By day, I’m a mild-mannered newspaper guy. But by night… I’m a dad. But by later that same night, I have a secret identity; I am a cartoonist. (St. Joseph readers have seen my latest strip created exclusively for this paper.) One of the important facets of making my content in the future (read “future” in a dramatic voice) is making sure my content reaches a large number of people in a variety of ways.
In 2018, there is no one place to post your content. People often think in terms of “should I be on Facebook or Twitter?” The answer is you need to be on both. And it’s not just content that needs to be multi-platform, it’s also our advertising.
We’ve all heard the phrase about putting all your eggs in one basket, and often times we think of it just in financial terms. But, in the Information Age, as content producers (or advertisers) we often ignore this advice for our own messages and content. We think in terms of “digital versus print” or “radio versus billboard” or even “television versus blogs” which are all false dichotomies. It’s not a zero-sum game where, in a Highlander-like fashion, there can only be one. Content likes to be in as many places as it can.
On the flip-side, as content consumers we can’t afford to get all our eggs from one basket. Only being on Facebook, for example, means you’re at the whim of Facebook’s mighty content algorithm, which decides what you see and when you see it. If I’m only on Twitter, I will often get to see news and celebrity gossip, but I’ll miss out on family photos. If I only get my news from my site of choice (BBC, CNN for me), then I’m going to miss out on other points of view and local content.
I confess, I’m as guilty as anyone on either side of the political spectrum of often enjoying the comfort of only hearing opinions I would agree with, which is why it’s so important I force myself to read and watch other points of view. I need more baskets to get eggs from.
On the advertising side, if you are only advertising on the radio, billboards or even print, that means you are only making contact one way. Advertising should be a mixture of media so you get the people who are only on Facebook as well as the people who are only reading print. Not only that, but you would also be able to reinforce your connection to people who are diversifying their media consumption habits. Your customers are not only on one platform and neither should your ads be.
As for my secret identity of The Marvelous Patric, that guy started with posting his comics on his website, then print books, then Facebook and Twitter. Last year, he added Instagram. At no point have any forms been discontinued, just added to. At each point, it should be noted that rarely did a member of one audience group belong to a different audience group. Eggs were going into different baskets and rarely were those baskets…well, the metaphor kind of falls apart here, but the idea is those different baskets reach different people.
Businesses and consumers, I urge you to think about your baskets and maybe add a basket or two in 2018. Your eggs will be better off for it.