If there is one trend that is now well and truly a mandatory requirement, yet so few online marketers get right 100% of the time (me included), it is the need for multimedia in everything you do.
When I say multimedia, I mean the use of different modalities of content, tapping into the trinity of text, audio and video.
Frank Kern was one of the first online marketers I heard stress the need for content in video, audio and text. Eben Pagan does too, and is one of the best when it comes to delivering all three types of media during his launches. Rich Schefren demonstrated how to easily create all three mediums using live webinars as your base product content production tool, redistributing them in text transcripts, mp3s and video recordings. Many other marketers do the same, taking advantage of software like GoToWebinar to create content live, and record it for time-shifted consumption.
I knew how important multimedia is way back during my first launch in 2007, which is why I spent about four hours talking out an audio version of my Blog Profits Blueprint that I gave away for free along with the PDF text version.
Ask yourself how many people you see actually do this when they release free reports?
Then when it came time to teach Blog Mastermind, my first course, not only did I write every lesson by hand, I recorded an audio version using my own voice, to ensure people had a portable format of my core training materials. My next two courses, Become A Blogger Premium and Membership Site Mastermind are both predominately video, however all video content is available as text transcripts and MP3s as well.
When I study, my preferred modality is audio. I haven’t taken the time to speed up my reading skills, so I’m slow when it comes to text. I like video, but for me the visuals don’t usually make much of a difference compared to the audio alone, so I simply listen to the videos on portable devices or in my car.
In my current lifestyle because I live inner city, I often walk to places near me, whether it is the cafe to do some writing, or dinner with friends, a movie, or a trip to the city to collect the snail mail and do some shopping. Whether I walk or catch a bus or drive my car, I make use of the time to consume training materials.
For me, time in transit is study time, when I get most of my information product consumption done. As a result, I’m always on the hunt for the audio version of products.
Gideon, my business partner, rarely reads my blog anymore. His justification? It’s not video.
Gideon is a video guy and unless he sees a video on my blog, it’s very rare that he will finish reading one of my articles from top to bottom. I can’t really blame him as I very rarely read blogs myself. Most of my study is focused on specific topics from specialist providers in specialist courses, which I listen to in audio or video format while on the move.
In all content you create, whether it’s launch content, product content or blog/social media content, there are two major concerns –
Note the very key difference between consumption and distribution.
There’s no point having great distribution if no one engages with your content. Having consumption but no distribution means you’re saying some great stuff, but only a small audience is aware of it. You need both ingredients if you want success on a mass scale, or at least a scale to deliver the kind of results we want as online business owners.
Using multimedia helps you leverage distribution channels which you might otherwise exclude if you don’t use all modalities (for example text won’t do very well on YouTube).
Multimedia helps you to engage your audience no matter what preferred format they have. No one will zone out because they have a short attention span for reading text or hate that they can’t scan your video for the bits that they want to watch.
Multimedia also gives you the best chance to influence the strongest force for distribution – word of mouth.
If people are going to share what you create with other people, they need to first find your content, gain value from it after consuming enough of it, and then have an easy means to share it. This cycle then repeats, as your content is distributed thanks to the human desire to share things of value with other humans.
Sharing is going to go on wherever people understand the tools to share the content and where their community currently habitats. Today as I write this, the most common communities where people share content is Facebook with the “share” and “like” functions, Twitter with the retweet and @reply standards, the good old forwarded email, or of course, a conversation in real life is still a powerful form of word of mouth distribution.
Delivering your content in multimedia and making it easy to share is a very good idea if you want your message to spread and thus your business to grow online. It also makes sense if you’re going to put so much effort into producing content, why wouldn’t you take a few extra steps to help it spread further and impact more people?
At the risk of sounding hypocritical, this blog post you are reading now is not going to be transformed into an MP3 audio or a video.
Well, I have excuses, but the real reason is I just haven’t set up the systems to do it.
In an ideal world I’d have a team of outsourcers pounce on every blog post I write and ensure it’s made into all media formats and syndicated as far as we can take it. That’s what guys like James Schramko are doing and they’re getting some nice traffic rewards as a result.
I could do it personally of course, but that’s not a great use of my time. I should be creating content, not replicating it.
Plus let’s not forget it costs money to pay people to do things like transcripts for audios and videos, or to turn text into audio or convert an article into a video slide presentation. If you don’t have a means to return profit on your efforts, you’re going to dig yourself into a hole no matter how far your content goes.
For the time being I’ve executed an 80/20 rule solution, focusing on creating multimedia formats for my best content only. This ensures that I make a good first impression because my best content is likely to be the first taste someone gets when they are touched by something I created.
This is a formula you can follow right now. If you don’t know what your best content is, wait and see how people react to what you create and then use that as indication of what people want more of.
Often I find a certain concept or idea in some content performs really well, which makes it a candidate for reproduction in different media formats. Sometimes people flat out ask you to create a transcript of a really great video, or suddenly you’re getting lots of comments on a blog article, which tells you a video and MP3 on the same subject is probably a good idea.
One thing is certain – our world is becoming more connected, at least in an electronic sense. With so many devices providing access to the web and making it easy to consume all formats of content, the more you have out there, the bigger your footprint, and thus more people you can reach.
It makes sense to give people more of what they already enjoy from you by leveraging multimedia. Doing so can only open you up to new people and help you spread your message further.
I don’t know about you, but I always find it thrilling to think that at any point in time there are people all over this planet reading my words on their desktop computer, listening to me speak in an audio as they drive their car, or are watching me present in a video on their iPad. I’m helping thousands of people every day, even though I don’t know who most of them are, and I do it even while I sleep.
That’s just way cool.
Don’t keep all those brilliant ideas of yours in your head, get them out there for people to benefit from in whatever format they choose. Make it easy, give people what they want in as many formats as you can, encourage sharing and you will be surprised how much of an impact you will have, most of the time without even knowing it.