How To Create Disruptive, Innovative Content

All entrepreneurs aspire to create that memorable second – one which will get folks speaking and interested by their model properly after they first see it.

Historically, the National Football League’s Super Bowl showcased a lot of these moments – from Apple’s signature 1984 spot to Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.

The adverts become greater than passing distractions throughout breaks within the sport’s motion. They inserted themselves into the material of America’s cultural ardour and eternally linked to that occasion’s pleasant expertise.

Streaming service Tubi hoped so as to add its identify to that memorable record this yr with its interface interruption spot. The advert appeared like the usual return from a industrial break, full with Fox Sports announcers welcoming viewers again to the sport.

But some intelligent visible overlays shortly reworked the display into an involuntary streamer-surfing expertise. It acquired viewers to face up (some actually) and marvel if the display’s look occurred as a result of they have been sitting on their remotes.

It won’t be the stuff of a traditionally memorable advert, however in an area dominated by high-powered superstar cameos and expensive nostalgia-centric stunts, Tubi gained the day with innovation. The model stored it actual (maybe too actual?), stored the deal with a relatable expertise, and emerged with (arguably) the watercooler moment of the sport.

Standing out in a market flooded with content material takes that sort of disruptive artistic imaginative and prescient constructed on a eager understanding of your model and its viewers.

How can your model captivate customers with modern content material creations? Wieden+Kennedy’s head of technique Marcus Collins says to begin by factoring your model’s cultural views into your artistic ideation course of.

Captivate consumers with innovative content by factoring your brand’s cultural perspective into the ideation process, says @marctothec via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Use a cultural lens to discover new concepts

For innovation to occur, you don’t simply must generate concepts. You must develop the proper concepts that suit your model’s identification, distinguish it from opponents, and resonate together with your viewers.

“You must construct your artistic operations across the cultural identification of the group, and that effort has to begin with perception, says Marcus, who has an upcoming ebook on the topic, For The Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be.

He says you have to ask, “What does your brand believe? How does it see the world? What is the driving conviction that’s leading you to seek a change?”

Marcus additionally thinks cultural alignment will help leaders broaden their staff’s understanding of the viewers and add a centered route to their ideation course of.

“As marketers, we’re not just creating videos, images, and text. What we should be creating are cultural products – things that reflect our organization’s beliefs and how it sees the world. That cultural product creates a gravitational pull for people who see the world similarly,” he says.

To create that pull, your staff wants to grasp their views. “The discourse between us is how we start to turn ideas into meaning,” Marcus says.

Conducting conversations together with your clients is an effective place to begin. The want additionally exists to include exterior stimuli and various views into these conversations. Otherwise, your staff may get trapped in an echo chamber. “That prevents new ideas from emerging or new behaviors and processes from being formed around them,” Marcus says.

Seek diverse perspectives to avoid getting trapped in an echo chamber of ideas, says @marctothec via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Reset your definition of innovation

Organizations typically name upon entrepreneurs to gas their modern concepts. They additionally steadily equate innovation with creativity. Though associated, the 2 ideas aren’t synonymous.

In a current blog post, innovation architect and writer of Re:Think Innovation Carla Johnson defines the distinction this manner: “Creativity is the idea of bringing a new perspective to anything and having it add value. Innovation is the process of transforming that creativity into value.”

#Creativity is the idea of bringing a new perspective to anything and having it add value. Innovation is the process of transforming that creativity into value, says @CarlaJohnson via @joderama @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

While one can’t succeed with out the opposite, Carla says failing to acknowledge and nurture this small but vital distinction leads many companies’ improvements to fail. “Misunderstanding what innovation is and how it looks keeps us from really understanding how to come up with those ideas and operationalize them in a beneficial way,” she writes.

Distinguish ‘possibility’ from ‘executability’

Innovation begins with concepts. But your staff might must give you dozens of uncooked concepts earlier than homing in on ones price creating.

