Around 7 million blogs are published on the internet daily. Billions of social media posts go live every day. Snapchat alone boasts 3 billion snaps per day. It’s no surprise that the internet is rife with simply reorganized and non-original articles, blog posts, and social media updates. Truly original content is hard to come by these days.
It’s not enough to simply regurgitate information. The actual value lies in creating original content that educates, entertains, and inspires. Interestingly, a sea of sameness plagues the internet and the average human attention span continues to dwindle. How can businesses create something truly original for their audience?
In this article, we explore the invaluable art of creating original content. From understanding the current state of online content to the concept of branded content, and highlighting the creative processes that go into the production of truly original content.
The state of online content
The real issue is not the sheer volume of content on billions of websites and trillions of web pages. But, the fact that a significant amount on the internet’s vast and ever-expanding landscape is in duplicate.
Recent studies show nearly 75% of content marketing is made up of repurposed, duplicated, or regurgitated content. This means that the majority of what we see on the internet is not original or unique but rather a copy of something else.
While there is some value in repurposing content, this practice can lead to detrimental homogeneity in businesses.
For instance, duplicate content is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when it comes to website optimization. Not only does it affect a website’s search engine ranking, but it also can lead to lower traffic levels and reduced credibility in the eyes of users.
Search engines prioritize original, high-quality content. As a result, websites with a lot of duplicated content may not rank as highly on search engine results pages.
On a more serious note, a study by Search Engine Land found that sites with duplicate content were not only more likely to be lost online but they could be flagged for spamming or other malicious practices if such was the intent.
Also, well-documented is the adverse effect of duplicate content on user engagement and conversion rates. The Nielsen Norman Group study found that users are more likely to skim or skip duplicated content, resulting in lower engagement levels and reduced conversion rates.
You should read this: Legal and Ethical Issues Surrounding Content Scraping
Branded content is a guise
There’s a clear distinction between original and duplicated or repurposed content. However, brands are blurring the lines with strategic branding to create the illusion of authenticity and originality.
While some branded content is undoubtedly original and creative, the majority is not. They may simply take an existing piece of content, repurpose it, and add their branding to it.
Results of a study by Forbes showed that brand recall was significantly 59% higher for branded content, and consumers were 14% more likely to seek out more content from the brands after a single exposure.
Though effective, this could lead to controversies. An example is PepsiCo’s controversial campaign, featuring Kendall Jenner. She was shown joining a protest and handing a can of Pepsi to a police officer, seemingly easing tensions and bringing about peace.
The ad was widely criticized for trivializing social justice movements and being unoriginal, borrowing heavily from Black Lives Matter and other protests. Many saw the ad as a guise for selling soda, without any meaningful contribution to the social justice conversation.
Originality is invaluable (and always will be)
The value of originality cannot be overstated. It’s evident in why brands strive to produce “original content” either by creating something new or owning a fresh spin on an existing idea.
Original content is the lifeblood of a brand’s online presence. It’s what sets a brand apart from its competitors, and establishes its expertise, creativity, perspective, and dedication to providing value to its audience and the industry generally.
As mentioned earlier, original content can have a significant impact on a brand’s SEO. With both brand credibility and SEO-powered visibility working in sync, you can drive 1000% more traffic to your product or service.
A vital reason why original content is invaluable is that it helps a brand connect with its audience on a deeper level. 81% of consumers depend on this level of trust to make a purchase.
How To Create Original Content
Creating original content might seem impractical and resource-intensive, but it is not an impossible task. Here’s how you can navigate this hurdle and reap a fulfilling result:
Conduct a content audit
The aim of the content audit is to identify any gaps in your content strategy and determine what type of content is resonating with your audience.
Develop ideal buyer personas
The ideal persona represents your target audience, including their demographics, interests, pain points, and preferences.
Conduct thorough research
Gathering information and ideas for your content is crucial. This could involve reading industry publications, attending conferences and events, or conducting surveys and interviews.
Develop a unique perspective.
Take a contrarian viewpoint, share personal experiences, and present new research or data. Doing the normal just won’t cut it if you want to create truly original content
Create a strong outline
Outlines are needed to help organize your thoughts and ensure that your content flows logically and smoothly.
Enhance your content
Be sure to use clear and concise language, avoid jargon, and incorporate multimedia elements, such as images and videos.
Review your content
It’s best practice to step away from the content after you’ve created the first draft. When you return to it, be sure to review it objectively for grammar, spelling errors, accuracy, and currency. Also, refine your language for clarity and conciseness.
Optimize for SEO
It’s not worth all the effort if no one gets to read your content; no matter how original it is. Take a moment to optimize your work for SEO. Integrate relevant keywords naturally across the content, add meta descriptions and title tags, and ensure that your content is mobile-friendly.
Share your content
Let the world see how original you are. Share your content on relevant social media platforms, email newsletters, and other marketing channels to reach your target audience. With truly insightful and original content, you can harvest loads of backlinks from other marketers focusing on specific findings in your content.
Monitor the performance of your content
You’re going to need the data to inform you about what’s working and how your audience is interacting with your creation. Then, you’ll use this insight to adjust your strategy as needed to ensure that it continues to engage and resonate with your audience.
Consumers are becoming more discerning. They crave originality. So, no matter how frequently, your brand needs to embrace the challenge of creating original content and continue to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation.
Consistently creating high-quality and original content can be time-consuming and challenging, especially for businesses without a dedicated marketing team. At Ojehs, we commit to helping fast-growing software companies build brand credibility through excellently crafted original content and strategic digital marketing.