Do one thing and be good at it

Boris Johnson Channel 4 News adds subtitles to all of its video

Channel 4 News found itself in the good-practice spotlight recently after it was revealed that it has around 200m monthly views of its video content on Facebook.

To put this into context, BBC News and Sky News have around 165m and 125m views respectively. And one suspects they produce more in terms of volume and have greater resource.

So what is Channel 4 doing right – and what can content marketers learn from it?

Focus on one thing

One major change in Channel 4 News’ strategy was to switch almost exclusively to video. Whereas in the past such content has tended to be supplemented with text-based material, social media has allowed it to distribute video more freely.

But there is more to it than compressing an mp4 to appear on Facebook. Instead, Channel 4 has reworked the crop to work better with desktop and mobile. More importantly, it has introduced subtitles on all its work in recognition of the fact that many people are watching with the sound off.

Content marketing lessons

For a start, don’t go to video-only. Channel 4 has focused on its main strength – its broadcast content – and concentrated on it. It produces for TV but has spent time adapting its packages for the web and social media in particular.

The same approach can be used in other situations. In other words, do what you’re best at and focus on it to the exclusion of all else. It is better to be excellent at one thing than average at many. In some cases this means blogging, other forms of podcasting or infographics.

As Andrew Carnegie once said: “The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.”

Simple but effective. By concentrating on one thing – one message, one platform, one format, one method of distribution – its execution will be all the better.

Do one thing and be good at it
is part of Content24, the blog for London content marketing agency FirstWord.

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