As custom content becomes ever more important to any company’s marketing strategy, adapting that content to a range of platforms and formats takes some finesse.
“If you’re thinking of a specific context when you create content, your mind naturally wraps itself into the opportunities and constraints inherent in that medium,” notes Karen McGrane in PrintMag.com. “Imagining that your content can and will be reused in many ways poses its own set of limitations and benefits.”
In other words, McGrane suggests that you create content in such a way that it can adapt more easily to a range of platforms, and she offers a few key suggestions on how to make that happen.
Write Stand-alone Headlines
“Because you can use page titles in multiple places, write standalone headlines so that they can serve as page headers and links,” McGrane suggests. “If you’re only going to write one page title, then ensure that headline includes keywords to help the user decide whether she wants to click on the link, and determine if she’s in the right place.”
Write Multiple Headlines
“Sometimes, it’s just not possible to write a single headline that works in every context,” McGrane continues. “You may have to write multiple headline versions—some that work as page titles, some that work as links….This approach provides extra value when combined in a one-two punch—they could be combined into a longer headline or the link title could be used as a summary.”
Don’t Bury the Lede
“Readers are likely to scan headings and initial sentences, searching for words that they think will answer their questions,” she notes. “If you combine multiple ideas in a chunk with no visual separation or distinction between them, important information will likely be overlooked.”
She also offers some good insights on using images and infographics, including tips on where they really don’t work well (think smartphone). In those cases, she recommends having a fallback version of the information, like a simple table of data.
Ultimately, it comes down to realizing that the same content really can live in a variety of formats, with a bit of tweaking.
“The most fundamental challenge is a change in mindset. Content creators need to break free of imagining a single context where their content is going to live and instead plan for content reuse.”
If you are charged with creating content for your company, definitely read the entire article for some more good ideas.