In an age where everything is algorithm-based and jobs are falling to computers rather than humans, art is not only inspiring – it’s essential. It is born from a creative spark, a clever thought, an original and unique human mind. It allows us to communicate ideas to one another in a way that elicits empathy and emotion. Content marketing, if done right, accomplishes the same thing. The ideas that we communicate with our brand and our words should strike the heart of our audience. Our thoughts should inspire others and encourage exploration of thought.
If a computer or an algorithm can create your marketing campaign as well as you can, it’s time to rethink the strategy.
For Strong Content Marketing Channel your Inner Artist
Find Your Flow
Routines keep us focused on what’s ahead when we start drifting off course. Your routine can be as simple as listening to a specific genre of music or keeping a cup of coffee at your desk, but it can be the difference between churning out your best work and wasting an afternoon staring at a blank screen.
A key component to try is finding the best time of day to get creative. Most artists set aside a specific time every day to work on their craft, whether that’s 5 in the morning or 11 at night. Hemingway followed the “done by noon, drunk by three” rule, which entailed waking up at the crack of dawn to write until noon, and then having a drink at three in the afternoon. Learning what times are easiest for you to focus (and those that aren’t) is crucial to getting your best work done.
Try Something Weird
Artists are inspiring because they are inspired. They don’t get bored with the tedious details of their craft because they’re always trying something new, whether it’s sketching your muse from an unfamiliar perspective or photographing with a new lens in low light to get a perfect shot of the stars.
Experimenting with something unusual pushes your mind out of its comfort zone, which in turn sparks your creativity. If you typically focus on visual social media posts such as photographs, try creating or even promoting video to see how your audience reacts. You might discover a hidden talent or glean new insights about the sort of content gets your clients excited.
Never Stop Learning
Even if you experiment with something new and it fails, you learned something – you figured out what doesn’t work which can be a surefire way to figure out what does. Never be discouraged by failure; J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times. After the major success of Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien created a revised version of The Hobbit to help it better fit with the Lord of the Rings saga.
Whether it’s taking a web development class online or learning the art of telling your story well, you should never limit yourself to sticking only with what you know. The content marketing landscape changes fast, and with the web at your fingertips, your opportunities for growth are endless.
Build Your Audience
While crafting your art is half the fun, getting recognized for it is also pretty nice. As content marketers know, results are rarely immediate. Overnight “viral” successes don’t usually happen overnight at all. Angry Birds, the massively popular smartphone game, was software maker Rovio’s 52nd attempt. They spent eight years creating their “viral” game. Likewise, WD-40 is short for Water Displacement – 40th attempt.
A big part of content marketing is knowing your audience – who they are, what they want, and what’s preventing them from getting it. Sharing relevant, quality content is the foundation of building a strong audience. Another key component is engaging them by facilitating communication.
Join the Conversation
Artists value community. They support one another’s work, attend each other’s events, and provide words of feedback and encouragement. Bands in similar genres from the same hometowns tour together and promote each other’s albums on their social media accounts.
Marketers should do the same. Reading one another’s blogs, commenting on each other’s posts with our own insights, and attending regional conferences is a great way to find inspiration – and make a new friend or two while you’re at it.
Remember the Point
Ultimately, the most important thing every artist and content marketer can learn is the reason they started in the first place. Whether it’s to see a project into fruition, to create something innovative and unique, to help or inspire others, or to achieve recognition, remembering the point is the light in the dark we cling to when things get hard or when our project seems all but futile. Sometimes all you need is to glance back over your shoulder to see where you started in order to realize how far you’ve come, and how far you’ll go still.
What are your favorite content marketing tips and tricks? Share in the comments below!