Selecting a stand-out statistic will help you create a more memorable piece of content than a data cram. There are 2 ways you can identify your primary message. You can begin by centering your content around a key message and then finding a statistic that highlights this point, like the example above. Alternatively, you can find an interesting statistic and explain why your audience should pay attention to this number.
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Video content is entertaining, engaging, and easy to comprehend. It’s no wonder 72% of consumers prefer video over text-based content. Furthermore, video can also help you improve SEO results significantly. According to Moovly, you’re 53 times more likely to rank on Google if you have a video on your site.
Producing video is, however, an expensive and tedious process as it requires preparation, filming, and editing. Yet, despite this major obstacle, 83% of businesses find that investing in video content gives them a good return on investment (ROI). Below are a few actionable steps to help you get started.
How To Get Started
1. Focusing on YouTube
There are many channels you can upload video to, but I recommend focusing on Youtube first. As the second most popular website in the world, Youtube is a heavy-traffic search engine that allows you to accumulate views years after uploading your content.
2. Planning Your Video
Before you start, you need to identify why you’re creating video content. Are you looking to educate, engage, or bring awareness about a topic? Being aware of your why can help you understand what you want to achieve.
In the planning process, you should define your overall strategy and find out what type of videos you’d like to produce (e.g. simple presenter video, tutotials, complex motion graphics, etc.). See our video content strategy guide for more in-depth information.
3. Preparing Your Equipment
After discovering what type of video you’d like to film, you need to prepare your equipment. A large factor that determines your end result is your budget. If you’re just starting out, I recommend doing the filming and editing yourself.
For example, if you’re writing a blog about reviewing online website builders, you can create a video tutorial about the Pros and Cons of a website builder like Wix. Videos are very useful in this circumstance because the viewer can see the user experience and interface of the website builder.
Whilst some of the free screen recording programs are perfectly suitable for most cases, you can get quite a bit more advanced features like annotations, titles, callouts and transitions with something like Camtasia, which is our personal favorite. It also works on both Windows and Mac.
Make Your Audience Feel Smart
Making your audience feel clever and capable can be tricky if you’re dealing with complex subjects. Thankfully, there are ways to get around this. While we’ll discuss this below, remember that creating original content is about being empathetic, thoughtful, and clever about how you stitch together different ideas and concepts.
How To Get Started
1. Put Your Reader First
Helping someone understand more about a subject or solve a problem requires an understanding of where they started. Think about your target audience. Conduct a design thinking exercise and write down how your persona feels and why they want to know more about the subject.
Next, think about who they’d love to hear from. If it’s a sensitive subject matter, it could be a close friend or family member who would sound warm, friendly, and understanding. If it’s about a particular sport, it could be from a professional athlete or trainer who could come off as motivational and inspiring.
2. Explain in Plain Language
It’s best to explain things in the most simple way possible (yes, this includes overly difficult subjects). If you need to use industry-specific jargon, mix that with simple terms an 8 years old would understand.
3. Focus on Sentence Fluency
For example, digital marketing guru Neil Patel has a unique rhythmic flow in his blog posts. While his posts contain technical jargon (around digital marketing and SEO), his writing is friendly, helpful, and conversational. If you pay attention to his sentences, there is a nice mix between short and truncated facts and longer data-focused sentences.
The best way to make someone feel smart is to combine words at a level they understand, create an approachable, relatable, friendly tone, and vary your sentence structure so there’s a nice rhythm and personality to your writing.
Types of Original Content
WordPress.org defines a blog as a website that maintains an “ongoing chronicle of information.” Blog posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, ensuring visitors see the newest posts first. When used for marketing purposes, a blog post should relate to your business in some way, whether you publish product reviews, interviews with industry experts or company updates.
According to Michael Stelzner, the author of Writing White Papers: How to Capture Readers and Keep Them, a white paper is a persuasive essay that promotes a product, service or viewpoint. A white paper should provide useful information to help the reader make a decision, solve a problem or understand more about a complex issue. This type of original content is often used in business-to-business (B2B) marketing.
Case studies tell a story about a company and its products or services. In marketing, case studies are used to highlight how a company helped one of its customers achieve a goal or solve a problem. Like white papers, case studies are often used for promoting B2B products and services.
