When we discussed narrowcasting and focusing on new target audiences, we briefly mentioned the strategy of building brand awareness by broadcasting as well – the idea that a portion of your content should always cast as wide a net as possible. Now it's time to dig deeper: Broadcasting your content ensures that you will pick up a steady rate of leads from people who casually wander across your site or social media…and that happens more than you might think! But what makes for good broadcast content? Let's talk about appealing to as wide an audience as possible.
When Everyone is Your Audience
There's an excellent metaphor from 9 Clouds that we don't mind borrowing: Broadcasting content is a lot like the days where there were only 3 television channels to watch (NBC, CBS, and ABC, if you were curious). Pretty much everyone watched at least one of those networks, but competition remained tight between the three. As a result, they devoted a significant amount of time to appealing to as broad an audience as possible – kid-friendly shows, westerns, general news stories, and other content that the whole family could watch.
While the TV networks were literally broadcasting their content, the lesson is still useful for anyone creating online messages today. It's important to have something for every kind of customer: In other words, it's okay to be generic…as long as you are generic the smart way.
Let's Talk Tactics
What makes for good broadcast content? The features we've discussed elsewhere, like actionable information and entertain content, remain important. However, let's look at a few more specific tips on making content that is suitable for anyone who might run across it:
- Focus on Simplicity: Broadcasting is all about K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Silly. Make your messages simple to understand, avoid using too much jargon, and limit yourself to one concept per piece of content.
- Don't Assume Knowledge: Most of your clients probably know what they are talking about (although we know it doesn't always feel like it). But with broadcasting, you need to assume that you are talking to very, very ignorant people who don't know how anything works or why things should be this way. Be very clear, explain what you say, and point out even the obvious.
- Give a TL:DR summary: The "too long;didn't read" phenomenon is more common today than ever before. People online are used to bite-sized pieces of content: Anything longer, and you will automatically lose the tl;dr portion of your audience. The solution? Include a summary at the top of your content that includes all vital information for the very busy and distractable. Try to limit it to the size of a tweet – and remember to include your CTA in it as well.
- Make it Pleasing to the Eye: Of course, if you have any images you should make sure they are professional and attractive. But we're also talking about how text looks and is framed. Big chunks of text are a big online turnoff. Separate your paragraphs frequently and avoid looking anything like an essay or textbook.
- If Instructions are Necessary, Provide Details: Go step by step whenever possible.
- Use Visuals: Visuals include photos, graphs, infographics, slideshows, short videos, screenshots, and so on. These help a broader audience connect with your message, understand what you are saying, and avoid boredom. Use them frequently in broadcast content!
- Collect Data: Broadcast content can be very useful in finding out how random consumers become useful leads. Don't forget to check your traffic, conversions, and sales data from broadcast content to see what seems to work best!