“Creating something is only half the battle. The other half is finding people who care about it.” Ramsey Isler
Achieving twenty million video views on YouTube is no easy task. It’s even more difficult if you’re a North American discount store and not Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus. And if you’re discount store isn’t named either Walmart or Target, then getting twenty million people to watch your video is somewhat incredible. To achieve something this amazing, you have to create something amazing and that is exactly what Kmart did with its “Ship My Pants” ad campaign.
The play on words brought out the 12 year-old kid in all of us and we gladly tweeted, liked, and shared Kmart’s attempt to gain attention. That a 50 year-old company, which could never quite match the presence of Walmart or the image of Target, made the video fueled our amazement. Kmart had found a formula that captured our attention and allowed it to stand out from the crowd. It had gone beyond creating something that was merely “good.”
Be better than good
How many times have you heard an internet marketing expert say that the key to getting more traffic, fans, or links is to “create good content.” Oh really? Because I’m sure you wake up each morning thinking “today, I plan to create something really awful.” No, I didn’t think so. The problem is that good content is no longer good enough. Everyone is creating good content these days. You have to step it up to “amazing content.”
Creating something amazing is not going to be easy. If it were, then everyone would be doing it and then I’d have to tell you to create “outstanding content” instead. Amazing content takes planning. It takes time. And it may take money. If you’re fortunate, you’ll create something amazing once a month. Let me rephrase that. You’ll create something YOU think is amazing about once a month. What your audience thinks may be completely different. Many amazing pieces of web content have been launched only to find the chorus of crickets deafening.
That shouldn’t stop you from trying. If your amazing content fails, it will still be good content, or perhaps even great content. The key is to research what content your stakeholders will find amazing.
Create something amazing
It’s easy to over think your content creation efforts. You look around and all you see are videos, infographics, and animated gifs. You see them so often that, in your mind, it’s all tired and over played. You dismiss ideas because you’ve seen them done time and time again. Except, your stakeholders likely haven’t. Just because you’ve seen a hundred or more infographics, doesn’t mean that your audience has gotten bored with them as well.
The key is to create something that is amazing for your brand. Something that will amaze your audience. Kmart’s video didn’t become a viral hit just because it was risqué and juvenile—YouTube is littered with such efforts. It was a hit because no one expected it from Kmart. To Kmart’s stakeholders it was new, fresh, and amazing.
So what are some amazing content ideas that you can try? Here are some examples of how others have amazed their own centers of influence.
Infographics – when Avalaunch Media wanted to showcase its infographic creation services, it faced a crowded field. To stand out, the company took every single popular cat meme (think Grumpy Cat) and created an infographic that matched a different cat to a different social media channel. The infographic was a big hit and Avalaunch Media picked up big name clients such as Verizon and The Home Depot in the process.
Animation – Overit is a 20 year-old digital marketing agency out of Albany, New York. The company offers a full range of promotion and marketing services, but it knows that it competes in a crowded field. To stand out from the crowd, Overit uses its own in-house animation and motion graphic team to create amazing animated cartoons and videos to attract new clients such as Marvel and Donald Trump’s own line of vodka.
Blog posts – most of your good content will be in the form of a blog post or white paper. Turning this written medium into something amazing is what Copyblogger Media does best. Compelling headlines such as “7 Things the Great Copywriters Wish You Knew” and “Are You Still Playing Russian Roulette with Google?” backed up with equally insightful advice, have helped the company go from a simple blog to a highly successful software and training organization.
Tools – you don’t have to create a sophisticated piece of software in order to build a name for yourself. Scott Stratten, the popular author who is often referred to by his online nickname “Unmarketing,” took his reputation to a new level when he created the “No” button. Actually, it’s technically called the “Nooooooooooooooo.com” button. Over three hundred thousand people visit the web site each month simply to click on a big blue button that plays the audio of Darth Vader saying “no.” With over forty thousand tweets and half a million Facebook Likes, it’s safe to say that many people find it to be amazing.
Make amazing content shareable
Now that you’re working to create amazing content, you need to think about where it benefits you most to have it shared. Some social sharing will happen on its own, but you’re also going to have to do your part to funnel the sharing to the social networks that best serve your goals and best target your centers of influence.
You need to herd your audience. How? I’ll show you tomorrow! 😉