The harlem shake, devil baby and Miley Cyrus all have something in common that increases shares to millions and rise in ranks on the top trending list of topics. They have original ideas that capture the attention of audiences worldwide. There have been a lot of reports that emphasize on the importance of originality and quality of content used for marketing. Instead of redundantly sharing someone else\’s content, 2014 is a year for all marketers to make a resolution: “Use original content\”.
Sure – it\’s a good idea to curate interesting content from around the internet and then package in a format
Sharing as a Habit is Dangerous
Pinterest statistics show that almost 80% of pins are repins. This illustrates the viral habit of sharing online content not just by users but brands as well. Despite the talks about sharing interesting content, 75% of CMOs agree that original content or custom custom is the future of successful online marketing. Although you will have reach, virality, likes and shares to show, users will only relate to the origin of the content rather than associating it with your brand. Yes marketers, the time has come to give up on content piracy. It is not gaining anything of value for your brand.
Trapped in the Curation Loop
Content curation is a term generally used for content piracy with or without any significant customization. While this strategy works well for certain social networks like Twitter and Pinterest where momentary engagement happens, it fails to escape the notice of users on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tumblr and other platforms.
We don\’t know where it started, but all of a sudden marketers began to use existing content from history to make a brand statement. Although this has worked wonders to generate fan engagement on social media, in the long run, nobody will associate the content with the brand. The most important thing to grasp here is that by falling for the curation trap, you are paving way to free advertising for the brands that own the idea.
Borrowed Strategies Don\’t Last Long
Analysts constantly say that social networks revolve around current trends and sharing trending topics can buy you more reach. What most people choose to ignore is that trends eventually die out.
For example, Paul Walker\’s demise was trending on Twitter. Brands and users alike mourned for his loss sharing his images, videos, quotes and other available content. Eventually, the late star stopped trending. Fans will remember their favorite moments about him as it was constantly shared to refresh memories. What a fan would not care about is the fact that a brand mourned his loss too. A tribute campaign, infographic, original video testimonials from a brand would have caught the eyes of users and gone viral at that moment, while “RIP, Paul Walker” just gets lost like a needle in a haystack.
People Don\’t Remember Impersonators
People connect to where they first heard the information. Gangnam Style did give rise to a lot of parodies, mashups and covers. While they all trended and have had a million hits on YouTube, any user would relate it to the original song and not the maker of the parody. No matter how you spin the content, everyone will eventually think, “Hey, it is just a product of the original idea.”
2014 is a year to revolutionize your content marketing strategies by creating something unique and original for every share. In an industry of trends, be the brand that sets one rather than the one that follows them all.
But how. That\’s the question. You\’ve read articles about why it\’s important to create original content, but none that explain how you should do it. So we\’ll try.
- Take Inspiration. If you\’re starved for original content, take inspiration from other brands are doing. See how you can create a spin on a story that another brand has created, and then create your own based on your own thoughts and ideas. Example: If you see the Volvo Epic Split commercial – it\’s Volvo harnessing the power of the martial arts prowess of JCVD. Got a local celebrity you can turn to? An internet phenomenon you can use? Try and tie them into your brand. Too big? Think smaller. Dogs. Cats. A pet around the house, anything that\’s relatable.
- Content is Everywhere. Quite literally. If you\’re looking to build a content campaign around your brand, just look around the office and figure out how you can create some interesting unique content around your brand. Do a cover on your team. An infographic that talks about the strengths of your team – present it in a unique, interesting way and an infographic of your team and brand will be the one that gets shared and re-pinned. How cool is that for your brand?
- Leverage Company Experts. You\’re a brand. You make a product. You need interesting content around it – and you\’re often told that content from experts gets traction online. Who\’s the Head of Manufacturing at your firm? Who\’s the Head of Finance? Can they help create a piece around ROI around your particular industry? About the right process of manufacturing? How can you leverage the strengths of the people in your team around your content?
- Brainstorm. Form Partnerships. If you can\’t think of anything original by yourself, then get people in your professional circle together. Other people in an industry such as yourself, form partnerships and see what unique content each of you can bring to the team. The key here is to negotiate that your brand gets the highest exposure because you bring the most to the table – thereby creating unique content with other people.
Got more tips? Drop them in the comments!