Good Artists Copy. Great Artists Steal!
Steve Jobs once proudly said in an interview: “Picasso had a saying – ‘good artists copy; great artists steal’ and we [at Apple] have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”
Apple doesn’t just ‘steal’ great ideas, they understand what makes an idea great and take that idea even further. They use a ‘stolen’ idea to create something greater. The results? Apple has become one of the world’s most valuable companies, known for their user-friendly products, and for cultivating recurring revenue.
This concept of ‘stealing’ an idea to make something better is the backbone of content marketing.
One of the biggest challenges in content marketing is coming up with new ideas or content that will engage and resonate with the target audience. When challenged to find a fresh idea, look at what others are doing.
I’m not saying directly copy or plagiarize. Instead, look to others as inspiration. Look at others within and outside of your industry. What content of theirs do you like, or dislike, and why? Is the content or how they are presenting that content something that can be adapted to your organization?
Most of us want to be the first; the visionary. However, being first can mean learning on the fly and making mistakes. By studying and learning from others, you can avoid their mistakes and really amplify your content.
Be careful, though, when ‘stealing’ ideas. Are you really originating, or delivering, something different? You need to be honest with yourself, and honest about your team’s strengths. You don’t want to ‘steal’ an idea only to fall short on its development and delivery.
For example, videos are tremendously popular in content marketing. Video is a fantastic tool. However, is video the best way to tell a particular story? How visual is the subject(s)? Will your spokesperson appear relaxed and confident on-camera? If there is any doubt, you may want to consider a podcast episode, photo series or text article instead of a video interview.
Deliver stories in their best format!
Be honest with yourself, too, in terms of your own capabilities to deliver and develop content. It is okay, it’s even considered a strength, to recognize that you need help delivering or developing impactful content.