Companies use email marketing to connect with audience members and promote their products, services and events. Each email you send is a piece of original content that can be used to help your business increase customer engagement or reach your sales goals.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content as “relevant and relatable” information shared with prospects, customers and other stakeholders. Using this definition, videos definitely qualify as a form of original content. Video interviews, tutorials, Q&A sessions and product reviews can all be used to promote your business online.
A podcast is a series of audio episodes focusing on a specific theme or topic. As long as the audio is relevant and relatable, it counts as a form of content for marketing purposes. Podcasts can help you grow your business by making it easier to connect with audience members.
Website copy is text that tells site visitors what they need to know about a company or brand. Every page of your website, from the Home page to the About Us page, has some type of website copy on it. For best results, your website copy should contain multiple calls to action.
An infographic is a visual representation of data. In other words, an infographic combines text and images to provide an easy-to-understand overview of a complex topic. Infographics are especially helpful if you’re writing about a technical topic and want to highlight relevant statistics for your audience members.
Social Media Posts
Social media posts are short pieces of content shared on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. These posts typically contain text, photos and videos, all of which can be used to engage your audience and help you achieve your marketing goals.
How to Create More Original Content
- Get ideas everywhere. First, trying to get ideas everywhere. You’re probably already familiar with the concept that you can’t force creativity; if you sit down at your desk with 20 minutes of spare time with the intention of coming up with a new idea, you’re only going to walk away disappointed. Creativity tends to emerge when we are bored and unoccupied – which is why it’s so important to be open to new ideas no matter where you are or what you’re doing. You can look for content ideas, specifically as brainstorming tools. Still, it’s also important to keep an open mind when interacting with other people, learning new things, or even when you’re alone with your thoughts in the shower.
- Look for holes in the canon. Next, look for spots in the canon that need to be filled. Pay attention to your competitors and see what types of content they’re creating. Are there any critical topics in your industry that haven’t been covered by one of your rivals already? Are your customers asking questions that aren’t sufficiently covered on the Internet somewhere? Every hole is an opportunity if you’re creative enough to find a way to fill it.
- Prioritize authenticity. One of the biggest problems with the surge in content marketing’s popularity is the decline of authenticity. Brands everywhere have resorted to generating the most placid and safest content they can, for fear of offending readers or negatively disrupting the industry. As a result, their content reads like a boardroom of stuffy professionals assembled it. Of course, that doesn’t mean that a loose-end casual approach will be suitable for your brand, but if you speak from the heart and inject your personality a little bit, you’ll find it much easier to stand out from the crowd.
- Share something truly new. If you have truly unique information to share, you’ll find it easy to develop an original content headline. Of course, the most common route to finding new information is original research; even simple studies, leveraging the power of customer surveys and basic human observation, can lead to findings that the majority of your readership will find valuable.
- Get more people contributing. Even working within a small team, you don’t have to do all the content creation work yourself. It’s much better if you work with an entire team and get content ideas from every member. In addition, work with several writers on your staff and consider accepting contributions from guest writers; not only will it limit the amount of manual effort you have to spend creating content, but it should also help you cover new topics and cover old topics from new angles.
- Diversify your content risk. You may not want to risk offending the search engine gods with a Piece of truly novel content that contains controversial opinions, nor do you want to stake your entire brand reputation on a fundamentally new content medium that could drive people away. That’s why you should treat your content portfolio like an investment portfolio and diversify your risk. Make sure to include several pieces of “risky” content, grounded by less original and safer contributions. Nobody said all your content had to be groundbreaking.
Technology will help resolve the “original content” problem, at least in some ways. New ways of creating and interacting with content will emerge, stimulating the creativity of countless content creators and inspiring them to come up with fresh takes. But, of course, you can’t rely on this exclusively, so make sure you invest in content originality strategies that allow you to separate yourself from the pack and make better, more exciting appeals to your target audience.
Chief Revenue Officer
Timothy Carter is the Chief Revenue Officer of the Seattle digital marketing agency SEO.co, DEV.co & PPC.co. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO and digital marketing leading, building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams. When he’s not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach — preferably in Hawaii with a cup of Kona coffee. Follow him on Twitter @TimothyCarter