When we get asked to create content for companies they usually think of create a single video or a couple of photos they can use on their website and social media. I don’t blame them for that. It’s obviously a common content plan. A terrible one, but a common one non the less.
It’s only after I explain why it’s a terrible idea do they start to really understand.
You see when you create a single piece of content and try to force it onto multiple platforms it’s like trying to pound a square peg into a round whole. Or very literally a rectangular image into a round icon graphic on your social media profile.
You see it’s the little things that make a big impact when it comes to portraying your company or brand well online. When you take a rectangular image and try to make it your Facebook profile image, which is square you’re going to lose something. Some part of that image is going to get cropped out. Or your square logo when you make it your Instagram profile image that’s a circle and all of a sudden half of your brand name doesn’t show up anymore.
What I see the most is a graphic that was clearly made for a website where the sizing and cropping weren’t effected, meaning the whole image was shown. Then that same graphic gets posted to Facebook which has sizing requirements and 20% of the image suddenly gets cropped off cutting off important text and making your company look slack and lazy. Yet, that seems to be the norm. Same with Instagram, we all know Instagram is a square based platform and while you can push that to a rectangle in Instagram, it’s not the complete image and it’s not ideal for the platform.
Maybe it’s something simpler and far more subtle. I see this one all the time and it drives me crazy. I’ll be watching a video and someone will say, click the link below to visit our website. Sounds great right, well if you’re on youtube sure, because the link is placed below the video, but when that same video is posted online to Facebook, guess what. All of the text gets places above the video, so there is no link below. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference. The key to thinking about where you want to use your content and create images, videos and graphics specific to that platform. It takes maybe just a little extra time while producing the video to have someone say one line with click the link above and another with click the link below and use the appropriate one on each platform.
Maybe it’s a much bigger deal. You make a 90 second video for Facebook and then decided to post it to Instagram, but instead of making a new 60 edit of the video, you just let the last 30 seconds get cut off. WHAT! You spent a lot of time and money on that last 30 seconds, why would you just cut it off and waste it?
It’s so easy to create custom content and format it specifically for the various platforms online yet companies are still too lazy to create a square version of their graphic, or a video in the right proportions or length and instead are happy to have their content mutilated by the platform. Why? Why not make your content ideal for the platform you’re posting it to. You wouldn’t think of printing a flyer with half the design cut off? Why treat your social media posts, which are far more effective, like an unwanted piece of fat on a top sirloin.
So next time you need to make content ask yourself what platforms it’s going to go on and then make a specific version of that content for each platform. Yes, it will take you a little bit longer, yes it’s more to do in your busy day, but it’s worth it. You’ll start to see more engagement and more conversation. People can tell when you’re being lazy and they won’t distinguish you from you brand. You may not think about it, but it’s all those little things that add up to a big difference in your branding and ultimately your companies success.