Skip to content

Should You Stop Trying to Make Your Content One of a Kind? [The Weekly Wrap]

Listen to the Weekly Wrap here or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher. If you enjoy the show, please take a moment to rate it or post a review.

And that’s a wrap of the week ending Aug. 14, 2020

This week I’m asking whether we’re borrowing enough good ideas. I talk with Mike Orr from Grapevine6 about content, the state of influencer marketing, and how to get more from your social media partner. And I point you to an article about how images can increase your content’s visibility in search.

Listen to (or watch) the Weekly Wrap

Our theme this week is borrowing ideas. As BB King once said, “I don’t think anybody steals anything; all of us borrow.”

Let’s wrap it up.

Listen to the episode (time stamps apply to the audio and video versions):

Watch it, too:

One deep thought: Are there any new ideas? (3:06)

Marketers spend so much time trying to differentiate – to not sound like anyone else, to have a distinctive point of view, and to package it like no one has ever seen.

But that level of differentiation is nearly impossible, particularly when you publish content frequently and consistently. As Mark Twain said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.”

Is finding that uniqueness a prerequisite to success?

Maybe not.

Is finding uniqueness a prerequisite to success? Maybe not, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

You may be better off finding great ideas and using them to fuel the success of your content.

Two researchers recently conducted a study about how companies in emerging markets developed successful business models and differentiation. They found that more successful companies in a new industry didn’t worry about being different, they focused on which ideas to borrow.

The researchers called this “parallel play,” a term psychologists use to describe how young children play together – sitting near each other but playing by themselves. Even though they’re not playing together, they pay attention to what others are doing and borrow ideas to help them accomplish something.

Businesses targeting innovative markets echoed this parallel play, researchers found. They didn’t consider the developments from new competitors in their space as something to avoid and differentiate against. They watched and borrowed some of their competitors’ best ideas.

Content marketers can learn from this parallel play concept, too. Yes, everyone wants to create original stories and express them in differentiated narratives, but it’s OK to look at others in the proverbial sandbox and learn from their success as well.

George Lucas has said the idea for Star Wars was borrowed from Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 samurai classic The Hidden Fortress. Ridley Scott’s 1979 movie Alien, about a crew of a spaceship being taken one by one by a murderous extraterrestrial, is almost a direct knockoff of another 1958 film: It! The Terror From Beyond Space. And Avatar, one of the most successful movies of all time, follows almost the same storyline as Dances With Wolves or The Emerald Forest.

All these great stories were borrowed. What stories can you borrow? Just one thing (and I talk more about it on the podcast): Borrowing doesn’t mean duplicating. It’s all about making the borrowed idea your own.

Borrowing ideas doesn’t mean duplicating. Make them your own, says @Robert_Rose via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

This week’s person making a difference in content: Mike Orr (6:22)

My guest this week is Mike Orr, CEO of Grapevine6. Mike is responsible for bringing everything together, product release after product release. But his greatest asset is his ability to take good ideas and find ways to make them great. (See what I did there? I wove in the theme without even getting to the theme.)

Before co-founding Grapevine6, Mike spent several years in management consulting working with some of Canada’s marquee brands. He led a strategic think tank and project management team, which earned global awards and recognition, at one of Canada’s leading digital advertising agencies.

Mike and I talk about an article called How to Get More From Your Social Media Partner, as well as the state of influencer marketing and personal brands.

Here’s a snippet from my conversation with Mike:

Especially in B2B companies that are relationship driven, a lot of the responsibility for that communication that used to live in the brand has now moved out to the edge – out to the salespeople, the account team, the success team. It’s great because it’s actually humanizing the relationship between the brand and its customers. And content is core to that.

#Content is core to humanizing the relationship between the brand and customers, says @mikeorr8 via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

Listen in, then learn more about Mike:

One content marketing idea you can use (31:05)

The one post on CMI’s site I’d love for you to read this week is How to Use Images to Increase Search Visibility and Get More Clicks by Ann Smarty.

Ann asks you to consider whether your content is ready for Google’s increasingly visual search results. As the search giant “shifts emphasis to mobile search,” she writes, “visibility is crucial.”

Visual #content is an organic search competitive advantage, says @SEOSmarty via @CMIContent. #SEO #WeeklyWrap Click To Tweet

And she offers some great ideas for thinking about imagery in terms of aiding SEO. I hope you’ll check it out.

The wrap-up

I hope you’re enjoying the show. I’m always borrowing and remixing ideas to improve them. If you have thoughts about what you’d like to hear about or guests you’d like to hear from, let me know in the comments. And if you love the show, I’d sure love for you to review it or share it. Hashtag us up on Twitter: #WeeklyWrap.

To listen to past shows, go to the main Weekly Wrap page.

How to subscribe Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute.