Your guide to optimizing content for different channels
Imagine that a client wants you to create content for use across online and offline platforms. Your first instinct might be to produce generic copy that can be ‘recycled’ for each channel. If the text works well inside a brochure, you can re-use it (with a few minor tweaks) in accompanying social media campaigns or video voiceovers. Right?
Of course, repurposing a single source of text generates a certain degree of efficiency. And if you’re communicating a consistent marketing message across the board, there is no need to write something completely new every time.
Theoretically, this approach might save some time and effort at the ‘first draft’ stage. But you need to keep in mind that each platform is unique and may even address a completely different audience. If the content you deliver is not optimized for the channel you’re using, simply recycling with your content creation might prove to be a false economy – to the frustration of you and your clients.
So, what would be a smarter way to develop multi-channel copy?
- Long-form content creation still has its place, particularly in brochures and advertorial-style pieces. But if you’re creating other assets where time or space is at a premium, you’ll need to be judicious in selecting the most relevant content to include.
- In a sales presentation, for example, you may wish to include sections of long-form content in speaker notes accompanying the slides. This would obviously be preferable to shoehorning lengthy chunks of text onto the slide itself. Don’t overdo it, though. Give the presenter some ‘meat on the bone’ to complement the on-slide content creation, but avoid writing essays!
- Long-form copy is less suitable for website content. Attention spans are short, so your words need to have an immediate, lasting impact. On social media, meanwhile, your content should encourage readers to engage and interact. And on platforms such as Twitter, there are fixed character limits to consider. So for both websites and social media campaigns, consider whether you need to create some ‘bespoke’ copy that will hit the spot.
- It’s a similar story for video content. If you’re writing a voiceover script for a product video, your brochure copy – no matter how carefully crafted – might not be the best choice. In a brochure, you can afford to take a little more time to explain important features and their benefits. In a video, though, you need to get straight to the point, clearly and concisely.
These aren’t just issues for the content creator to consider; you may also need to explain to your client why these extra steps and edits are necessary. The most intelligent approach is to talk the client through each part of the process. By doing so, you’ll help them to understand the value of taking a more nuanced approach to multi-channel content.
Ultimately, you need to show them that investing more in the initial stages of content development may lead to greater rewards in the long run.
For some examples of how we have utilized content for different channels, check out our project page.