The 10 Things I Do to Skin a Single Piece of Content
Wouldn’t it be great that every time you came up with an idea, you didn’t have to worry about it being buried amongst the plethora of content across the web?
This is every creator’s fear…
That their brilliant idea will only live a short finite life and never truly reach those who would benefit from it.
But what if you could actually spread your idea across the web and have your content live longer? Isn’t it every content creator’s goal to extend the shelf life of their hard work?
Think about it… you’ve already spent your time developing the idea, preparing the research and creating the actual content, whether it’s a blog post, video, podcast, or infographic. So why not leverage that idea and pour it into different formats to distribute it as far and wide as possible?
Some people learn better by reading, others by hearing, others by seeing. So why not put your idea in front of all these types of learners, who would’ve otherwise missed it entirely? As Seth Godin says, “Delivering your message in different ways, over time, not only increases retention and impact, but it gives you the chance to describe what you’re doing from several angles.”
Like the saying “there’s more than one way to skin a cat”, I’ll be showing you 10 ways to skin or inject more shelf-life into your content and reach a larger audience. As marketer and entrepreneur Derek Halpern says, “spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it”.
— Pat Flynn (@PatFlynn) July 10, 2015
For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that your main form of content is a blog post. Here is how you can turn a single post into several different formats:
Strategy #1: Create a Slideshare presentation
The easiest way to get started is to create a presentation based on the key highlights of your post. Slideshare is the Youtube for presentations and many visual thinkers go to the site in search of presentations which explain a topic visually.
Don’t take the exact content from your blog post and paste it into slides. That’s a redundant exercise. Instead, focus on the key highlights and summarise them into 5-15 slides. When you upload the presentation to Slideshare, include a link to the original post so you can drive readers back to your website to view the entire post.
You can go a step further and convert your presentation into a PDF report and publish it on Scribd or Docstoc. It doesn’t have to be the exact version of the presentation, you can expand on certain points, throw in a few images and you’re good to go.
HOT TIP: Ana Hoffman does a great job of explaining the benefits of converting your blog posts into PDF. In fact, she recommends using Print Friendly to convert them. Read how this 2-minute process leads to more links, eyeballs and exposure for Ana here.
Strategy #2: Create an Infographic
A step beyond a slideshow presentation is my favourite format, the infographic ,(a visual summary of the content of your post in a creative outline.). If you have a number of stats in your post, infographics can help you break that down into digestible chunks which your audience can consume in an structured manner.
You can create your own infographics using tools like Piktochart and Easelly. Then, you can distribute your infographics on your blog, social media profiles and on infographic directories like Visually, InfographicsArchive, InfographicShowcase or DailyInfographics and even Slideshare!
The result was the following and this has been shared almost 400 times across various social networks.
Strategy #3: Record a Podcast
Once you’ve written your blog post and fleshed out the main points, simply read the content into a microphone and convert it into a podcast. Check out these instructions for creating your first podcast. Once your podcast is up, you can use LinkedIn Publisher to embed the conversation.
Watch this simple hack from Ryan Hanley on how to create one within minutes. This is how it appears on LinkedIn.
Or, you can use a site like AudioBoom to convert your post into audio presentations.
Strategy #4: Create a Voicemap
You’ve articulated the central points of your idea into an infographic and created an audio file. What’s next? How about blending the two together, otherwise known as a “Voicemap”.
A voicemap is a graphic recording that transforms ideas into hands-down visuals to simplify complex ideas, engage people and make your ideas stick.
How to create a Voicemap?
You can create your own voicemap using Voicemap to deliver clarity on complex ideas and identify gaps in understanding or areas where your ideas could be improved.
Start by writing down a script from your blog post and add a voice-over to highlight your key concepts. This is a fun and unique way of sharing your ideas with an audience that is receptive to visual learning.
Here is how visual note-taker Rachel Smith from Digitalfacilitation promotes her voicemaps on Twitter:
Strategy #5: Create a Mindmap
Mindmaps are incredibly fun and easy to make. A mindmap is a non-linear way of taking notes, brainstorming and mapping out key concepts and the connections between them.
You can create a mindmap and help people understand the connection between different ideas in your post and maximise the synergies between them. You can start with pen and paper and sketch your ideas or if you want to go digital from the outset, try these online mind-mapping tools: XMind(desktop app) or SimpleMind (mobile app).
Check out this example:
Infographics tend to be more linear and are more effective when trying to explain a process or visualising data whereas mindmaps are great for brainstorming and capturing seemingly unrelated thoughts and concepts.
