Whether you’re creating podcasts, videos, blogs, social media content…etc. The fight is on for your audience’s attention. How do you grab it, keep it, and make the most of it?
Matt Deegan, Co-founder and Creative Director of new media and radio consultancy firm Folder Media, joined me in this episode to discuss exactly that.
With a successful career advising audio and entertainment companies how to develop their business, Matt has plenty of experience working out what audiences want and how to give it to them.
We talk about competing for your audience’s attention with content, using a multi-platform approach to stay front of mind, how companion content can help you maximize your impact, and much more.
Press play to hear some of the highlights from our conversation…
Or listen to our full conversation on the podcast…
…or read on to find out the five key takeaways from this episode.
1. Treat your audience as your North Star
Consumer behaviors change, so your content and strategy should too. But the only way you’re going to know what content is going to be successful is by paying attention to your audience in the first place.
You want your content to be in the right place at the right time for your audience. Matt advises keeping a close eye on how their consumption changes so you can stay in alignment with that.
Matt says that one mistake he sees businesses make with their content is just creating what they want to create, and not listening to their audience’s needs. This just adds to the noise and is unlikely to really grab people’s attention. Instead, Matt suggests asking some hard questions about your content, such as:
- Does this content satisfy my audience’s needs?
- Does it solve my audience’s problem?
- Is it audience-focused?
- Is it any good?
According to Matt, businesses get caught up thinking about content as advertising. This is when it falls short of the mark.
To prevent this, Matt recommends taking cues from broadcasters, other content creators, and crucially, your audience, to understand why they do what they do.
2. The key lessons from MrBeast’s Squid Game remake
Matt wrote a really interesting article all about what content creators can learn from MrBeast’s $2m recreation of Netflix’s hit show Squid Game – you can read that here. I asked him to talk a little more about it, and he shared two very interesting points.
The first was that MrBeast’s huge monetary investment in creating this one video shows how to think differently about plugging time and money into content. He used funds generated by his back-catalogue of content to create the video and has uploaded it to YouTube, where he will see returns over time. It’s not a get-rich-quick content scheme, it’s (typically) a slow burner.
As more people watch the video, his returns will grow, and he can use that to create more wild videos. It’s a great example of how content is a long-game, and how the results can continue to roll in long after you’ve hit publish.
The second lesson was all about promotion. Most other businesses wouldn’t have used all $2m to create just one video. But MrBeast did. Matt and I both agreed we would have created streams of videos, sliced and diced for social media, audio content, written content and more...but MrBeast did very little of that. He just focused on one awesome 25-minute video. So why did he take this approach and how did the video get promoted?
The answer is that the video’s concept generated so much interest, other creators and publications were promoting it for him. All MrBeast had to do was put a few short pieces of content out describing what he was creating. Then news sources, influencers, meme pages – you name it – picked up the content and started promoting it, just because it was newsworthy.
While this is an awesome lesson in how powerful third parties can be for promoting your content, it worked because MrBeast’s primary audience is already on YouTube. Even without promotion on other platforms, he still would have reached his audience with this video.
Matt’s advice for most businesses is, let this story give you some food for thought, but don’t try this at home!
3. Be tactical about your multi-platform approach
Both Matt and I recommend taking a multi-platform approach (unlike MrBeast). By this we mean repurposing your content so it reaches wider audiences, with different needs and preferences, on multiple channels.
Matt notes that picking out the best bits is a great way to get seen, but to get results, you may need to be a bit more tactical about it.
He suggests thinking about your content as a storyline. Consider what stories you can tell on each platform to grip audiences and make them take action.
For example, you could share an interview clip that gives away a great tip, or you could tease that this video is part of a bigger piece of content. Which would get the result you want?
This is exactly what we do for our clients, check out our services if you want to find out more.
4. Share content consistently – even if it’s repeated
Matt shared some key thoughts on why it’s so important to deliver content frequently.
Ultimately, publishing content regularly helps you stay front of mind. The more content you can put out on various platforms lets audiences know who you are and that you’re not going anywhere. So when they come to make a buying decision, they think of you. Matt says:
“Advertising works when we get repetitive messages from multiple sources. That’s the key to all advertisement. So if you’ve had one particular message fed to you 30 times on TikTok or Reels, it’s going to be front of mind.”
If you struggle to share new or repurposed content regularly, Matt advises resharing what you already have. This works exceptionally well with any live content.
It’s unlikely that your entire audience will have been able to consume your live content when you were broadcasting it, so don’t be afraid to share it again after the fact.
I also advise resharing any content that’s performed well in the past too. These can be quick wins for getting more content out there and staying front of mind, even if you’re strapped for fresh content.
5. Fill in gaps with companion content
Companion content is a brilliant way to give your audience more of what they like. For Matt, this means exploring new opportunities with your content and connecting with your audience in new ways.
Matt shared a story about his recent work producing a companion podcast for the hit UK reality TV show, Love Island. The podcast was created to fill the lull in the day when people were less likely to talk about the TV show and give new insights into the existing content. It took a different angle, format, and style to the original content, but helped the same fans engage.
The result here was a new way to monetize an already maxed-out pillar piece of content, as well as increasing promotion and audience retention.
Other types of companion content include the short “moments” episodes that you might find on podcasts. These spin-off shows often give consumers with different needs a way into the content that’s more accessible – especially if they’re tight on time.
For more about companion content, check out this blog post: Repurposing Your Core Content Into Companion Content.
Level up your audience-attention-grabbing potential
Those are just five of the gems Matt shared in this episode, but there’s plenty more! Get them all by tuning into the conversation, just hit play on the podcast player at the top of this page, or find the episode on your favorite podcast app and listen on the go.
To hear more from Matt, you can follow him on Twitter, or check out his website. For the latest audio updates, including what’s happening in the podcast, streaming, and radio world, subscribe to Matt’s weekly newsletter (link on his website).
Embarking on a full-scale content marketing strategy is a huge task. Even with a content team, doing all the foundational analysis and then creating, repurposing, and distributing content, can put pressure on your already time-strapped team. So why not outsource some of it?Our repurposing services take content repurposing and distribution off your plate – allowing you and your team to focus on what you do best, while getting all the awesome content your business needs. We offer services for podcasters, video creators, and can even help you create your content. Check out our list of services here to find out more.