At HubSpot we constantly preach the concept that content is king . I think a lot of our followers take this the wrong way and assume that we are telling everyone to create content in a cookie-cutter manner. But writing your blog posts in the HubSpot style, creating videos and webinars like we do, and using a HubSpot template to build your presentations is the last thing we want you to do. This might work for some of our customers and for certain industries, but it's not for everyone.
Creating remarkable content is crucial for any Inbound Marketing strategy, but there is no formula for success. In order to stand out you have to be willing to "poke the box," and in Seth's interview he shares some terrific insights into how you can succeed.
Understand Who Your Customers Are
One of the main reasons Seth started the Domino Project , the publishing project responsible for Poke the Box was because he felt the publishing model was broken. To most modern publishers the bookstore is their customer, when in reality, it's really the readers who should be the ones considered when publishing decisions are being made. They're the ones actually reading your books, sharing your ideas, and enjoying your content. Similarly, although taking SEO into consideration is important for your search engine ranking, you shouldn't be sacrificing the quality of your content to optimize for a few keywords.
Make Your Content Sharable
Seth discusses how most books are hard to share. People are hesitant to share a 400 page book. To most people a 100 page book is a gift but a 400 page book is an obligation. You don't want your followers to feel reluctant to share your content. Your content should be so enjoyable and informative that your fans are dying to tell their friends about it.
Seth does this by pricing his books as cheaply as possible and by selling them in pre-packaged bundles. You can even order a 52-pack of Poke the Box . One way to make your content easily sharable is by adding social media links. Also, you shouldn't inundate a reader or viewer with long compositions. Instead offer smaller succinct pieces of content so as to encourage sharing.
Reward Your Biggest Fans
To build on the previous point, it is integral that you reward your biggest fans so that they will spread your gospel. Seth did this by offering the pre-release Kindle version of his eBook for $1 ! Your most loyal followers are the ones most likely to share your content, and they should be rewarded for their help.
One way you might want to approach this would be to offer your Facebook Fans or Twitter followers an exclusive pre-release of an offer. You could also give away prizes to the most insightful commenters on your blog. Or perhaps, hold a private webinar for the first hundred people to download your whitepaper. Of course, these are just examples but the theme remains the same. Don't forget to take care of those who helped you get to where you are :)
Seth Godin is definitely the exception and not the rule, but he didn't get to where he is today by following in the footsteps of others. He's contantly thinking of new ways to get his word out to the public and stand out amongst an overcrowded universe of content. I hope that some of these examples give you an idea of how to mix up your content creation strategy. What are you doing to "poke the box?" Let me know in the comments below.