Too many budding content creators look at Gary Vaynerchuk's almost maniacal work ethic and come away thinking they need to work that hard to succeed. But that really misses what makes GaryVee truly successful. The man works smart.
He’s not just throwing content at the wall to see what sticks. There’s a highly developed system for content creation, evaluation, and distribution of content, and not just on social media. As a result, when GaryVee puts out 100 pieces of content, you can bet he’s coming away with tons of useful insights that will make his next 100 pieces of content more successful.
It’s a model you need to be emulating. So, we’ve broken down the content strategy for you so you can approach content marketing the right way.
Step 1: Create pillar content
The biggest hurdle is the psychological barrier to getting started. Once you know the steps you’ll need to take, things get easier. GaryVee has published a deck about how he repurposes content. It will show you how easy it is to get ideas based on a single pillar idea and then repurpose it. Many of the things in that deck don’t take that much time and can be done on your own.
Choosing the right topics
That process starts with great pillar content. This means something on a meaty topic that you can make 30-60 minutes of content about. This could be an interview, keynote, or even something episodic. If you’re not sure you’ve got the right topic for your audience, don’t worry because the rest of the process is about learning just that.
Step 2: Create microcontent
Once you’ve created your piece of pillar content it’s time to start slicing and dicing. The idea here is to try and get at least a dozen or so pieces of smaller content. These could be memes, articles, quotes, mashups, clips, etc.
One key consideration that GaryVee’s team uses is to create microcontent around moments in the pillar content that will resonate with your audience. If you have no idea what moments those might be, take a guess and the rest of the process will help you determine if you were right.
Consider the platform
One thing to always keep in mind when creating your microcontent is the platform. Even if your audience is fairly uniform, they’re going to have different expectations on Twitter or LinkedIn vs Facebook or your email newsletter. Your microcontent needs to be tailored for the platforms you're using just as much as it is for your audience.
Step 3: Distribute pillar and microcontent
Once you’ve done all that work making great pillar and microcontent, you can’t rely on “fire and forget.” You need to distribute that content with a strategy in mind. That means releasing your microcontent only after your pillar content. Here’s why:
Your microcontent needs a mission
Your microcontent isn’t just about giving your audience more interesting stuff, it’s got to do two things. First, it should always point your audience back towards the original pillar content. Second, it needs to work like an experiment. Each piece of microcontent should teach you something.
Also, the more places you’re putting out this content, the more opportunities you have to learn. Think about using IGTV, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Quora, email newsletters, your own blog, Youtube, and just about anywhere else your audience spends their time. One of the key things you’re trying to learn is which platforms are best for your content.
Step 4: Get community insights
Now’s the time to learn. Once your pillar and microcontent is all out there, it’s time to take off your creator hat and start listening. All of that hard work has now put you in the position to gain tremendous insights into what your audience loves. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be ready to create even more engaging content and grow your audience.
How to listen more intelligently
One great tip from GaryVee is to ask your viewers to let you know what parts of your content resonated with them and to include the timestamp. This will save you a huge amount of time trying to decipher what someone meant when they talked about the X or Y part. But however you do it, you need to find effective ways to get feedback about every piece of content you put out.
Step 5: Community driven microcontent
You probably assumed that step 5 was when you go back to creating pillar content based on all you’ve learned so far. But that’s not the case, there’s still a lot of value you should be getting out of what you’ve done so far.
That means taking all of your insights and creating a second batch of microcontent. This is when you can really hone in and test your hypotheses. So, for example, you put out a 3 minute clip of you discussing a specific topic but found that not many people watched it. That could be because it was too long or because the topic wasn’t right. Now try putting out a 30 second version and see if that performs better. This way you’re isolating what’s working and not working.
Step 6: Distribute second round of microcontent
Once you’ve finished preparing your second round of microcontent it’s time to put it out there on all the same channels mentioned previously. Obviously you need to still be listening to your community’s response so you can be ready to take those insights and start this entire process over again.
Need a team to help you use the GaryVee content model?
I mentioned how much GaryVee works in the beginning and that’s certainly still true. This whole process is intensive, but worth it for the amount of extra value you can create from each piece of pillar content. If you’re trying to put the GaryVee content model into practice, we can help.