[MUSIC] Welcome back. For a long time, cultural observers and cultural critics have tried to make the claim that we're in a post-literate environment. In other words, that people don't read anymore. Now I would argue that in many ways this is not borne out by the facts. But there's no doubt that non-text media have become more and more important. So for this lesson I'll discuss some of the forms of multimedia that are gaining the most traction, right now, for commercially oriented content, for business building content. You should be able to think about new media and platforms as opportunities, because over the course of your career they're going to be on different platforms, different social connections. And every platform will tend to reward slightly different structures in the content that's hosted there. Now, I'm not going to talk about how to get better audio quality or how to shoot a video. That's really the topic for another course. I'm going to talk about structuring and scripting multimedia content. In multimedia, content in this context, is any content other than text that's destined to be consumed by reading. So we're talking about visuals, we're talking about audio and we're talking about the combinations of those two as well. So why use that clunky phrase, consumed by reading? Because good audio and good video still need a smart writer to create anything from a verbatim script to a well structured detailed outline. So if your founder or your CEO just fires up that mic or fires up the camera and starts winging it, that rarely works to create good, solid, strategic business building content. There are a few natural performers out there in the world, but your client or your boss is probably not on that list. And even the most natural seeming performers so, for example, looking at somebody like a Steve Jobs, has done a tremendous amount of preparation. The more prep, the better the end product. And any, for example, any speaking coach will tell you that. So winging it is a lot like publishing your first draft, it's just never going to be as good as the content will be with more thorough preparation. So let's start with visual content, and right now visual content is really going like gangbusters. And by visual content for this context, I mean images, usually static images or very short animations, like animated GIFs. They're highly, highly shareable. And of course on the social platforms, Pinterest probably really opened the gate to this kind of very wide spread sharing of visual content. It was, most certainly, not the first social platform to share visual content, but it was the one that really hit the main stream hard. And then Facebook came up very quickly behind. And these are places where millions of people share many, many millions of images. So in a business context, at this point, there are two main ways that people use images. So one is that the image can be the whole message. And a very nice example of this was from a couple of years back, the rainbow Oreo. So as a celebration of Gay Pride Day, Nabisco had their ad agency create an Oreo cookie that had the filling was all the colors of the rainbow. It was remarkable, it was visually, extremely powerful, it communicated the message very quickly. And a little more current than that, and also, a little easier to reproduce if you don't have top shelf ad agency working for you, is all of the memes that are getting shared on various social platforms. And once again, I won't get too academic in this. It's slightly a misuse, or at least a specific use of that word meme. Meme originally referred to an idea that goes viral. So for example, working with iron is a meme. It's an idea that's so powerful that it behaves like a virus. But what we call memes today, much more common parlance, are the images with words on them. And these get a certain amount of eye rolling, there are some people who just automatically dismiss them as dumb, but that's silly. A meme can be sophisticated or it can be dumb. It really just depends on the execution. So of course an image, with or without words, is limited in what it can communicate. So some of the greatest photographs have conveyed a world in an image. And you know rainbow Oreo conveyed a fairly sophisticated message, a fairly complete message, in one striking image. But I am not one of the world's top 100 photographers. You probably aren't either. You may or may not have somebody with that level of talent on the team you'll be working with. So the other use for images today as a content marketer is as a vehicle that your text or your audio or your video content can ride along with to get more shares. And I'll include some resources for you on that in the lesson notes. So in other words, a good shareable image gets attached to another piece of content, a text post, a podcast, a video. And it boosts the shares, and it finds a wider audience for that content. To put it very, very simply these are, for example, images for blog posts. Images will tend to create a more immediate, emotional response, than text will all by itself. So when you pair images with words, meme style, for great sharing, that's today, what probably gets the most activity with shares. But also always keep an eye on what's working. So your content program should always be conducting experiments with what's new, what's getting shares today and keep exploring. Because the style of meme that's getting shares even in, let's say, February, by November it will be starting to get tired and you'll have to come up with something new. So part of your commitment to visual content is really to keep an eye on what's working today and continue keeping your finger on that pulse. So for strong visual content, image content, you really want to look for emotional engagement. You want to look for images that create an emotional reaction in the viewer that is going to ride along, again, with the message of your content. So whether it's a meme that's primary purpose is to get lots of shares, just get people seeing your content, these, of course, should always have something on that image that's going to bring people back to your site. Because, trust me, you're not going to get credit. That's not how the Internet of memes works at all. Things go out, they spread around and they quickly lose their original creator. The simplest way to do this is just to get your organization's site URL on to the image. When we have shareable images, we put copyblogger.com right there on the image, so that you have some chance of people coming back to find what you're doing. That more blog post style of visual image tends to be much more effective, even though it may not get as many shares, at actually bringing people back to your content. And this is where you can style your post image, very similarly to the way you would style a meme. So use some language with a compelling image. The site URL is on the image, typically. But you're going to use it just to pull people in more when content is being shared socially. Suck them in a little bit more to make it more likely that they're going to click through, read the content and start acting on it. And that works for podcasts, video, anything because the image is there for the social sharing. The image is there, again, to create something powerful that rides along with the content across the social platforms, and brings you back and gets better sharing, better engagement and better results. And you may want to get very, very expert and very good at choosing excellent images and pairing them with the right wording, or you may want to partner with somebody else in the organization. A graphic designer obviously would be the first place you would look for powerful resonant images that can make your content more shareable, more effective.