Content creation has got to be on every business, artist or personal brand’s to-do list. In fact if you look at some of the most successful people or brands on the planet, they all put aside creative time to create content. So much so that one of Flying Solo’s long time contributors Dan Norris recently authored a book I feel every single one of you should read. It’s called Content Machine. And, it is brilliant.
Now I’ve been creating content for years but, unlike others, have had limited success with video and blogging. But I’ve found a real content sweet spot for myself in podcasting.
So it’s important to know that just because something works for other people, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Before you start creating your own content machine, I believe you should consider these five things:
1. The statistical advantage
With over 1.7 million blogs published every day and over 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, that in itself gives you a view of the landscape. There are advantages to writing a blog or shooting a video, but in terms of the competition you may be a bit late to the game.
That said, I do believe that a space can never be too crowded. You can always shine a light from a different perspective and I believe that everyone has that light within them to make that happen.
But … compare the numbers above to just over 300,000 podcasts on iTunes in total. Yes, this number is rising and rising quickly but in comparison it is a small slice of the content space.
2. The consumption method
They say to keep blog posts between 300-500 words so that you don’t lose the reader’s attentions. For video the number is between one and two minutes. Our attention spans are really ridiculous these days. Of course there are huge advantages to long form content on blogs, with long term search being the biggest advantage. However, if you aren’t a writer this can be tedious (more about the production in point three below).
With both video and blogging, you have to stop what you are doing as a consumer to get the content into you. Audio however, can be consumed when you are in the toilet, on a treadmill, mowing the lawn or even scanning your documents to a paperless office. Also, on average, the length of a podcast runs for 20-30 minutes. This allows for better engagement (more about engagement in point five).
3. The production process
The production process is all relative. Some people are great at writing; some at producing video on the fly from their smart phones. For someone like me, the process of writing is something that I have to make a lot of time for. It doesn’t come naturally to me.
I talk a lot though.
Most people talk more than they write. You have lots of experience in everyday life chatting with people you meet and this can be transferred over when you have a podcast. If you are recording a video of an interview, the logistics of putting it all together is much harder than recording an interview over Skype. The equipment required is also considerably cheaper.
Again, all this can change depending on the type of show you have – but video, audio or blogs can be easily done if you just get started.
4. The interaction factor
I am very skewed to having a podcast that interviews other people. Maybe because I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. It also allows me to connect and interact with people that would have never spoken to me – ever!
Having a podcast platform that I can invite influencers over to is by far the best thing I stumbled across. Also, I get a chance to talk with them and we get really comfortable. They know me at the end of the conversation and I know them. This is Public Relations 101 in the 21st Century. Measurable and personal.
5. The connection economy
I keep asking the question, “Would you rather buy from someone you’ve listened to for an hour, or someone that has sent you 10 emails?” The connection you create with your consumer through the auditory sense is second to none (again my bias is prevalent). It is the first sense we develop in our mothers’ womb when our parents communicate with us.
There is an argument that video would help increase the connection, but the consumption of video is a barrier for that sustained connection.
So in summary – we can all agree that content creation is the very best marketing strategy in this day and age. But it really only works if you’re able to produce the content that works best for both you AND your audience.
My preferred form of content is audio. What form of content works well for you? I’d love to hear in the comments