Content Playability Isn't An Afterthought


Crafting quality content takes time and energy! Yet surprisingly, many times, much of the effort is poured into the crafting and polishing of the content itself with little foresight placed around the portability and playability of the finished product or the modality that will be employed to consume it.

With a heavy legacy, where newspapers and academic style reports reigned king, it's not surprising that many of today's content creators continue to employ the tried and true methods of the past and end up scrambling at the last minute to ensure that their new gem is portable and playable via today's highly social paradigm.

By focusing on content portability and playability from the onset, it will guide your content creation strategy in a way that ensures the final product is maximized for today's diverse marketing ecosystem. Additionally, any questions regarding the length of the content (full report versus blog, etc.) will be front and center from the get-go.

With so many modalities to choose from when crafting and marketing your content, it's important that you consider your target audience as well as the online channels that you plan on exercising to reach them. Each channel has different strengths, weaknesses, and rules of engagement. Seemingly minor differences between channels, such as the "preview-ability" of your content in the channels feed needs to be taken into account.

Starting with a solid base to craft and host your content employing a platform that is HTML5 compliant with a dynamic template is a good start. Don't forget that without a dynamic template, your content will not be optimized for mobile.

With the average American now (as of 2015) consuming 2.8 hours of digital content via their mobile device and only 2.4 hours via their computer, don't forget to ensure that your content looks great on both. It's most likely that you are reading this on your mobile!

If a fully branded experience isn't needed, consider using one of the major social channels like LinkedIn or Twitter (soon to support posts up to 10,000 characters) to host your content. Platforms like LinkedIn reward authors for crafting and hosting content directly on LinkedIn by automatically broadcasting newly published posts to all of your connections (one of the benefits of hosting your content on the social platform itself).

Ultimately, where you create and host your content should be determined by how and where you plan on marketing it and how others are likely to share it as well.

If you aren't hosting content directly on social platforms, always ensure that the content hosting platform that you have chosen supports preview-ability. If you employ enterprise social internally in your company like Slack or Chatter, it's good to double-check your contents preview-ability there as well. Don't forget to invest time on Twitter cards; they are a great way to add more draw to your twitter posts via a preview; and even if Twitter doesn't natively support your content platform's preview, it can usually be remedied via Twitter cards.

Spend some time considering which channels your followers will most likely employ to share your content. It may not be a channel that you plan on exercising, but creating content that is easy to share and looks good when shared is sure to please. Always integrate a "Share" button into your template or employ a platform like LinkedIn as your base where this functionality is standard.

If you are used to regularly crafting lengthy publications for print, you should also consider breaking them into chunks that will play well online; especially via mobile. By simply saving them to .PDF, uploading them to an FTP server, and sharing the link to download them, you lose a lot of your online market. You will much better appeal to your online audience, who will prefer "short and sweet" pieces of content, by breaking down those 50 page reports into small, modularized sections that are easily shared via social. While I'm sure your full report is amazing, and surely many will want to download and read it over a grande cappuccino; it may be better served in smaller online portions that can be more easily shared with friends and is more likely to generate broader engagement.

Don't forget, content playability isn't an afterthought!


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