Buy a magazine. Buy a newspaper.
I was looking at a copy of The Sun the other day. Yeah, I know. Look, I didn't pay for it.
Viewed through the eyes of a content marketer, it's near unbelievable.
Us content marketers think in terms of perhaps blogging once a day. These guys produce So Much content Every Single Day. What a machine!
The one that gets me every time is Runners World (I ran a marathon once). You'd think they'd run out (ha ha) of things to say wouldn't you? Surely: it's just don't eat rubbish, how to train, how to get over injuries, how to handle a race .. what else is there to talk about? Pair of shorts, pair of trainers, run about, that's it! Well, that's what I thought. You need to see it, pretty much every page makes me go "oh, I must try that".
That's key. As a PR guy I once met with the editor of the Derby Evening Telegraph (mixing with the stars again) and they every story must create a reaction, get people off their sofa, spark tears or rage. They said what they wanted was not to write about what's happening. Not to write about what everyone's talking about. But to be the thing every one is talking about. To write the article everyone can't wait to talk about at work the next day: "did you see that?"
But look even deeper.
Remember my favourite story about whalesong and fashion? Researchers looking into whales spotted that when they returned to a spot each year, their song had changed. Just a little. An extra blip. They explained that it was evolutions way of spotting the unpopular and the dullards. If a whale was still singing last year's song, basically they weren't going to get a mate. 80s pop tune fans take note.
Anyway, to me, this was mind blowing, here was the biological underpinning of fashion. If you're not watching trends, if you're out of step with the way the crowd is moving, if you've not got mates who are in touch, you're really not up to speed, you're missing something, you really don't have the best DNA.
I remember one hot summer Saturday pretty much running into a pub where friends were gently supping real ale to breathlessly announce that another friend was at the county show (you know, cows) and that it would be a good idea for us all to go. Somehow, my brilliant idea fell on stony ground. Almost forty years later I still remember every bit of that moment.
It's not enough that the newspaper runs a story that everyone talks about. The story must speak to common experience. It must be in touch with the zeitgeist. It must make you sexier by showing how in-touch you are. It must lead us where we didn't know we want to be.
There's the bar. That's the standard.
Imagine meeting that standard. Imagine writing the article where everyone goes "OMG, yes!".
I would rather you/I/we write one incredible article each year, even if it took all year to get it right, than 365 articles that make people go 'yeah, whatever'. (I might compromise on monthly.)
I say 'we'. I'm talking about Surge Marketing, which is my content-marketing, social media, pay per click marketing company. We have a process that takes ideas and either ditches them or makes them special. Tests them and if they work, pumps them bigger. Not every idea makes the grade.
How often will we get over that bar? Rarely. It's like David Bailey said "I hope one day to take a good photograph" (something like that). But make no mistake, that's what we're aiming at.
We want to change the world with your story. Are you up for that?
Get it done by: http://www.surgemarketing.co.uk
For: .. obviously that depends what needs doing, but Surge Marketing is a content marketing company that has a system designed to create quality not quantity.