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On Part 2 of Meaningful Content, Randall and I are discussing how to distribute meaningful content in the most cost-effective manner. How to address all of the mediums open to your audience and being purposeful.


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Jessica & Randall Hughes
Viscul / Fork & Lens

Quote from Jessica Hughes
Listen and learn and dive into what people are talking about. And then create more focused, deeper driven content that creates even bigger interest and then put some paid effort behind those that have that derived interest from people already.


Jessica Hughes: 00:00 Hey, everyone. We’re back and we have part two of the Meaningful Content series that Randall Hughes and I started yesterday afternoon. Today, we are going to talk about strategic distribution and distribution for content, whether it is something that’s happening in store or on social or advertising shouldn’t happen all at once. Welcome to the [Fork and Lens 00:00:27] Podcast, brought to you by VisCul. Ooh, smells delish. That’s right, you heard me, it shouldn’t happen all at once. It’s really important to create a pillar piece of content, and a lot of times for us that looks like a production, and probably a longer form video. Then being able to distribute it across channels over time, and that all lead back to the original call to action.

Let’s dive into some of these touch points. Yesterday we started talking about apparel and the website and social and in-store and digital and outdoor advertising. What are some of the ways that we can apply all these different items across the board and really filter it out that it doesn’t all have to launch on the same date too?

Randall Hughes: 01:30 Well, I think you can start with, like you said, whatever your pillar piece of content is, and then you have, we like to call them flights, you have a flight of content and say it’s three months. It’s seasonal, so you can say, “We’re going to run a summer campaign. We’re going to put it out there. We’re going to put our first piece of content out and then we’re going to continue to build on that throughout the entire year.” I think that the beauty of that is if you have your content, you’ve created the whole campaign, you say, “We’re just going to flood the market with this thing.” Well, guess what, a week goes by and people are just sick of seeing it, or they’ve seen it all and you have nothing left to put out there. It’s that idea, it’s like that idea they say, I forget exactly how many things it says, but to build a habit or to remember something, you have to see it over and over and over again. It has to be this repeated thing.

Jessica Hughes: 02:24 Seven times or 21 days.

Randall Hughes: 02:26 There you go, she’s got it. But I think it’s that idea, it’s you’re putting something out there, here’s one piece of it. Maybe a week later, here’s another piece of it. Here’s another form of it within another eyeshot of that day. You just continue to hit people day after day after day, and it’s not the exact same piece of content that they’re just, “I’ve seen it, I’m moving on.” They’re able to consume a little bit more of it, a little bit more of it, a little bit more of it so that when it comes time for them to buy, it’s almost subconscious.

Jessica Hughes: 02:59 Yeah, and I think this comes back, and I’m really going to hit home on social here, but it also comes back to listening to your audience. A lot of times we’ll put something out on social and we’ll walk away and be like, “Well, that’s that, moving on to the next thing that we’ve got to check the box on. Instead of really sitting back and engaging with comments and listening to what people are talking about from that particular piece of content. I think it’s really important to like put something out in a very organic way. Don’t push it, pay for it, boost it, whatever the platform terminology is, don’t do any of that. Put it out organically and see what type of comments are storing and those sorts of things. Then start to dive into those going back to your creative team and saying, “Hey, they’re really talking about this 15 second clip in the middle of this long form video.”

Then you pull that out and you make a short form video, or maybe it’s something that someone said within an interview and you pull that out as a quote. Or maybe it’s a beautiful shot that you had in the video that is an aerial of an orchard or whatever it is, and you pull that out as just general B-roll that can grab someone’s attention. Start doing that maybe like two weeks later and go back to your creative team and say, “Okay, we need to produce, these five new pieces of content out of that content in order to continue to drive that campaign home. Just because a flight starts on the 1st of whatever month it is and runs for three months doesn’t mean on the 1st of that month you have to have every single piece of that campaign in the files ready to run.

Instead, I think it’s really important to take a breath, listen and learn and dive into what people are talking about and then create more focus, deeper driven content that create even bigger interests. And then put some paid effort behind those that have that drive interest from people already.

Randall Hughes: 05:06 Yeah, and I think the other thing I think through all that too is not everything is going to have the hook in it. You want to be able to just be putting things out, putting things out, putting things out, and some of them can be entertainment, some of them can be educational, some of them can be whatever your other initiatives are.

Jessica Hughes: 05:06 Aspirational.

Randall Hughes: 05:24 Yeah, aspirational, and then you give them the hook. You want to pull them in and try to generate the sale. That doesn’t even have to all occur on the same platform, I mean, many different platforms. But I think YETI does a good job of this. I’m a YETI fan and the content they put out, but you’ll see this incredible video go out. It’s 10 minutes long, 10 to 15 minutes long and really has very little to do with the product itself but it’s putting you in a mood, in a frame of thought. If they’re going to start to kick off a new color or a seasonal campaign, they’ll start running content around that. They’ll put this long form out, again, not even really showcasing the product that well. But then with some of the characters in that spot that they did, they’ll have them showcase some of the new product in a different spot.

Then they’ll do another spot showing you how rugged the new stuff is, and then all of a sudden, you’ve seen so much about this product that you have to have it. Even if really the only difference is a new color, it just helps you get in the frame of mind of thinking through needing someone, to you needing something. I think that that’s what really brilliant marketing can do. It’s not just the jamming down your throat, like here’s the new thing. It’s putting it in the lifestyle of the people that you want to have buy it.

Jessica Hughes: 06:45 Well, and I think that’s an interesting thought because YETI has done it really well in regards to lifestyle orientation. But someone else who does this really well, if you study what he does, is the Gary V. Because Gary V manages to have someone follow him around and videotape him every single day of the week, and that is his pillar content. Once he has that done, then he puts out the blog, and then he creates little snippets out of it, eventually, in quotes. Whatever platform he’s posting things to, he creates specific content for those platforms. But it’s done over the course of time. If you go back through his feeds on every single platform, there are similar quotes, but they’re formatted in different ways to talk to the audience on that platform.

