The fourth lever is extendability. I’m cheating on this one a bit.
It’s the ability for content to be repurposed or re-used for benefit or it can be how far that content goes on it’s own merits after some initial traction.
Let’s talk about the latter.
There are lots of possible components, and then there are the building blocks of those components. Any one thing like, portability, memorability, or usefulness could be enough to extend your content far beyond what it’d do without that consideration.
Building blocks to get you there could be as simple as a good story, an easy-to-remember title, or low friction ways to disseminate it. Some nuances:
- Portability/shareability – things that make up a portable message are simplicity, like a twist on something familiar, a quick story to encase a point, or just being easy to relay
- Memorability – When someone thinks about it, what is the likelihood, after reading it, that they will think about it again? Would life things prompt it to come up in conversation? Could a reader easily find that content again? Does it prompt someone to think? It could be counter-intuitive/contrarian or resonant, like putting a common feeling your readers have into words in a meaningful way.
Some thoughts on memorability.
Memorability is pre-requisite to long-term shareability
Shareability is a bit of a trite buzz word in marketing. It makes you think of buzzfeed or upworthy type sites with clickbait headlines, like “21 Things That Will Make Anyone From Philly Say ‘Yup.'” And unfortunately there’s something to that, because it’s effective in the short-term.
But for subject matter experts building audiences over time, I’m also talking about the long game of shareability: being memorable.
A short-term shareability and a long-term memorability example
Ann (wife/partner) and I were watching something on Netflix via Amazon Fire TV. I wanted to show her a Youtube video of the new JOKER trailer (very looking forward).
Anyway, we had to download Youtube and decided not to log in. Irrelevant aside: After watching JOKER, the SEO in me got to see how Youtube’s recommendation engine handled just that one data point of watching JOKER and nothing else.
I like to imagine the Youtube recommendation engine working really hard throwing things at us. And when I didn’t click on the firehose of superhero adaptation trailers, it realized that to follow the joker trailer, some users might need a little comic relief.
As a last ditch effort, it spit out a row of popular, chill pet videos.
So we ended up clicking on “Top 200 Funny Animals Vines.”
I couldn’t remember why we originally downloaded Youtube because I had already seen the trailer. And I couldn’t remember the name of the pet Vines video but was able to find it with a quick search on “100 funny pet vines.” I instantly knew I found the right one because it starts with a very convincing dog playing dead.
The strung together six second clips are highly engaging. The tiny zap of dopamine every few seconds kept us watching for 20 minutes. We didn’t want to miss any really good ones.
There are near infinite pet vines on Youtube but only a handful of 100 or 200 pet vine clips edited together.
MY POINT is content can be made memorable a number of ways and the likelihood of being able to find it again has to precede sharing it over time (like I just did above).
A follow up example, maybe more relevant for our purposes.
You could read a really interesting, useful, and meaningful to your life article on procrastination, but if it’s titled, “Thoughts on procrastination,” good luck finding it again in a year.
If it’s called “Structured Procrastination,” though, it makes it a lot easier.
I could go from sharing something never to five to ten times over the course of a lifespan, if it has a good name.
So much more to discuss! But this is getting a bit long so I’ll leave it there.