The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

Content Strategy Lessons from Lego: Everything is Awesome. Especially your content.

Posted by Ray van Hilst on Fri, Mar 13, 2015


Everything is awesome
Everything is cool when you're part of a team
Everything is awesome when we're living our dream

My son was playing with his latest Lego set the other night and I had to do a double take (see the photo below):



He was building a Lego set... from a movie about building Lego sets. (I think that’s the very definition of “meta.”)

And just to make it a bit weirder, he was following the instructions (which a true Master Builder never does).

And then it dawned on me the marketing genius of this plan (which could only be concocted by President Business)

  • The movie’s authors identified two trends – Master Builders who create amazing structures from scratch and  Lego Collectors who build from the instructions and save their creations.
  • Then they made a movie that captures the two disparate types of Lego fans (obviously with some help from Hollywood)
  • Content from the movie was repurposed into smaller chunks and distriuted as unique sets (content).
  • Engaging with the smaller chunks makes you want to go back and watch the movie again... (or at least start singing “Everything is Awesome!!!!”.)

In the entertainment world this is known as “synergy” and “merchandising.”  But in the content and web world we can just call it “Content Strategy.”

What are the implications for associations and their content?  It starts with a perfect content plan:

  • Identify several relevant, connected trends
  • Create a significant piece of content around it such as a white-paper or research report
  • Break it into smaller “consumable” content chunks and distribute it.  This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, social media, etc.
  • Connect the smaller pieces to the bigger content piece and drive readers back to that piece.

The key is to think through the entire lifecycle of your content and plan its creation and consumption as a cycle, not a one time shot.  Associations create a lot of great content that goes into their conferences and magazines. Yet too often this content sits in its content silo and doesn’t get repurposed and merchandised for maximum effect.

So the next time you are putting together a Honking-Big-Report or Super-Amazing-Presentation, ask yourself “What would Wyldstyle or Vitruvius do to turn this into something amazing?”  And go build something wonderful.

 One last bonus tip from Lego. Let your audiences have fun with your content and tell the story themselves. It works for Everything is Awesome...



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