It could be your video that has fun effects.
A podcast episode that is funny.
Or maybe it’s the longer blog post or report that you author that’s filled with witticisms and clever analogies.
Perhaps it’s your virtual events/roundtables/masterclasss that brings out the wisecracking in your brand thought leaders (whether that’s one or many).
YOU NEED TO REPURPOSE THAT ENTERTAINMENT.
And that, folx, is very important lesson number 8 in entertainment: you need to repurpose your entertaining content.
Because, surely, within that originally entertaining body of work, was something that sparked excitement.
That’s the sweet spot.
Do more of that.
Take the one entertaining thing and distribute the sh!t out of it.
“But, Susan! People have already seen it and we don’t want to bore our audience by releasing the same thing over and over again.”
No, they won’t be bored, because they haven’t seen it. Less than 1% of your audiences are seeing stuff on social media. And less than 10% is reading your email.
And also, don’t release the same thing over and over again.
Repurpose does NOT mean shoot the same crap at people over and over again. It means using the same body of work intelligently in different places to get more people to consume the content.
That’s all demand generation is. “Guaranteed content distribution.” h/t to Chris Walker for that term. If you don’t follow him, you should. His podcast The State of Demand Gen is stellar. It’s focussed on content plays for B2B SaaS companies, and there’s something in there for all marketers to learn about the marketing that works now.
So how do you repurpose?
First, you break down the larger, entertaining body of work…
…within which you have no-doubt made a slew of smaller, individual points. These can become lots of little pieces of content that keep working for you on different channels, without you lifting nary a finger.
Ok, it’s a bit more work than that long sentence; but not a ton.
We call it “the anchor theory” and we think all marketers should use it.
This theory that governs pretty much everything we do. It’s our marketing heavy hitter without a sh!t ton of work.
Most marketers aren’t using their infrastructure correctly because they take a create, use once and throw approach to content. Period.
So how do you anchor content? More importantly how do you bring in entertainment value?
Fear not, padawan, we are here to rescue you from perpetuating more of the same old boring marketing content that gets seen by so few and ignored by most of those because it’s predictable.
The entire POINT of the anchor theory is to take one piece of solid, longform content (in our case, it’s the episodes of our podcast The 4 am Report).
And spin 👏 that 👏 thing 👏 into as many 👏 pieces 👏 of content 👏 as you 👏 CAN!! 👏👏👏
Here’s a cool visual that shows you how it works
This not-so-secret-secret method in the evolved marketing circles is perhaps what every decent communication agency practices. You need to master it internally, and with your giggers/wider contracts for content marketing.
Especially when we’re in the middle of “the dreaded pandemic” and most of us are scrambling to stay afloat (more shockingly terrible anchor puns to come). It’s the ‘secret’ to swimming in a sea of quality content.
It’s what helps you get the fish to bite… To consume your content even if each fish likes a different food.
And it’s the ‘secret’ behind all the brands who are effortlessly churning out masses of content for specialized, account-based streams. (OR they use teams like ours to bring together what they have created and don’t have the bandwidth to extend)
Second, ensure you pull smaller bit sized pieces of content in a variety of different formats.
Remember to look at the four formats/media widely used in the digital world
❶ Written format
❷ Audio format
❸ Video format
❹ And, the graphic or image format
Determine which one your anchor piece is.
As it stands in May 2021, the most underutilized piece of content we see, and fix, when we work with clients is recordings of virtual events. We all have tons of those (webinars/classes/management meetings/strategic sessions/social media LIVE streams). This is PRIME time with thought leadership in your organization. People likely prepared for those, and even showed up in some degree of decently-lit environment, with the top half of their person reasonably clothed. Why not use that?
If you’re a small business, especially, you really should be doing this to maximize founder/team leadership time 😁 And get content to flood your sales pipeline, however simple or sophisticated that might be.
→ The easiest way, if you know-how, is to get a good audio/video editor whom you can direct with outlines/scripts that will inject some of that entertainment quotient.
→ If that’s not your jam, you really should look into wider support via content marketers to get to that space.
1. So let’s say you start with a long-form, multi-person ‘Zoom box video’ of 60 minutes. Use that to make a series of intelligent 3-5 minute edits (this is where a good writer + a good video editor are key – you’re not going to find that in the same person. Stop looking. I’ve tried. For a decade.) If you find a sweet team that does this, love them forever and never let them go. (Hint: we might be that team 😁)
2. Get a transcript. (Before you ask, Otter.ai is our favorite tool for the job) Break that down into 3-4 articles. Bonus points for embedding rich media in your written pieces. Images, video, charts, call outs, GIFs, memes (See? I’m foreshadowing to that entertainment everywhere.)
