The return of VH1’s popular show Pop Up Video (after nearly a nine-year hiatus) this week signifies something content marketers can rejoice in – our audiences love bite-sized content.
Pop Up Video features small snippets of details that appear on the screen in small bubbles. Each blurb reveals details about how the producers and directors made the video, along with facts, figures and trivia about the artist and song. After watching just one episode, viewers have an abundant amount of information to use, share or discuss later.
That’s why content marketing should be like Pop Up Video. It’s important to give your audience extremely interesting information in a quick, simple and easy way.
Leverage All Kinds of Data
The writers and producers of the hit series go outside of the typical sources (industry publications and blogs) to find interesting tidbits to share on the show.
As content producers, we need to take a hint from the show and look everywhere for content ideas. A few good sources for finding content ideas outside the usual sources are to read the publications and blogs your audience may read for fun, to browse infographic sites such as Visual.ly and to check out the popular headlines on news sites.
Break Content Into Bite-Sized Chunks
The information on Pop Up Video appears in small, easy-to-digest chunks. Content should be formatted in the same bite-sized snippets for the Web. Readers like content that is broken into smaller sentences, paragraphs or bullet points. Consider how you can expand this thought process to other mediums, especially social media.
Peter Shankman, founder of Help a Reporter made a good point in this video on how to grow a Twitter following. He said that the best way to grow your following is to engage your audience by sharing interesting information. If you don’t know what to Tweet about, break up a blog post into multiple Twitter posts.
Treat Content Like a Visual Medium
In his recent blog titled, “The Atomic Method of Creating a PowerPoint Presentation,” Seth Godin explained that you need to weed out points by taking your presentation and giving each sentence a slide. This allows you to see where you are using too many words or being redundant.
Godin writes, “Once you have 50 slides…Remove slides and sentences that add no value or don’t move you forward.”
We should treat all of our content in this way. If it’s not worth saying, why would our audience want to read, view or share it?
Creating Your Pop Up File
The most important tool in a content producer’s box is a file full of ideas. Here are a few tips for creating your pop up file:
- Save or star interesting content. Use an RSS feed aggregator like Google Reader to grab news, blogs and video inspiration and star or save anything that sparks an idea.
- Use Google Alerts. You can also put these in Reader or earmark a folder in your email manager for them. Use your top 10 keywords to create alerts.
- Use Twitter searches. Use a Twitter management tool such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck to set up keyword searches. Topsy.com also allows you to search by hashtag or keyword and delivers results based on type of content.
- Sign up for industry newsletters. Yes, you’ll get lots of email, but you can use filters and folders to organize them. Scan the headlines once a day for content ideas.
- Be aware of the calendar. The Chase’s Calendar of Events is a nice resource because it catalogs just about every holiday, observance and famous birthday by month, week and day. To save on cost, you can get the previous year’s version on Amazon for about half price and verify dates with a Google search. You can also access daily observances for free on their website.
Addictive content takes thought, creativity and the right packaging. Watch an episode or two of Pop Up Video for a little inspiration. You can practice by creating your own pop up video at the show’s site.