Four Thoughts When Distributing Content
These days, distributing content to extend its reach is easier then ever. Let's say you publish a blog post - you can then have that linked into your Twitter account, Facebook feed, LinkedIn profile, etc. A push of one button distributes your content and with a little initial setup, extends the content even further. But how does this affect your writing and planning of your content?
- Planning - This is the tough part. Not only what content are you going to write, but also where will this content appear? If you are writing for a single audience, let's say your LinkedIn group, the writing would be professional and the headline would be succinct. But what if this particular article is also going to show up on Twitter, Facebook, etc? Does that change your writing style, at least for this particular article? They go hand-in-hand, so let's talk about...
- Writing - The funny thing about writing for a broader audience is that it makes you think more about the content and it's structure. What's the greatest common denominator? I think that's what you aim for. Let's say you're writing about how users don't change their routers default settings - Should you write this for the Facebook crowd ("hey, dummies! let's screw those heads on straight!") or more for the professional crowd ("In earlier times, keeping the default settings seemed to make sense, but how much blame to we put on the manufacturers?"). I don't think you lose your writing style, but I do think you have to tweak the voice depending on the breadth of the audience.
- Distributing - Now comes the fun part. If you have some default distribution or extension settings already set up, do you want this particular post to reach your entire network? It might seem silly, but I imagine there are times when a post shouldn't be distributed to your list of outlets. For example, what if you had a bunch of posts lined up based on some breaking news. Do you think your followers on Facebook want/need to see every single post? Or maybe a post is made on the weekend and in fun with a goofy picture - does this one need to be posted on LinkedIn?
- Reviewing - This one I don't think changes much. I'm sure there are reviews in place, either consciously or subconsciously, when posting content on any outlet. Now, maybe we look at the numbers a bit differently. Let's say we posted that article on routers to our blog, then had it automatically sent to LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Instead of looking at the metrics from each of these outlets individually, we should take a look at them from the content's point of view - Not only did the content meet our quota/success/numbers, but where did it meet these metrics in particular?
I know the answers to these questions for myself, and I'm sure you will, too after a few runs. The great thing is, we now have the tools to plan, write, distribute, and review within our own reach and control.