3. Strip the audio from it and see if 1 or several parts could work as a podcast. You may need to spend some timer on preambles. And again, have an audio/video editor. Caveat: don’t’ do this unless you plan to consistently release for at least 6 months.
4. Pull the images/graphics from your written piece/video and use those to distribute on social media and via email.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat with the next recording.
As your anchor deployment evolves, with consistency as your fanatical guiding principle, efficiency will emerge. You’ll begin doing this in less and less time. With the time you find, you will do other things that add to the system and make it better. That’s what we can a marketing flywheel (Grab a copy of the report F^ck funnels; build flywheels 👉 here).
Okay so how does this tie in with the entertainment quotient?
Let’s say that you got started with Zoom recording A because in it your CEO, your CTO and your CMO were presenting on cyber security attacks and someone threw in a Star Wars reference.
And the rest of the panel riffed a little.
The audience got involved a little.
(Or imagine your founder made a Star Wars joke in a webinar/Live stream about legal technology.)
That’s it. Take that and repurpose the sh!t out of it. Use that Star Wars reference EVERYWHERE.
- Drop it in the writing.
- See if your brand vocabulary allows you to use it as a lead image in your blog. Or at least embedded further down the post if you brand is strict about it’s visual vocab
- Mock up fun imagery from the Star Wars realm. Or use it in text if you’re worried about copyright infringement. (The way we get around intellectual property issues is to use GIFs from the creators. There are tons of those to suit any tone and voice. Don’t dismiss them. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a GIF is worth 10,000. Also look into creative commons for really great memes. Use the ones stamped by creators so you’re giving credit. People who make this entertaining stuff WANT you to find it and use it, if they put their name on it, so do that.)
- Use those mock ups for video covers, social media and email
Publishing MORE with LESS is the ticket. That will help you find more and more ways to repurpose your entertainment quotient and extend it deeper into your digital brand voice.
So here are 5 stellar content creators who are doing this NOW. Superbly.
You can learn from them and see everything I’ve laid out above in action in their material if you go back and look at the last 3 months of their content on their website and their primary channel.
We’re going to look at 4 of the same content creators we did for lesson 7 on being entertaining in any format.
1. Written medium. Cole Schaefer of Honey Copy. He’s taken his sumptuous writing and had it visualized really well. Check his instagram. Specifically draw your attention to how the example in the previous chapter of The Other EQ with his headline of Aishiteimasu which means “I love you” in Japanese, is visualized in the top left hand corner of the screenshot 👇
Obviously you need design mastery for this. See you can get yourself some entertaining visual quotient if your brand is strong with its writing. That’s how you repurpose entertainment that’s primarily word driven in its anchoring.
2. Michele Rial – the doodler with eerie, forward-thinking insight into the human condition? Well, quite simply, she has a book. Do you know how hard it is for a doodler to get a NYT bestseller book? It comes from consistently creating and consolidating content into a larger body of work.
3. Sheena Melwani, the laughing TikTok lady? She does some cross-channel straight-up repurposing and it beautifully works for her. Her instagram serves as a bit more of a showcase for her singer/songwriter side; that said there’s a lot of heritage of her ‘Interrupted’ series of laughing short-form videos.
4. The Sidenote by ASAPscience with Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown, podcasters and YouTubers extraordinaire. Therein lies the clue. Their entertaining presence began as a YouTube Channel called ASAP Science. Really well drawn doodles to explain complex scientific concepts. This video on what happens to our bodies when we take a Covid-19 vaccine is a masterfully done example 👇
5. And finally, ahem, us. Yup. we’ve learned to own our wins. And the flywheel we’ve built around making our content entertaining is a thing of beauty. It all hinges on images like 👇which cue the spirit of the name our our podcast – The 4 am Report on what keeps founders and marketers up at night. An identity around being sleepless at 4am became our hook (and you thought the fishing puns were over). More people commented on our photos than the podcast itself. We’ve used those photos over and over again. A pandemic-ized version is front and center on our website home page right now. Our entire flywheel is below. It started with a podcast you may or may not have heard of and it’s led to a book – a snippet of which you are reading right now.
Spot the times your content in the last 3 months made your audience smile (or even just you smile). Zone in, break it down and apply the funny theme to more pieces.
Now extend it out to one other medium.
I’ll be back next week with more on how to extend that spirit of entertainment to the deepest recesses of your unsexy back end, ie: how to move entertaining content across your website automation. And make that UX smooth, sexy and smile inducing with no one even noticing.