Content Transformation is the Future of Marketing
Do you remember those Doc Martens shoes from 1994 or 2015, or both? It is often said that eventually everything comes back into style. Taking care of things takes us a long way and one can get value from them at least twice!
This stands true for content as well. Brands and marketers invest heavily in creating good content as it fuels all marketing initiatives. We can use this content again to support a marketing campaign and/or to create a new campaign with it!
However, unlike the Doc Martens that one can reuse after giving them a few years’ rest and look fashionable in them again, our content will need some sprucing up before it could be used.
This refashioning of existing content into a form, which is compatible for distribution and consumption on digital platforms, which captures the user’s attention due to its succinctness and fulfills a brand’s goal(s) is called content repurposing or content transformation.
This may seem overwhelming, but the good news is that we’ve already done the most challenging task: we have identified our target audience and their content needs; we have done our research; written the content with a clear purpose; and published it in the form of either a blog post, website content, an e-paper, a brochure or other forms of marketing collaterals for the target audience to engage with it. All that needs to be done now is the ascertaining of micro purposes to this old content; extracting relevant content from it to meet the said purpose(s); and presenting this crisp content in a format that’s more engaging.
While there’s no denying that the old content was thoroughly researched and well written, it still wasn’t designed to meet the expectations and preferences of our users today. Owing to the deluge of content in our lives – user-generated content, news both real and fake(!), information, brand promotion content, etc – the users’ attention span is very low. They decide whether they want to continue with one’s content in the first three seconds of being exposed to it. For a brand, this means that one has to be relentless in prying for user attention. Words are good, but one must always remember that a picture is worth a thousand words! Brevity and visual appeal are two baits that can substantially enhance the reach of one’s content. Grab user attention through titles rather than text and compress content into bite size pieces.
The next important thing to bear in mind is the platform suitability of content, which determines the new avatar that the new content will embody. All the repurposed content is published and consumed on the digital platform: social media platforms, websites, sharing apps, etc. This implies that one will have to create multiple formats of the same content. For example, one can create an infographic to publish it on the website blog, a video with the same information for your YouTube channel, and perhaps a series of picture posts with the same content for other social channels.
Then comes the design part, and the aspects to consider here are not pure aesthetics and creativity, but screen size, resolution, file size too. We know that creativity knows no limits, but the screen sizes of devices do. So, the font size, colour choices, placement of CTAs, and layout of a content piece, among other factors, will have to be responsive and compatible across different screen sizes.
Shareability of content is an important consideration whenever one undertakes a content transformation task. The trick here is that one cannot weave shareability into a content piece. Shareability is the coming together of things. Meeting users’ needs, striking a chord with them, conciseness, and visual appeal are all important factors here. When all these come together in a content piece, users are likely to deem it worthy for sharing.
Understanding users’ needs and reflecting them in the content is very important. This also means that right at the start of a content transformation exercise, marketers will have to map user needs with the available content. The second step will be extracting relevant content from the long-form content and determining the best-suited platform to publish the condensed content. This, in turn, will help you decide whether the new content piece should be an infographic, a GIF or a video. Once we have determined these, the content piece can then be sent for the designing process.
Marketers should set out to transform old content into new while keeping all these factors in mind. Content transformation is an enabler for capturing user attention and engaging with them within the brand space, on platforms where users are already spending their time and are seeking content.