In a highly digitized world, it is increasingly tough for digital marketers to come up with new and exciting content each week. With more than 3.2 billion images and 720,000 hours of video shared online daily, it can seem almost impossible to make sure your content stands out from the competition.
With all this in mind, it’s easy for digital marketers to end up creating generic feeling content for social media, email marketing, and other marketing activities. However, this can lead to a world of problems. Generic content will rarely get you more views than larger, more established brands. Further, generic content will not create user engagement, which limits your ability to grow your brand and online presence.
That is why cultivating new methods and tools for content creation is considered so important by SEO experts. Innovative and original content will come off as authentic and is more likely to help build your brand’s story rather than just copying what your competitors do. Here are a few ways to make sure your content always feels original to your audience.
The Normal Creative Process
When looking at the standard creative process, it is easy to understand why so much content feels the same. In any business, the digital marketing team will look at the product or service that’s being sold and determine who the average consumer is. From here, content creation teams will consider the industry they’re in and the target audience and look at what is normal for the industry.
Following some basic market research and competitive analysis, most digital marketing teams will create a blog post titled “The 5 Best Things to do in….” or “Everything You Must Do for …”. While this strategy does give a boost to SEO and is effective, it falls short of something meaningful.
The problem is that in pursuit of creating content that is proven to be effective, digital marketing teams often create copies of what is effective and not something original. When most content creation teams repeat this process, we end up in a world that is saturated with similar-sounding content and makes it impossible for any business to grow that isn’t based on luck.
The Myth of Creativity
Now, the first problem many digital marketing teams will argue is that if you’re not supposed to copy another person’s idea, how do you create something you believe will resonate with your audience. While digital marketing strategists require content to feel different from the competition, the reality is that it’s nearly impossible to create something that’s 100% original.
No matter how hard you strive to create an idea that’s truly original, it’s almost impossible, especially in business. While businesses are creating new marketing gimmicks and strategies every year, all these ideas are derived from something else.
Therefore, for an idea to be considered original, it just needs to be different enough even if it’s somewhat similar. Take New York vs. Chicago pizza for example. New York pizza is thin and crispy, whereas Chicago-style pizza is thick and cooked in a deep pan. While both cities’ pizzas are still pizza, they are different enough to be considered their own styles. The same can be said for social media platforms. While you can post live updates and opinions on Facebook and Twitter, the format and style used by each platform make the experience unique enough.
Overcoming Creative Blocks
Now that you know that you shouldn’t copy anyone but also that it’s impossible not to copy anyone, your head is likely spinning off your shoulders. Creating original content is not easy which is why many people when tasked with this find themselves stuck.
There are plenty of ways to overcome writer’s block or creator’s block. As mentioned above, the ideal digital marketing strategy is a balance between drawing inspiration from things in real life while striving to be different. The trick to accomplishing this is to use many different tricks!
For instance, one strategy is to look outside your industry for inspiration. This is especially important for marketing in a B2B industry. If you sell commercial goods, your products are likely less exciting than selling candy or video games. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use similar tactics to stick out from your competition. Instead of sending over the same old newsletter with boring charts, you can try to include flashy graphics or videos in your marketing, so your content is more eye-catching and entertaining.
Another way to overcome creator’s block is to employ one of the many brainstorming exercises out there. One of the most popular exercises is doing “Yes, and” with your digital marketing team. Rather than trying to perfect one idea during a meeting, allow your team to get out all the silly, stupid, or crazy ideas and not say “No” to any idea. As the ideas build with “Yes, and”, your goal is not to create the best idea, but rather to unload all the ideas that could make sense and piece together the aspects of different ideas to create one or multiple solutions.
Creation is a Lifelong Pursuit
Being creative is a skill that is mastered over a lifetime. The ability to observe the world and distill new and “original” ideas from it takes practice. Even who have done this for years will often be met with new challenges that cause creator’s block. That is why it’s so important to continuously strive to keep your digital marketing strategies fresh and innovative.
Fortunately, making sure your content creation ideas feel original is very possible. With your digital marketing team, you should always be striving toward the next innovative idea. This could include weekly or monthly brainstorming sessions, help from people outside your team to get a fresh take or taking influence from ideas outside your industry or business. Using a multitude of strategies will make sure that your readers stay engaged and that your brand continues to thrive.