How to Create a Media Kit for Content Amplification
With each new year comes a new buzzword, and in 2014, the powers that be have dubbed “content shock” the term of the next 12 months.
Whether you believe in content shock or not isn’t really the question, because no matter the frequency at which you create, you must always optimize and structure each asset for easy content amplification in order to reach your desired audience. This is similar to when broadcast television faced new competition from cable, forcing producers to understand more about their audiences. Which subjects were worth talking about with a niche market segment?
Now that content marketing is going through a similar evolution, with almost every brand producing some kind of content, figuring out ways to build community around shared interests should be your first priority. Making sure broader messages are easy to consume comes in at a close second. To many marketers, these priorities have naturally led to producing varying formats of content, including infographics, slide decks, and long-form e-books.
The problem with these types of media is that they aren’t always easy to consume via social media, email, or mobile. People don’t always have the time to dive into a dense e-book from their smartphone, nor do they want to engage with a full infographic on Twitter. While these assets are crucial to engaging the right audience, marketers must learn the art of content amplification and how to break up these larger content formats into snackable, bite-sized treats.
Starting at the content strategy stage, consider how every long-form piece of content can be broken down into several smaller assets, all of which comprise something I call a “Content Media Kit.” The following is how to create your own Content Media Kit, using our latest Rising Above Big Data e-book as an example:
The Copy is Done; Now, You Need a Design Dump
After your concept is solidified and the copy is written, you must begin to think about how you want your e-book to look. What’s the visual theme you want to convey to the reader? What type of metaphor do you want to get across through graphics? No one wants a boring file with left-aligned copy and a few graphs. Get creative and really push your design limits with these assets, folks!
For our Rising Above Big Data e-book, which focuses on building a framework that gives marketers better perspective on their audiences’ online behaviors, we decided on a construction theme. The book is designed like a blueprint, and it takes the reader from the conception through to the construction and completion of a skyscraper. Atop of the big building, marketers can then have a 360-degree view of their marketplace.
Coming up with the theme is the fun part—now, you must plan where visual aids will accompany the copy and how those elements can be broken out for a content amplification strategy.
Images Expand the Lifespan of Your Long-Form Content
It’s a well-known fact that images increase engagement on social networks such as Twitter. A recent study found that tweets with photos generate 35 percent more engagement than posts with other visual elements such as video, quotes, and numbers.
So, when you’re amplifying your e-book through these channels, make sure each update comes with an optimized image. In our big data e-book, each chapter features a unique element that complements the main point we’re trying to get across. For example, in the first chapter of our e-book, we explain how marketers are faced with an overwhelming volume of data to parse through and understand – so much so that developing a strategy can seem impossible. In line with our design theme, we featured an architect – representing the marketer – standing over his drafting table with a pile of data covering his design and tools.
We had our design team break this image out and optimize it for every social network. Now, when users scroll through their timelines, there is a rich image to catch their eye. We also took this image and created several other visual aids for social media such as a rectangular post that shows the image and a relevant quote or statistic. We have found this type of content encourages followers to amplify our posts to their own networks.
From Copy to Infographics
In most cases, we like to incorporate an infographic into every e-book we produce. This allows us to highlight the core findings from a study, the important elements from an interview, or the necessary tips for marketers from our internal teams.
In addition, these infographics are often easier to produce because design teams can repurpose graphics from your e-book and build a relevant, but separate, graphic to support your overall marketing message.
In the case of our big data e-book, we used the completed skyscraper graphic as a road map for marketers. When building the framework for a strategy based around insight discovered through data consolidation, there are benchmarks every team must meet to ensure accuracy and effective targeting. We represent this value through the construction of a building. As the structure grows, so does the impact of a marketing campaign, until you’ve reached the top and now have a better view of the entire process.
Did I Just Make Up the Term ‘Content Media Kit’?
Yes. But I think it’s a valid concept to adopt, if you haven’t already. When you bring content distribution closer to strategy development, you’ll find you won’t be making reactive decisions based around traffic dips. We’ve all experienced the awful feeling of a campaign not doing so well from the start, and even more of us respond to that by scrambling for new ways to promote the effort at the last minute. Consider building a Content Media Kit up front, chock-full of various eye-catching graphics and snackable pieces of content, and find yourself with a new arsenal of promotional assets at your disposal.
This post originally appeared on Skyword’s Content Standard.