Content Sprouting: How-To Maximize Your Marketing Content
While new tools enter and exit the market for marketers to use, a strategy called content sprouting seems to be standing the test of time, AKA, a best practice.
This article explains what content sprouting is, and how you can use the strategy to your advantage.
Content sprouting is based on the rule of seven for marketing. The rule of seven means that it may take more than one time for a potential user to see your product/service and purchase. In fact, the rule of seven states a potential user needs to see your product/service at least seven times before they will act towards purchasing. A common explanation for this comes down to user trust. If a user doesn’t know you, they therefore don’t trust you. Ask yourself: would you buy something from a stranger that comes up to you in the street?
Therefore, having one piece of content, but then splitting that content, is an effective means to take one and turn it into seven so to say. Content sprouting is the ability to take one seed of content and sprout it to upwards of seven different, albeit related, pieces of content. As this article will explain momentarily, this frequency involves using a video as a seed to create a blog post and short audio clips.
More often than not, it is effective to have these seven pieces of content distributed across different marketing mediums (podcasts, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, newsletters, etc.). When content is distributed across different marketing mediums it is referred to as omnipresent content. On a detailed level, having omnipresent content is in and of itself a best practice due to the ever-changing unpredictable nature of the algorithms of marketing platforms, especially social media marketing platforms which can frequently update/change algorithms of what is or what is not considered high quality content users will see.
In fact, Charlie Lawrence from Gecko Squared states in the ALL Framework Lead Magnet (V2) resource: “from 2014 to 2016 the average [Facebook] page saw a decrease in organic reach from 16% to 6.5%. If you have 10,000 people that like your Facebook page, you’ll be doing well to reach 500 people consistently with each and every post you create.’’ In addition, the cost per acquisition (CPA) of paid marketing increasing. The ALL Framework Lead Magnet (V2) resource also states: “Facebook has become a pay to play network Facebook has been pushing businesses to advertise to reach more people, and it has worked. There are now over 6 million global advertisers, generating $53+ billion per year in ad revenue for Facebook.” All in all, following the rule of seven by having omnipresent content helps you to not put all your eggs in one basket so that more users can see your content without you putting all of your money into ads on a single marketing platform!
Now that you know what content sprouting is, and why it is advantageous (rule of seven, omnipresent content), here is how you apply content sprouting. Two sequences of steps:
- trending topics
- which topics are shared most among users
- the competition behind certain keywords
- popular competitor websites in the topic area
In the screenshots below, the keywords ‘organizational health’ are used. The results of these tools can help you decide what to talk/write about as your content to set yourself up for success and obtain the highest number of product/service views as possible. What you are trying to do with this step is determine what content users like to consume/see, and what they share (we all know how powerful social proof is!).
*Bonus* If you are still deciding on what content to create, remember complexity is the enemy of execution. Go simple and try to cater content to awareness/education, telling your story, and/or documenting your day/thoughts — and let serendipity happen! This is exactly what the Gary Vee Content Model is all about. A glimpse into the model is as such:
Document -> Create -> Distribute -> Listen -> Create -> Distribute
A tip to keep in mind is to create evergreen content. Just like evergreen trees which retain their leaves all year round, evergreen content stays relevant for a long time and is always of interest to users. Three strategies for creating evergreen content include leveraging content from your FAQ’s, overall tips for users, and explaining common concepts to users.
2) Implement your sequence. Below is an example of a sequence starting with live video. The one caveat is to be careful of not posting the exact same content on all platforms. Each platform has unique user behaviors, such as: users typically don’t sit and watch 10-minute videos on Instagram but they do on YouTube, in addition, users can pay more attention to hashtags on Twitter versus LinkedIn.
- Live video (YouTube or Facebook) (could even include a presentation/keynote!)
- Take audio file from live video and publish as a podcast
- Use the transcript of the audio file to create a blog post
- Use captions and short/micro clips from the audio file and blog post to create independent social media posts (for the Feeds or Stories!)
- Add to content of the blog article to create [downloadable] guides (how-to’s), checklists, white-papers (e-books), newsletters, and quizzes.
That’s it! You have reached the end of this content sprouting article. Now it is your turn to make action of the rule of seven, omnipresent content, and evergreen content. Leverage the results from the neat websites (BuzzSumo, UberSuggest, and/or Twitter Advanced Search) to divide on your content, and fulfill as much marketing platforms for your content as possible. In doing so, you are maximizing your success for user action as you are making the most of your content.
Nathan Kolar, www.reachworldwide.ca