Creativity is a tricky concept. As marketers, we all strive to be more creative—but what exactly does that mean? How can we measure creativity or generate more of it when it is a seemingly intangible quality?
To prepare you for an upcoming webinar with Jay Acunzo, we provide you with a comprehensive guide to revive your creativity—not as a vague concept but as a tangible marketing skill. With a fresh take on creativity, you’ll not only produce better marketing results but you’ll also breathe new life into your content. Keep reading.
This guide to content marketing gives you three proven strategies that will revive and renew your marketing creativity
1. Focus on the process, not the end goal.
It’s easy to come up with grandiose ideas. But why, when it comes down to it, are many of these ideas so difficult to execute? The answer is simple. To make truly creative marketing content and campaigns, we must focus on the process rather than the end result.
As Jay puts it: “Too much content marketing goes through the motions. But the very best among us find joy in the process. They LOVE creating the stuff, tinkering on their framework for doing so, and testing their process and workflow—just because, just for enjoyment. And this actually yields better end results (source).”
Jay’s not wrong. Think about it: when you’re under constant pressure to produce a piece of content, it’s easy to lose focus. You forget your audience, you skimp on research, and your revision process goes out the window, all because you can’t wait to get your hands on the final product—to publish something.
If you find yourself rushing to put out mediocre content that you don’t feel great about, here’s our advice:
- Give yourself more time. Too often we race through the content creation process just to get to the end goal. And, most of the time, this is due to the tight deadlines we give ourselves. Instead, plan ahead and work within a framework that gives you ample time to play with your creative process.
- Treat each piece of your campaign or project like the end goal. What we mean is—treat every step of the process as if it’s as critical as the final result. Why? Because it is. Using the extra time you’ve allotted, do your research, personalize your content, and make sure it truly makes sense before publishing.
- Take a breather and review the final product with fresh eyes. Sometimes, we need to step away from a project before we can look at it objectively. So, before sending a piece of content to production, take a second look. Does it still make sense? Don’t be afraid to rework things if necessary.
2. Dedicate time every day to chip away at one “big” idea.
Let’s face it, some of our best ideas are overwhelming. They seem so big, we’re not even sure where to start. So, we put the idea on a to-do list somewhere and forget about it until the next time we’re pressed for a new initiative or campaign.
Instead, take your big ideas and break them up into a more digestible format. Suddenly, your huge campaign looks more doable. But it’s not enough just to plan—you have to actually do.
So, reserve an hour each day where you work on nothing but this one specific idea. This type of process facilitates creativity in the same way our previous point does. You’re giving yourself time. You’re treating each piece of the project like a goal in and of itself. And each day you bring a fresh set of eyes to what you’re doing.
Even the best marketers know—getting started is the most difficult part. As soon as you dig in and get going, you’ll lose yourself in the work. The next thing you know, your huge idea – the one you couldn’t imagine even starting – will be complete.
3. Always understand what role your content plays in the big picture.
Whether you’re working on an 800-word blog post or a 25-page eBook, it’s critical that you always understand where the piece falls within your larger strategy.
When faced with a new assignment or campaign it’s easy to think, “Right, well I need this piece to generate thousands of qualified leads, spearhead a new brand awareness campaign, and I also need it to be picked up by all of mainstream media.”
We’re joking, but let’s face it—when we don’t understand the specific purpose of a piece of content, we lose direction—fast. Instead, consider where the piece falls within the buyer’s cycle, where you expect your audience to access it, and what critical next step your audience will take after reading it.
When you have a purpose—and parameters to work within—it’s much easier to be creative.
Key Takeaways about Marketing Creativity
Before we sign off, we’ll leave you with one last quote from Jay:
“In marketing, we talk a lot about tools and workflow and tips for publishing something faster, more efficiently, getting to the end basically to ship it out the door better, faster, quicker, whatever, more. And we should totally talk about that stuff, but also we have to consider why are we doing this in the first place? It’s not actually to publish something. That is not the reason we do this. It is to get some kind of intellectual or emotional response from people to have them click, spend time with us, share it, act in some kind of way that benefits our business. And I think too many of us think about just simply delivering the thing into the world, and then we stop. We seek things like ideal word counts for blog posts, shortcuts and ideas that we can put on repeat over and over again, and we kind of corporatize and optimize, because we’re just so damn busy trying to reach people that we sort of forget that this is actually about resonance (source).”
About Jay Acunzo
If you’d like to hear from Jay himself, join us on Tuesday, February 13th. We’re holding a webinar with Jay titled, Guts and Spines: How Brilliant Marketers Start and Scale Their Creativity. Register now! You won’t want to miss it.
Jay is an award-winning podcaster, a dynamic keynote speaker, and a veteran digital and content marketer. He was a digital media strategist at Google and head of content for multiple startups, including HubSpot. He spent several years scaling a venture capital firm called NextView using content marketing and narrative storytelling, and he is now the host and producer of several web series about the meaning people find in the work they do.
Jay’s podcast, Unthinkable, explores examples of work that seems crazy … until you hear their side of the story. The show is a journey to understand what it takes to break from conventional thinking and achieve more exceptional things in your work.
Tips, tricks, cheats, and hacks are flooding the business internet today. It is Jay’s professional mission to defeat this advice overload and help others unleash their full potential.