Originality is one of the most overestimated words of content marketing.
An abundance of digital content obviously has marketers believing only highly creative avant-garde ideas can convince users to pay attention to messages. In these circumstances, brands are competing to create more innovative content instead of aiming for leads and conversions.
However, if you look at things rationally, you’ll realize the most successful marketing campaigns are often based on well-known premises.
Clever marketers don’t try to generate brand new campaign ideas. They simply refresh old but fruitful strategies and adapt them to fit the current context.
Although it might seem strange to claim unoriginality is a better way to create content, here are five very concrete reasons proving this point of view:
- It’s easier to generate ideas: It takes a lot of time to come up with a revolutionary idea, whereas you can brainstorm dozens of less innovative proposals within the same timeframe.
- Making content is simpler: Content creators are familiar with standard marketing formats, and they can fulfill well-known tasks much faster. Thinking of unique content—and putting such ideas into practice.
- It’s easier to disseminate: According to Donna Bonk, a PR specialist at UK Best Essays, “Only a handful of media outlets are willing to share content that is completely new and different from everything they’ve seen so far. But if you sent them articles or videos similar to ones that were successful in the past, you will disseminate content throughout all channels of mass communication.”
- It makes it simpler to plan: Originality is untested, and you can never tell whether it is going to give you good or bad results. In such circumstances, planning becomes extremely risky, which is a big problem for marketers.
- It’s more scalable: Being original suggests adopting an “all or nothing” approach. This is very problematic in terms of scaling, so most organizations stick to unoriginal solutions to keep their progress gradual.
[FREE DOWNLOAD: 8 Tips on How to Manage a PR Crisis Effectively]
Embrace the authentic, but don’t depend on it
Embrace authentic ideas whenever you have the opportunity, but don’t let it become your everyday content strategy.
You should keep the workflow quick and productive by using a bunch of old but fruitful solutions—and keep your eyes open for potential groundbreaking content ideas.
By creating this balance, you can generate the best long-term results.
How can you identify winning content solutions that you can reuse?
Here are three steps:
1. Detect successful content.
The easiest way to find relevant content marketing ideas is by conducting a simple Google search, which will show you the most popular articles in the field of your choice.
For instance, if you type “social media marketing” in the search box, Google will display the top 10 results, and you will notice similar headlines:
- Seven Step Social Media Marketing Strategy for 2018
- Social Media Marketing for Businesses
- Social Media Marketing Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide
- How to Create a Social Media Marketing Plan in Six Steps
These articles are aimed at entrepreneurs and marketing beginners who would like to learn social media marketing essentials. Each one of these articles represents a how-to guide, so this is something you’ll want to give some thought.
Besides Google searches, you can also check out Google Trends to explore the popularity of topics in any given region or country.
2. Exploit proven ideas.
There are two ways to develop your proven content format.
- Make an advanced version of the same content: This option is relatively simple. All you need to do is take proven content and perfect it. For example, if you find a highly popular digital marketing analysis, you can make it better by adding newer statistical data or gamification.
- Use the idea in a different area: Most content ideas can be exploited in different businesses or industries if you narrow the topic’s focus. Let’s say that “10 things you must do in your lifetime” is one of the most popular topics online. In this case, you can use the same idea in a slightly different timeframe. You can write a series of articles such as “10 things you must do in your 20s,” “10 things you must do in your 30s,” and so on. The logic is simple but extremely efficient.
3. Address communication channels that match your content.
Your targets, when looking to publish this kind of content, are niche-related media outlets, social media influencers and bloggers.
They all want to publish only the best-quality content, but you have an ace up your sleeve. You can say your article uses the same idea as previous successful articles, and let them know what changes you made to make the article better and more appealing to the target audience.
It’s not hard to find relevant communication channels. Start by looking at who shared the original article and followed the backlinks. Of course, you want the most influential figures to share your content, so address those people first. Send them customized messages to break the ice and increase the odds of them sharing your article.