Strategy #6: Write an answer on Quora
Quora is like Yahoo Answers, only with far better questions and actual experts addressing those questions. It’s a great place to acquire new information, create a following and drive traffic back to your site.
Or, if you stumble upon a cool question, answer it and then use that conversation as a starting point to an in-depth blog post or tutorial, either on your own blog or as a guest post.
Here is an example where a respondent not only provides an in-depth answer but also draws them to an extensive post they have already written on the topic.
Strategy #7: Record a video
You can either put yourself in front of the camera or deliver your content using screen captures (use tools like Jing or Screenr). The idea is to make your content available on video platforms such as YouTube and Facebook too.
You can use the same slides used to develop your Slideshare presentation, but now you record your voice and screen as you walk through the content. There is also the potential to create a downloadable transcription (PDF).
Hot Tip: No time to create videos? Check out the services of Ranking Articles which can help convert your written content into videos (they are cheap too).
Strategy #8: Use LinkedIn Publisher
When LinkedIn Publisher first launched, there were many users which produced authentic content but many used it to simply re-post their blog content in the hope of reaching a new audience. I disagree with this approach, especially if you have connections which are regular readers of your blog (not the best user experience) plus there are duplicate content / SEO implications.
Instead, I like Nathan Ellering’s advice who states that “You should wait at least two weeks after the post publishes before you republish it to LinkedIn”. From a search engine perspective, it gives the bots enough time to detect which post is the original, therefore, lowering the chance that your LinkedIn post outranks the original.
Another method to consider is publishing a summary version of the original article to LinkedIn with a call to action in place to drive readers to your primary website / blog if they want to read the full post.
Strategy #9: Create social media updates
Take small quotes from your blog post, old articles or newsletters and use them as social media updates. You can also add small quotes to images to create quote pictures. These can then be posted on Facebook , Twitter or pinned on Pinterest. There are tons of sites with free photos (Unsplash, Gratisography, StockSnap, etc.) that you can use to create beautiful “pinnable” or “likeable” content.
Whether you write a post, map out an infographic, record a podcast episode or a video, you should extract the key points which can be used as part of your social media content plan.
In fact, I’ll do it right now using Buffer’s awesome app, Pablo (the below literally took me 20 seconds).
The best time to create these is when you start your proofreading process where any sticky quotes that stand out can be transformed into quote graphics. The simply attach them to your favourite social media management tool like Buffer or Hootsuite and schedule away!
Strategy #10: Create a Roundup post
I particularly liked this tip from Rebekah Radice because not only are they quick to put together, but they can be extremely valuable if executed properly.
What is a roundup post?
This is a post which captures a snippet of articles, blogs, external documents which you didn’t write but where you provide a short snippet about each one and link to the original source.
Here’s a great example from Buffer: Buffer’s Top 10 Most Read Posts of 2014
Notice how the author summarises the post in a sentence with a link to the original article. Now perhaps in your case, you could use external articles and include your own in the wrap up.
Never Stop Cross-Promoting
These are just 10 ways of skinning your content based on a core idea to reach a broader audience. The great part is that once you’re done fleshing out your idea, you can pour it into all these new formats and promote it over and over again.
You can cross-promote your videos and presentations by embedding them on your site and social media, you can promote your slides and podcast episodes on LinkedIn, you can make quotes images, share quick tips on Twitter and so on.
Once you have an idea, use this content alchemy to make it accessible to as many people as you can. The benefits include receive website traffic from numerous sources, connecting with an audience you otherwise would never have reached and also gaining an understanding of which format reaps the greatest reward for your business (you might be surprised).
So what is your experience with repurposing your content? What type of content has worked best for you and what do you love to create the most? Let us know in the comments below.
3 Ways to Create Your Own Animated GIFs
If you want to spice up your presentations or you’re simply looking to create an animated GIF that adds meaning and excitement to your blog or social profiles, here are three simple tools I’ll often turn to.
Animated GIFs have been around for years, but over the last year they’ve started to become prominent across blogs and social media (especially Twitter). They are fun, moving images that are great to capture people’s attention and communicate thoughts, emotions and jokes that words simply won’t capture.
Just check out Mr Minion here….
Additionally, animated GIFs are great for increasing your headline click-through-rates.
The results for an A/B testing campaign run by an LA-based marketing agency showed that their animated GIF scored a 26% increase in the click-through rate compared to the non-animated version of the email.
Here are three ways you can create your own animated GIFs in just a few minutes:
1. Recordit: Animated Screencasts
Recordit is an easy to use tool that gives GIFs a more professional purpose than looped bloopers and cat clips. This tool helps you create short, embeddable mini-screencasts that allows you to showcase on-screen functions rather than shooting full-length videos.
