Making It Easier for Your Audience to Consume – and Create – Content

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Content is a very popular word today. I heard it on a pre-Star Wars trailer at the theater this weekend—makes for a funny juxtaposition: "See all of our Batman v. Superman saves the world content at www..." Radio shows tell us to check out the content on their website—meaning podcasts, reports, surveys, etc.

Veronica Magan, managing editor and digital strategist for Access Intelligence's Via Satellite Magazine and Avionics Magazine, told the SIPA 2015 crowd in June that they "want to provide the reader with a great experience no matter where [that reader] is accessing content... We want to enrich content in ways that print can't," Magan said

Here are four ideas to enrich your content for your audience:

Get valuable audience content. It used to be that we sought comments for good content. But Studio 360, a weekly radio show produced by Public Radio International, did something better. They held a contest asking listeners to submit 30-second videos about any holiday in December. Here's the winner, and here are all 200-some entries.

"Some were nice, several naughty," said Jenny Slate, an actress and writer who served as judge. Overall, she was impressed. "The fact that over 200 people managed to make some concise and very entertaining and really beautiful shorts is a Christmas miracle in itself."

More importantly, it's perfect content. Nothing says clicks like interesting 30-second videos that people worked hard on. Maybe this can work in the B2B world as well with an occasion or event that pertains to your niche. You might have to be willing to give away something of value—a free pass to a big event or a year's subscription—but the engagement could be worth it.

It was for Studio 360. (I like one from Lincoln in New York City that starts "Santa has lost his way...")

Promote content with a twist. SIPA member MIT Technology Review has a section on its website titled You May Have Missed. Below that are nine attractive graphic squares with headlines—most representing an article in the magazine. (One square promotes a video from their conference.) This keeps these excellent stories front and center with their subscribers and others who wander onto the site.

"We had a foundation of research feedback of what people were looking for," said Bruce Rhodes, VP of consumer revenues. There is an active MIT Alumni Forum that helped. The magazine's mission is to "focus on technologies that make a meaningful difference."

Give shorter options to consume your content. The International Association of Convention Centres will reinvent its annual meeting, which it has also renamed IACC-Americas Connect. IACC members have indicated a preference for shorter, more impactful conferences with good accessibility, affordable registration and dynamic collaborative learning opportunities. The time has been shortened to two days, and IACC members can attend for one day or for the entire event.  

Get a sponsor for a report or white paper. The Economic Benchmarks for Wholesale Distributionan important guide for the industry—is an annual report put out by SIPA member Modern Distribution Management. The idea emerged to ask a major software company to be the sponsor.

"They've been buying the report and using it internally," Gale said. "We started talking with them about the value of a sponsorship." The sponsor gets its name on the front, an ad on the back cover of the printed book and a full-page ad in the PDF version, its name on the webcast and recording, branding on an associated whitepaper and an internal corporate license. But the sponsor has no say on the content. 

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…