an online product?’ and ‘what are the best tools for maximizing your blog’s reach?’
Questions on Yahoo answers included “How can I maximize the internet to reach new customers?” “How can I reach a wider audience and market my online drawing program better?” and “How do I drive more traffic to my website and get higher up on search engine listings?” while a search on Google trends show that ‘Create Content’ is an ever-growing search terms, while ‘increase traffic’ has been in decline for several years.
Answer the questions using bullet points
You might want to use the questions as your headings, and include keywords from Google’s keyword planner with relatively high search and low competition. Some questions might be outside the scope of the content you’re working on, but they might give you ideas for another project to work on later.
Flesh it out
Either write a complete script, or get someone to interview you on the phone and record the interview, where they ask you the questions and you answer them off the cuff. Personally, I’m a scripter, because writing comes more naturally to me than talking on the phone, but go with what you’re comfortable with. If you’re happy to talk to camera, you could even record talking head video.
Clean and edit the recorded audio using Audacity, and use it as a podcast episode. (You can listen to the podcast for this post here)
- Go to http://www.audacityteam.org/download/ and download and install Audacity if you don’t already have it.
- Check out https://www.freestockmusic.com for royalty free music to use for the intro and outro of your podcast. The Intro for the Images to Imprints podcast is a section of BeBold, which is licenced 100% royalty free even for commercial use. You might need to take a section of the music you prefer and fade it on and out, and save it as intro. Your outro might be the same snippet, or a shorter version.
- Record a standard introduction that gives the podcast name, host name, the source of notes or supporting materials and thanks listeners for tuning in. Save this over your intro music, and you have a standard intro you can use for every podcast episode.
- Record a ‘thanks for listening’ outro with your website name, and social media profiles, and a reminder of your podcast release schedule. Save this over your outro music, and you have an outro you can use for every episode.
- You’ll also want to record a brief episode intro giving the episode number, name, and a quick outline of what you’re going to cover, and an episode outro, giving a few details about the next episode if you have them, and reiterating your call to action, or just pointing people to the show notes or supporting resources.
- Use noise reduction to cancel out any background hum in the room where you’re recoding, and to paste over any ums, ahs, and other bloopers, to give a clean recording.
- You might want to use other filters, such as compression or normalization to make your audio sound better, too.
- Once you have all your recordings cleaned and edited, all you need to do is add the podcast intro, episode intro, episode recording, episode outro and podcast outro to a single file in sequence, and export to MP3.
can create slides using PowerPoint on a PC, Keynote on a Mac, or using the Presentations option on Canva.com on any internet enabled device. When you have created your slides, save them as a PDF and post them as a slide deck on Slideshare. (View the slide deck for this post here)
Create a Video
Animate the slides and play the audio over them to create a video, or series of videos and share them on YouTube, embed them in your posts, or use them to create a short course or webinar. If you used Powerpoint or Keynote, this is fairly simple. If you used Canva, you’ll have to be a bit more creative with this step. You could use software like Explaindio to animate your text and images. One word of warning, though: If you’ve bought stock photos, check the licence to make sure you can use the same image in multiple formats. If you’ve bought a single use licence, you may have to pay extra to reuse them in your videos.
Create an Infographic or graphics
Use the slides, or elements from them to create infographics to share on Pinterest. You might need to rearrange text and images, and remove any repetitive branding elements, but you should have all the building blocks you need, and you can use Canva to compile them into an infographic.
Write blog posts
If you recorded off the cuff, get the audio transcribed and use a cleaned up version of the transcript as a long form text blog post. Or break the content down into multiple posts, one covering each of the main topics in your podcast. Use the graphics as featured images in your blog posts and share them on Instagram and Pinterest or other image sharing sites.
Create autoresponder emails
Use the highlights of the blog post and add them to your onboarding sequence, pointing back to the longer content, for future subscribers.
Don’t forget offline
You can even use the content for your offline audience. You might turn the blog post into a PDF which you could offer as a lead magnet, or print copies and post them out. You could create brochures, flyers, mail-out postcards featuring short sections of the post.
The point is, now you have the content, make the most of it, so that everyone who wants it can access it in the way that makes most sense for them.
Connect the dots
Don’t assume that the place a reader or viewer finds your content is their preferred consumption method. Make it easy for someone who prefers video but stumbles on your slide deck to make the jump to video viewing. Make it easy for podcast listeners to hop from your social profiles to your download page.
Make sure all your networks are connected as much as possible, and have them all point back to your signup page. Use every way you can to encourage visitors to subscribe to your social profiles, with the ultimate goal to get them on your email list.
- Add a signup form to the bottom of every post. have multiple lead magnets, and use the most appropriate one for each page or post.
- Send out broadcast emails to your list when you create new content. Segment the list to preferred content types, so you can point video viewers to the video content, audio listeners to the podcast, and readers to the blog, etc.
- Cross pollinate your content across social networks. So include a link to the video version in the podcast description, a link to the blog post on the slide deck, and so on.
- Pull short snappy quotes from your content and use a tweet embedding service to make it easy for your visitors to share your content. Add social sharing buttons to your site and ask readers to share
- Reshare your best performing older content on a regular basis for those who missed it first time round
- You might also want to consider paid advertising on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you find your audience is most responsive. But even without paid advertising, if you use a strategic workflow to maximise your content reach you will build your audience, build your brand, and build your mailing list.
And that brings us to the end of this inaugural episode of Ideas to Imprints, the podcast for indie authors and authorpreneurs to help you write, publish and promote your books, and build your brand and platform. I hope you found this useful, and you can find the show notes at gailseyour.co.uk\podcast\.
Next month we’ll be talking about lead magnets and landing pages, and how you can set up an onboarding autoresponder sequence for new readers that helps them discover your best content and builds connections.