Creating ridiculously good content is hard. Which is why you have to squeeze every drop of juice out of whatever content you create—as C.C. Chapman and I wrote in the fifth “rule” in Content Rules:
“Reimagine; don’t recycle.”
“Recycling is an afterthought; good content is intentionally reimagined, as its inception, for various platforms and formats,” we wrote. “[C]reate content that comes to life in various formats, across many different platforms, and that can address multiple audiences.”
In other words, instead of using a “one and done” approach, treat anything you develop as pieces of a larger whole. View all of the pieces of content you plan to create as expressions of a single, bigger idea. Or, alternatively—if you are starting with something larger, like a white paper or an e-book—think about how you can create smaller chunks of shareable content from that single content asset.
Jason Miller of LinkedIn draws an analogy in his new book to a Thanksgiving turkey: The big roasted beast in the center of the table is the core content asset that comprehensively covers a topic you want to “own.”
That turkey is generally gated content—in other words, it’s behind some kind of registration wall.
But that metaphorical turkey can be sliced and diced and julienned and fried and fricasseed into smaller pieces of content—infographics, slide shows, blog posts, sales and event collateral, social posts, quizzes, and so on.
It’s not unlike how a turkey might be reimagined, in the days after Thanksgiving dinner, into turkey sandwiches, soup, quesadillas, samosas, nachos, hash, or stir fry. (Or turkey cake. Which is either awesome or awful. You decide.)
The smaller pieces are generally not gated, because the call to action on each asset leads back to the big turkey itself.
Our friends at Column Five developed an infographic that illustrates this idea. They call the smaller pieces “divisibles”—or, divisions of a bigger asset. But let’s stick with the turkey analogy here, since it’s Thanksgiving week and all… mmmkay?
The infographic is below. But before you consider the approach, two reminders:
1. Key here is to establish a single messaging focus—based on keywords or conversations you want to own or take a leadership position in.
2. Also key is that you create content that isn’t just one giant roasted, basted, stuffed infomercial for your company. Instead, your content should be useful, inspired, and pathologically empathetic to the needs of the people you are trying to reach.
You want a Thanksgiving turkey to be irresistible, tasty, and created with a generous dose of love for your family or friends or whoever owns the shining faces seated around the table. When it’s placed in the center, it’s a kind of holiday gift that the cook is delivering.
Your content should be the same: Irresistible, tasty—something they can’t wait to dig into.
Here’s how Column Five visualizes it (click to enlarge):
Divisible Content 101 via Column Five