Q: There is a lot of discussion about generating long-form content, but our audiences benefit from a mix. What do you recommend is the ideal mix of short vs. long form content distribution?
A: Generating long-form content doesn’t mean your company stops generating shorter-form content. I’d recommend looking at it as an addition to the content produced for your audience.
We’re so quick to say that no one has time to read long-form but it seems to be taken out of context. Sure, standing in line waiting for a coffee or while on the go, one may not have the attention span or ability to dig into a 5 page article. However, it doesn’t mean the person will never have the attention span, or doesn’t want to read the in-depth information at another point in time. Long-form content requires time, the mindset to do so and the desire to learn about the topic being discussed at length.
As for the ideal mix, that question has to take into consideration your company’s capacity to produce the content, the platform(s) you are publishing on and what type of content works best for your customer.
The ideal mix will vary, if you wanted a definite number, start with 5 pieces of short-form content for every 1 piece of long form content. For some that will be easily done, for others a stretch. The purpose of sharing that number is to get started with a goal, then to adjust based on what your company can accommodate and what best serves your customers.
Q. Developing original content is very resource intensive. How does content curation off-set some of that to optimize productivity?
A. Curating content, in my opinion, shouldn’t be seen as a stop-gap solution to the inability to generate as much original content as you’d like. We’d all like to generate more, high quality content than we currently are.
Instead, look at curating 3rd party content for the value it can bring to you on its own. One purpose of curating 3-rd party content is to share helpful industry knowledge with your audience. Another purpose, is by sharing this information, you can become to be seen as a valuable and knowledgeable source of industry information.
We all don’t know it all, but if we know where to find and share the best information that is most helpful to our customer, this is valuable.
Q. Memes and quotes are some of the most virally shared social posts, why do you think that is?
A. I think memes and quotes are so popular for a number of reasons.
A meme is typically funny and sums up a situation in a very succinct way. It connects with us immediately and (typically) we can laugh about it, share it onwards with our network and all feel like we’re in on the joke.
Quotes on any topic that are motivational or inspirational have a way of connecting with us emotionally. They can comfort us, give us clarity, cheer us on, light the fire under us to get going, pick us up and encourage us to give it one more try. They convey an attitude, mindset or philosophy we align with. And they do this all in a few, powerful words that magically seem to sum up exactly the situation we may be facing. That is why they seem to resonate. They are little bits of wisdom shared with us from those that have been down the road we’re on.
Connecting with a person on the other side of the screen can be daunting for some. How on earth do I “engage” my audience? What am I really going to do to start a conversation? Sometimes these quotes or memes can act as icebreakers to get the conversation going. This is why they can be so valuable as an addition to the other content you share online.
That, and we can’t talk business all the time!
Q. As a content marketer you practice what you preach! What’s the biggest mistake you made in 2015 and how will you avoid making it in 2016?
A. Mistakes? Lots. I’m kind of wordy, so I need to do better at sharing visual content. Consistency was a challenge for me. Even with all the tools available, it is vital to first make the time to think strategically then plan what and how the content shared can be mapped to my customer’s journey and my business goals. I didn’t put enough time into the strategic planning – I’ll do better in 2016.
BONUS: If you want to check out Nimble Quotes now’s the perfect time. You can try the tool free for 30 days. Thank you Jen!