What's an Internet marketing team to do? I attended several conferences last year and there was a consistent theme - the need to create AWESOME content that gets shared in ever increasing numbers. I am still waiting for the HOW TO side of of the, "You need to create awesome content".
I'm waiting for Godot, because awesome content floats in a Sargasso Sea never touching shore and turning over every second of every day. There will never be a sure fire static list of things you can plug and play to create great content.
6 Secrets To Creating Awesome ContentWhile there will never be a definitive macro list that applies to all business verticals all the time, there are secrets I've learned from having several posts blow up and go mega-viral (I define mega-viral for me as a potential audience greater than 200,000 thanks to power retweeters).
Here are my 6 secrets to creating awesome content:
- Almost NEVER what you think due to serendipity.
- OPJ (Other People's Juice the NewsJacking thing).
- Hook-y Headlines.
- Great Seductive Relevant Visuals.
- Feed The Monster.
- Powerful beats Wimpy.
SerendipityYou can't plan spontaneity but you can study culture to know what is HOT. I started writing about curation before the Google trend line turned north. I wrote Curation is the Next Web Revolution two years ago. How did I KNOW curation was going to be so hot? I didn't, but I was willing to place a content bet and see how it turned out. Put yourself in a position to take advantage of serendipity by studying trends and following gurus who seem to always be 5 minutes ahead of everyone else (Chris Brogan, Seth Godin and friends like Phil Buckley and Mark Traphagen fill this role for me).
OPJRead David Meerman Scott's Newsjacking to understand the power of surfing someone else's wave. Sometimes you can even steal their wave. When I live blog conferences I can out rank them on their core keywords for a few days because my content is popping and their is stagnant. When a casino banned Lindsay Lohan when she was being a bad girl they received a million in free PR. Learn to surf other people's juice and before long other people are surfing yours.
Hook-y HeadlinesIn my Curation Revolution Most Popular Scoops Study I discovered positive beat negative (win vs. lose) headlines. Headlines that used the 7 word rule (no more than 7 words) worked better and humor and references to hot cultural evens or cliches turned on their heads worked well. Keep studying your headlines to understand what works best for you.
Great Seductive Relevant VisualsIs there any doubt we live in VISUAL marketing times? Pinterest is growing faster than Twitter for a reason, Pinterest is easy and visually seductive. Make sure your image is related to your content. If you have a seductive visual that is out of context it creates confusion and confused people do many things conversion is rarely one of them.
Feed The MonsterWhen you have content asserting its dominance make sure you feed it by creating content about the blow up, pushing the blow up news across social and asking questions about whey it is blowing up. Once content is in front of the pack keep it there by noting that it is trending.
This rule reinforces a rule I learned from my previous direct marketing (DM) employers. It is easier to make something BIG get bigger than to make something small become big. Once social signals tell you want the mob is interested in feed it even if that means you IGNORE the little stuff.
Powerful Beats WimpyAs much as we are becoming visual, you still and will always have an online "voice". When I wrote Curation Is The Next Web Revolution I didn't write Curation Might Be The Next Web Revolution because to quibble is to lose. If your voice is questioning itself who will believe it? A: No One. I write one way and edit another. In my edits I TAKE OUT the quibbles and so should you if you want to create awesome content.
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