What You Can Learn About Content from the Care Bears

Creating amazing content and becoming an excellent storyteller starts with research … not on competitors—yourself.

You see, before you begin learning to communicate ideas—and yawn-worthy boardroom photos are NEVER riveting, so I’m asking you to immediately stop snapping pics of people sitting around a table—you’ve got to analyze and understand the way you consume content. 

This includes digital/social media, podcasts, TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, Netflix, music videos, white papers, etc.

In other words, self-inventory is highly underrated.

ASK AWAY

On the first day of J-school, I encourage journalism students to begin their careers by asking the right questions –and it’s never what they expect.

“You’ve been consumers your whole lives,” the pep talk begins.

“So you can’t possibly come in here and expect to start churning out news articles, breaking news tweets, shooting and editing video, creating podcasts, vertical videos for stories, etc. You have to understand yourselves as consumers before you can begin producing.”

Then I ask them to put on their ‘consumer hats’ by turning to their phones and scrolling through sent messages.

This is a must before you tackle content creation.

As a proud older millennial (and there are major differences between those born in the early ’80s vs mid-’90s), I’m happy to say the Care Bears inspired me to recognize that ‘sharing is caring’ in these storytelling lessons (although these creepy-looking modernized Bears are kinda freaking me out).

Care Bears taught me that ‘sharing is caring,’ and the same principle applies to content creation.

Now I’m asking you to do the same in 7 steps.

Here’s why:

1. You’re looking inward and taking stock of your own interests, attention spans, social media accounts, formats of content.

2. You’ll determine what appeals to you. This includes: cute puppies, long reads from the New Yorker, girls kicking butt at STEM, investor profiles, all things pumpkin, newspaper articles on the stock market trends, luxury vacations, guitar solos, underdogs crushing it, throwbacks, etc.).

I want you thinking about what makes you laugh, get excited, come down with a major case of #feels, and relate to someone online.

Here’s a dog vid I couldn’t help but share:

Dog videos are soooooo shareable.

WHO, WHAT, WHY, HOW

OK now here come the questions:

3. What makes you share content?

4. How are you sharing content? (Text, Instagram DMs, e-mail, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.)

5. Why are you choosing this method of communication? (For example, “Because my mom gets buried in hundreds of e-mails a day and responds to texts within 90 seconds.”).

6. Who are you sending it to?

7. How do your delivery methods change, depending on the recipient? For example, “I send IG DMs to my 11 best friends in our group chat but my grandma and I use WhatsApp.”

Once you’ve listed all of your reasons, the Consumer to Producer Paradigm Shift (C2PPS) is officially underway!

Yup, I’m nerdy enough to create an acronym because it’s exhilarating to watch it happen!!

What are you learning about the way you share content?

Cover photo by Frances Ungaro/Pexels

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