You can easily turn a screen capture into an animated GIF and demonstrate how to use certain functionalities, whether it’s an online tool, a software on your computer or practically anything which might be easier to show than typing out a long-winded instruction manual.
The above GIF pretty much sums up how simple it is to use the tool, but for a more thorough run down of the finer details, here’s what you need to do:
1. Go to Recordit.co and click on the “Download” button near the bottom of the page.
2. Once you are ready to record, click on the Recordit icon in your menu / task bar. Click and drag over the area you want to record and it will start recording right away.
3. Once you are done, click on the “Stop” button and it will start processing and sending the recording to the cloud.
4. Click on the “All Done” button to go to the video or click on the “GIF” link to go to the GIF instead. You will be notified of a link once it is done and you can either download the file to your computer or simply share the link URL.
2. GifDeck: Animated Presentations
Recordit is great for creating mini-screencasts, but what about turning static Slideshare presentations into interactive GIF animations?
Why Slideshare? According to Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, Slideshare is the digital marketing secret weapon because only 15% of social media marketers use them! It turns out, as social media marketers only turn to Slideshare when they’ve had more experience in the industry.
So if you’re already taking advantage of Slideshare, here’s where Gifdeck can help broaden the reach of your presentation.
GifDeck allows you to easily transform your presentations into eye-catching animations by pasting your SlideShare link into GifDeck.in
Here’s how it works:
- Pick a SlideShare URL and paste it into GifDeck.
- Click the “Settings” icon to adjust how long you want each slide to appear, how many slides you want to be included and the size of the GIF.
- Click on the “Submit” button to start the process.
- Wait until GIFDeck creates your GIF and you will see the progress status below the “Submit” button.
- Once it’s done, you can download the GIF file by clicking on the “Save” button. Then, you can embed the GIF in an email, blog post, Google+ or Twitter.
By default, GIFDeck will create GIF files of 10 slides or images with an interval of 800 milliseconds and size has been set to Medium. You can change the settings by clicking on the “Gear” icon and adjusting the slide number to more than 10.
If your presentation is particularly long, convert only the first 10 or so slides and use the GIF as a “teaser” to encourage people to click on your link and watch the whole presentation (like what I did here on Google+)
One great use of converting slides into GIF animations is that it can be embedded into an email window, so your recipient can easily view the slides in any browser or email client. If you create a lot of presentations in your line of work you should definitely give GifDeck a try.
3. LICEcap – Animated Screen Captures
LICEcap is also very easy to use (like record.it) – it captures an area of your window or desktop and saves it directly as a GIF animation.
Here is how to setup Licecap:
- LICEcap starts out as an empty frame on your screen so you can position it on top of whatever you’d like to capture (notepad file, web page, Excel sheet, etc.), size the window accordingly and hit “Record”.
- You can pause the recording and drag the frame around to capture different parts of the screen. You can use the “Control + Alt + P” shortcut to pause the recording, to stop the mouse cursor from showing up over the screen as you hit the “Pause” button.
- When you’re finished, LICEcap will save your work as a GIF, which can be embedded online just like you would any other image.
It appears that each time an old trend comes back to life, it stirs creativity and innovation. Who would’ve thought that GIFs would make it back into mainstream media and have people go crazy over lopped animations?
Recordit, GifDeck and LICEcap are three creative ways you can have fun with GIFs and share them with your team members, customers, prospects and family. They are fun and easy to use!
We’d love to see what you can come up with, so please share some of your experiences with GIFs in the comments section below.
What Tinder Can Teach You About Social Selling
The concept of dating and meeting new people has changed through the evolution of apps.
I caught up with a friend who talked me through how Tinder (dating app) has allowed him to meet with so many new individuals that he no longer persists with conventional methods.
Given my curiosity, I asked him to talk me through the Tinder process, which was pretty simple:
1. Set up your profile with a short bio
2. Start browsing through each profile. By swiping left you have indicated no interest in the person, but if you like what you see, swipe right. If the other person swipes right to you, we have a match.
3. Details are provided to both users when a match is met, after which you can message each other and potentially meet in person.
This got me thinking…
In a strange way, the Tinder process can be linked to social selling.
As professionals, we have social media profiles and, in this case, I’ll specifically refer to Twitter and LinkedIn, which we use to connect with potential buyers or strategic partners.
Sure we aren’t swiping left or right, but if we like a profile, we may hit ‘follow’ or send a custom invitation to connect right? To help you better understand the connection here’s our infographic that teaches you four key lessons on how Tinder can help you with social selling.