When I was a teen, my mother decided to take me and my two brothers to Europe. She thought it would be fun to bring her best friend and her three kids along too.
A fearless and thrifty explorer, Mom thought she’d rent a minivan and drive us all over the continent herself. Six hormonal teenagers, two single moms, one minivan. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything. But first, and undeniably most importantly, my wardrobe. Since all eight of us would be packed in a minivan, we were only allowed one carry-on suitcase apiece for the entire six-week journey.
Seriously? What’s a fashion-conscious 15-year-old with a massive hair blow dryer and 17 essential pairs of shoes to do? Did my mother honestly expect me to wear the quintessential American sneakers, white socks, and Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt to my London, Parisian, and Roman debut’s? As if!
Thankfully, Mom had a plan, and that plan involved “modular clothing.”
In the 1980’s, a one-size-fits-all jersey outfit that could be worn 7 different ways was a real thing. I could not make this stuff up, young readers. Ultra-modern skirts doubled as tube tops, belts worked as headbands, pants could be worn backward…you get the picture. Oh, and the best part…everything could be worn inside out!
With modular clothing, your only wardrobe limitation was your imagination.
All thanks to Units – a popular but short-lived mall shop that all teen mall rats flocked to after washing a Hot Dog on a Stick down with an Orange Julius.
To my delight, my new fluorescent green modular outfit, combat boots and massive hair blow dryer (think Space Balls) fit perfectly in my suitcase.
Talk about optimizing your wardrobe. I wore that toxic green outfit almost every day for 6 long weeks. You could see me from a mile away at every historically significant tourist destination in western Europe.
There she is – the girl in the obnoxious green skirt-shirt-tunic thingy – at Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, the Louvre, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the gazeebo from the Sound of Music.
I squeezed every ounce of wear-ability out of my Units outfit, and I’m pretty sure even my mother was relieved when I abandoned the tired ensemble in the airport bathroom on the way home.
If you’re still with me you must be wondering where all this modular wardrobe talk is going.
There is a point here. And that point is this: as a nonprofit communicator, you should be treating all your content like a modular outfit.
If you spent half a day writing a blog post, you should be thinking about the 10+ other ways you can repurpose that story for maximum exposure.
Marketing and online fundraising consultant, John Haydon, recommends following the 10-1 rule: for every blog you write, you should promote it on social media or via other channels at least 10 times.
Repetition = retention my friends. So don’t worry about redundancy.
In the past, the “Rule of 7” stated a typical consumer had to see or hear a message 7 times before remembering it. In today’s world, where people are being bombarded by multiple messages all day long, research now suggests a person must be exposed to a message 10-20 times before retaining it.
Here are 10 ideas for promoting and repurposing your content to make sure your message is heard loud and clear (or at least as loud as a 15-year-old in 12 yards of fluorescent fabric in the Louvre.) These 10 tips actually translate into 25+ opportunities for exposure, assuming you leverage a minimum of three social media platforms.
Pre-publication promotion: The Tease
- Social media teasers: Tell your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. followers in advance to keep their eyes open for an insanely fascinating piece about [insert topic they care about] which you’ll be publishing in the next day or two. (3 promos)
- Email teaser: Tease it in your newsletter if the timing makes sense. (4)
Day of publication promotion: Going Live
- Website: Post it on your website by repurposing it into a blog or and/or news item. (5)
- Social Media: Promote the article on all your social media feeds immediately after publishing it. Be sure to include the link! (If it makes sense, ask your Executive Director and other employees to post it on their personal social media accounts too.) (8)
- Stories: Create Facebook and Instagram stories of you interviewing your protagonist, completing the article (“yasss”), working with a colleague edit it (“ugh”), finally pushing that “publish” button (“lit”.) Then, if you’ve got the moves, do your happy dance! (10)
Note: In the blog/article itself, be sure to include links that let users share pre-populated posts on their social media feeds. (I like to use Share Link Generator for this.)
Post-publication promotion: Maintaining the Momentum
6. Go Live. Go live on Facebook, Instagram…wherever it makes sense to talk about the issue covered in the article. Encourage people to dive deeper by reading the full article themselves. (Don’t forget to promote your live feed in advance to attract viewers and help you move up the news feed.) (12)
7. Tweet Chat. Is the topic you wrote about something your Twitter audience would want to engage with one another about? Schedule a Tweet Chat to discuss the specific issue. After all, now that you’ve written about it you’re practically an expert. If you’re not, find someone who is. (Don’t forget to promote your Tweet Chat in advance.) Learn more about Tweet Chats here. (13)
8. 3 Key points = 9 Social media posts, assuming you’re using three platforms. Did you make several important points throughout your article? Craft posts around each key point and update your social media feeds accordingly. (22)
9. Email. Repurpose your blog into a newsletter article (or the other way around.) (23)
10. Appeal letter. Can you repurpose this article into an appeal letter? If it’s an emotional story that ties into the theme of your fundraising campaign, you certainly can. Click here for quick tips on how to turn your story into a powerful fundraising tool. (24)
What about annual reports and other marketing materials? Would this article make a good impact story for your annual report? Can you pull a short client “testimony” from it for a brochure, thank you note, or online testimonial? Get creative. Carve that article up into quotes and blurbs you can sprinkle all over the place. (25+)
There you have it. 25 opportunities to ensure your audience hears your message. Just like a modular Units outfit, put that baby on, switch it around, modify it, repurpose parts, turn it inside-out, and start all over again.
Have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them. Please share your thoughts in the notes below.