The Power of Great Content to Boost Your Brand
What is a Content Entry Point?
Authors naturally love to write, so getting ideas down on the printed page is a process that often flows easily. While writing a manuscript, it’s common for authors to enjoy exploring all angles of their subject and to offer readers different ways to engage with their content. “Content Entry Points,” as I like to call them, are places in a text where a reader connects with an idea and jumps in to learn more. These entry points can be quite diverse and include devices such as anecdotes, statistics, historical information, quotes, illustrations, graphics, maps, checklists, and worksheets.
Why is this important to a book?
The reason that these entry points are important to include in a book is that every reader is different and not everyone likes to consume content in the same way. Visual readers will respond well to graphics, numbers-oriented readers will like the stats, and readers who absorb information best through first-hand accounts will appreciate anecdotes. When an author offers multiple entry points such as these in their manuscript, they are also casting the net wide and offering lots of people a chance to engage with the book, no matter what type of content consumption preference they may have.
But what happens when an author needs to take that next step? What happens once the manuscript is complete, the content is diverse, and it’s time to spread the word to let people know that the book exists?
The answer is that it’s time to use this same technique to build a platform.
What is a platform?
For an author, a platform is like their stage. It’s a foundation that an author can build from and deliver their ideas to the world. A platform can consist of many different assets such as a website, social media channels, a blog, and speaking engagements. All of these assets are ways that authors can communicate with their audience and spread their message to the masses. Developing multiple assets is a great way to build a very strong platform since these assets are also... you guessed it... content entry points!
TIP 1: Don’t Worry — You’ve Done this Before
Many authors experience some anxiety about building a platform, partially because a large majority of assets they need to develop are digital. Blogging, tweeting, pinning, posting – these are activities that lie outside the comfort zone for many authors whose expertise lies in writing good old fashioned books. But the good news is that authors don’t have to reinvent the wheel for content when expanding their platform. The same ideas – and the same content entry points – that an author develops for their manuscript can easily jump from page to platform.
TIP 2: Cast the Content Net Wide
Without realizing it, authors almost always have an arsenal of content ready to utilize within their platforms. If a book has infographics, these can be used as images to post on Facebook or Pinterest. If there are already great quotes used in the manuscript, consider using some as tweets. Have a case study? Summarize it in a blog post. A particularly powerful anecdote can be written as a long-form post on Medium. Platform assets lend themselves very nicely to the repurposing of a book’s content and offer a chance to deepen and enhance an author’s ideas. Two content entry points that a printed book can’t offer are video and audio. But an author can easily record a video series discussing the ideas behind the book to post on YouTube, or interview peers for added insights in a podcast for their website.
TIP 3: Audience Consumption Preferences
One last point for authors to remember is that not all people within a demographic are the same. While it’s very important to consider who a target audience is for a book – whether it’s men, women, C-suite leaders, or millennial college students – it’s vital to keep in mind that content consumption preferences are based on personality. One CEO may hate reading more than a paragraph of text, but loves video. While another CEO may find listicles too simplistic and prefers to deep-dive into meaty chunks of information. Both readers are in a business demographic and are likely to be active on social channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn, but they have different content consumption preferences. Therefore, while building a platform, don’t assume that all tweets need to be text-only to cater to business leaders. Mix it up and include a diversity of content entry points across the platform in order to give as many readers as possible a chance to jump in!