They all lead back to a video that was probably released three to six weeks prior. This is something that I think he does multiple rounds on in terms of there’s the first round and then it’s paid push, and then they dive in even deeper and create smaller pieces of content that are pushed out then eventually as well. But it’s definitely staggered across a longer period of time than just, “Okay, this is going to go out day one and it’s going to be the same old thing for three months, and then we’re going to give up, and then we’re going to start all over again with something new.” Instead of this revolving conversation. The cool thing is, is when you think of flights, don’t think of it in terms of seasonality. Because when you think of it in seasonality, it’s like, “Oh, well, this is going to run from January to March and then we’re going to come up with five new concepts and that’s going to run from April to June, and then it’s going to rinse and repeat.”

But instead think of something that’s going to start in January and you’re going to repurpose the whole way through March, and then maybe the third week of January, you launch something else. Make it this revolving door of content that isn’t necessarily something that has five different campaigns that have a specific start and end date all together. That way it doesn’t feel as staggered, but instead feels like this organic conversation.

Randall Hughes: 08:59 Yeah, I love that. I also love how you talked about doing campaigns, and like you said, staggering them so they’re not all hitting at the same time and you’re getting different pieces of content out there. But the idea that no matter what you’re putting out there, it’s connected to something else. I love that. I think we see a lot of food brands just put out the flavor of the week. They do a thing, they move on to the next thing, and they move on to the next thing. There’s no really continuation of the conversation going. Even if you have four or five campaigns going on at the same time, there’s always something to connect you back to that. If you really get creative, then you can start connecting some campaigns to other campaigns and you have this overarching idea or goal that you want to get out to your customer base and just make sure that every campaign speaks back to that overall mission.

Jessica Hughes: 09:54 Yes, and I want to go back to the YETI thing and I want to make two points. The first is YETI does a really good job of bringing lifestyle as an element into their videos and their content. But what they don’t do is they don’t make the product front and center to the point that it looks like it’s paid placement in a television show. Like it’s just part of the scene, and I think that’s something that is so often missed as an opportunity for brands, especially, in food and beverage of tell the story, don’t make it just about your product. People see past that, they know what you’re getting at, and it’s just it feels sleazy, it feels dirty anymore.

I just I think there’s such an organic way, an authentic way to go about product placement now that it doesn’t need to be like, “Look at this bottle of syrup, it has organic maple syrup straight from the tree.” Messaging right on the front of the bottle, and I’m just going to hold it while I talk about it all day long.

Randall Hughes: 10:57 Yeah, I completely agree with that. I think the world has seen through a lot of those things. That’s why you’ll see a brilliant piece of content go out from a brand and have almost no traction. Then you’ve got a lady with a Wookiee Mask from Target, that might be a little too old at this point to talk about. But first thing that came to my mind, but then that’ll explode. The reason is because people love it, A, because it’s just completely organic content that is-

Jessica Hughes: 10:57 And funny.

Randall Hughes: 11:30 … it’s funny. It’s not always about humor, there could be many things to go out. But my point is I think the more that a brand can feel real and truly connected to their customers, the more the customers are going to pick it up and run with it.

Jessica Hughes: 11:46 I agree, and that leads me to my second point, whatever piece of content that you’re putting out there, don’t plus your logo all over it. Again, we know who you are. If we’re looking at it, if we’re following you, if it’s showing up in our feed, it still says that this is brought to you by this company and it’s paid advertising, just don’t put your logo on it. It just, again, it just feels so unnatural and disingenuine, and I just it’s one of my biggest pet peeves.

Randall Hughes: 12:16 Yeah, and I have to admit, I know that it was done for regulatory reasons, but I know a lot of Instagrammers and influencers now they’re working with brands and that they have to now put on the #ad-

Jessica Hughes: 12:30 #ad.

Randall Hughes: 12:31 … or sponsored by whatever. It’s funny because like all the things we’re talking about that actually negates it a little bit, because I know that some people that I love their content and I look at it on a regular basis. Then I see this #ad or whatever and it almost instantly turns me off a little bit. It’s unfortunate, it’s not that it’s unfortunate, I understand it’s the way of the world and what we have to do to understand what content is real and what’s not, and what’s paid for, what’s not paid for, those types of things. But as a brand, when a brand is putting something out and you know it’s a brand-

Jessica Hughes: 13:04 Yes, I’d say it’s different for influencers and I get the whole influencer thing, but when it’s a brand putting out content and still putting their logo on it, OMG.

Randall Hughes: 13:14 Yeah, so I think it’s okay to put your logo in content, just it doesn’t need to be on every scene. If your products are in it, let the products do the speaking, do the talking for you. Just, again, create content that people want to watch. Step back and say to yourself, “Do I want to consume this myself? If I didn’t work at this brand, or if I didn’t represent this brand, would I care about this in any way?” I think there’s a lot of content out there. We would all say, “Nah.”

Jessica Hughes: 13:49 Probably not. I would probably skip over it and move right on to whatever Jim Bob did last weekend. All right, well, thank you so much for joining us. That is it on Meaningful Content. If you have questions that you want us to address in the future, please leave them in the notes below, and we’ll be happy to check those out. Take care and we’ll be back soon. Now go and grab yourself a drink because every drink is better shared. Feel free to share Fork and Lens with your team, colleagues, and friends. If you enjoyed today’s message, please subscribe to get weekly access to new recipes for creative and marketing success. You can also check us forkandlens.com or viscul.co. Until next time.