How to Decide If You Should Go Wide or Deep with Your Content
Creating effective content is hard. I don’t want to deter you from crafting content for your business, but you need to set goals for everything you create.
Whether you produce content that is timely or evergreen, audio or text, knowing your goals will ensure you maximize the return on your time and resources invested in content marketing.
Each piece of content needs to be placed into one of two categories: wide or deep.
And each category has one specific goal:
Wide content attracts new audience members.
Deep content strengthens relationships with your existing audience members.
An effective content marketing strategy uses both wide and deep content, but an individual piece of content shouldn’t try to meet both goals.
Let’s explore each type of content goal.
Going wide with your content
When you create a piece of wide content, you attempt to reach the most readers, listeners, and customers as possible. In short, going wide is how to use content to find customers.
Wide content is not about immediate results. Instead, it positions your net to continually find new people who fill the top of your funnel.
You will notice a pattern with wide content: it’s perfect for repurposing. With a little planning and forethought, you will be able to repurpose wide content into different formats to reach a broader audience.
SEO helps you go wide
The foundation of all wide content is built upon SEO, and Google is a top source of new traffic and visitors to websites.
Because of this, we need to consistently create useful and relevant content for our website visitors. It’s an excellent first step for all wide content pieces.
Our net spreads even further when people link to and share remarkable wide content.
Wide content and podcasting
With the recent rise in popularity of podcasting, content creators should utilize the reach of audio. Think of iTunes the same way you think of Google: it’s a massive search engine that helps your audience find you.
Starting a podcast does not have to be a daunting task. You just need the right platform.
In fact, podcasting is an excellent way to repurpose popular content from your website. If an article has been popular as a written piece, with minor alterations to the text, you may be sitting on a great podcast episode or two.
Cast your proven content far and wide, and craft audio content as you would any other content you publish on your website:
Write engaging headlines for titles.
Provide keyword-rich show notes.
Keep a consistent publishing schedule.
Infographics: a wide content powerhouse
Due to their visual nature, infographics tend to receive more social sharing than audio or text content. More sharing means a wider reach.
Infographics allow you to share useful and insightful information. The medium is easy to consume and has the ability to make your content stand out in a sea of competition for attention.
Creating infographics doesn't have to be difficult. The key to a successful infographic is excellent content, coupled with beautiful and clear design.
You want to create infographics based on topics and information that have already proven to be popular in a written or audio context.
Take what has worked and extend its reach even wider with a well-made infographic.
Going deep with your content
When creating wide content, your goal is to reach as many potential readers, listeners, and customers as possible — but you shouldn’t try to reach everyone.
Always keep your focus on your perfect customer.
Going deep with your content nourishes and strengthens your relationships with those people you attracted with your wide content.
Deep content moves people from cold audience members to warm audience members, and then to customers. It’s like the second date and beyond with your audience.
How to use email to go deep
For years, people have been touting the death of email. Yet, to this day, email is the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal as content marketers.
There is no better way to deepen our relationships with our audience members than through access to their inboxes.
Email content, when done right, is powerful value exchange. You’re able to provide multiple points of value to your audience in exchange for their attention.
Write a newsletter
Curate content your audience will love
Craft a useful email autoresponder sequence.
All deep content marketing strategies need to include email marketing.
Can social media be deep?
Social media is often viewed as a wide content vehicle, but when you think about it this way, you overlook its deepest value.
For example, think about why you follow someone on Twitter. Are you there to see an endless stream of promotion, or are you looking for a behind-the-scenes view?
Of course, social media can and should be used to promote your content, but without interesting personal insights mixed into it, your social media presence will flounder rather than flourish.
Deep diving with Periscope
Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, is the new media darling of the day. It’s also an excellent tool for going deep with your audience.
Periscope is a live streaming platform and app that easily enables you to stream unedited video to your audience.
Due to the platform’s live environment, your audience gets to learn from you in an unfiltered way. For some content creators, the idea of live video that can’t be polished is off-putting.
But this is the very reason why the platform is fast becoming a personal branding game-changer. It’s an example of deep relationship building at its finest.
Deep content using Blab.IM
Blab is another great tool for going deep with your audience. The platform is similar to a webinar, but it’s a public and open setting.
Blab does allow you to pause recordings, so you can create a slightly more polished piece of content than with Periscope. But your live stream never stops, so your live audience gets to look deeper into how you work and act.
You can hold Q&A sessions with your audience in a casual and useful setting without the formality of a traditional webinar setup.
Plus, as a host, your barriers to entry are low. It’s simple to set up and share with your audience.
Clarify your content goals by going wide or deep
As with everything in your business, crafting content without specific goals will diminish both the short-term and long-term benefits of the work you are putting in today.
As a bonus, there is often an overlap between content created to go wide and content created to go deep.
For example, your goal may be to go deep, but the same content may also help you find new audience members. Remember that this is a side benefit and shouldn’t be confused with your original goal.
Always focus on one type of goal for each piece of content you create.
Your goal is to either find new audience members or form deeper connections with existing audience members.