Content groups typically depend on brainstorming to generate a gradual stream of innovation prospects. They typically incorporate improv workout routines, phrase affiliation, and mind-mapping into their artistic workflow.

Yet, Carla argues these “free-thinking” workout routines could be problematic. “Marketers tend to go straight into the brainstorming step without having done anything to prime their work. There’s no inspiration to come up with an idea that’s truly innovative,” she says.

The ensuing concepts typically simply rehash one thing already executed. Or, after implementing them, you uncover the concepts are unrealistic, poorly centered, or tough to execute successfully.

Consider this illustration of these limitations:

In this Instagram video, actor and Aviation Gin’s influencer-in-chief Ryan Reynolds apologizes to NFL followers for failing to develop an advert for the large sport. As a treatment, he conducts an impromptu advert brainstorm for subsequent yr’s marketing campaign.

Your artistic staff seemingly acknowledges the improvisational phrase affiliation approach he makes use of. But even Ryan admits the ensuing thought isn’t nice: Its intelligent, brand-friendly identify lacks a transparent model function and consistency with different initiatives. It additionally causes sudden challenges for the staff members who should iron out the authorized and technical particulars.

Aviation Gin created a follow-up advert that was inspiring (although it has since been taken down). But it’s higher to develop concepts that account for the approval and implementation course of and the execution as a part of a constant model expertise. Otherwise, these “nice-to-have” concepts gained’t get traction inside your group.

Think iteration, not invention

Your content material staff can develop modern concepts with out being unique. Uber didn’t invent the concept of hailing a driver – it simply made the method extra environment friendly. Airbnb didn’t invent short-term housing leases. It translated the mannequin utilized by accommodations, hostels, and impartial householders by “appifying” the method to create an modern new enterprise sector.

Marcus likens this to the work of sociologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, who checked out creativity via the lens of bricolage – a French time period for creating one thing new from a various vary of current supplies.

“That’s hip-hop (music) through and through,” he says. “Take a sample of this, a sample from that, add new lyrics and a melody, and you have a new song. I think for creators, a bricolage approach can get us to ideas that feel familiar yet fresh.”

Manifest’s Creative Pushups initiative is a good instance. While the company definitely didn’t invent the idea of creativity workout routines, it advanced the format and launched it into a brand new setting, creating one thing contemporary and thrilling for the content material advertising and marketing group.

Creative Pushups started as a sequence of enjoyable brainstorming and free-expression workout routines designed to assist Manifest’s staff members break free from current patterns and re-energize their ideation course of with some private aptitude.

Each pushup kicks off with a unusual artistic immediate, akin to “Write the title of your memoir,” “Tell us what the Mona Lisa is looking at,” or “Rebrand Thanksgiving from the turkey’s point of view” (proven right here).

Manifest’s senior vice chairman of company progress Mark Kats says the concept grew out of the necessity to substitute their in-person brainstorms with digital periods originally of the pandemic. Launched as an inside Slack channel, its reputation impressed Manifest to broaden this system onto LinkedIn and invite different creatives to take part.

The success of the Creative Pushups LinkedIn group acquired Manifest interested by different methods to broaden the impression. “We’re passionate about bringing creativity and newness to content. But we became really excited about extending that into a different space,” Mark says.

To take a look at the idea, the company pitched the concept of Creative Pushups as a sequence of mini periods at Content Marketing World 2022.

It took a little bit convincing – and numerous logistics work – to translate “spontaneous creativity in a ‘judgment-free zone’” right into a presentation-based academic convention.

As you’ll be able to see from a photograph taken on the occasion, that transformational work included designing an area to really feel extra vibrant cocktail social gathering than a conference heart breakout room. High-top tables and cozy lounge chairs changed convention desks and banquet chairs. Snacks, drinks, artwork provides, and colourful toys impressed creativity, whereas minimal lighting and upbeat music created an area appropriate for enjoyment and exploration.

All that arduous work paid off. Creative Pushups was among the many hottest periods on the occasion, and Manifest is seeking to convey it again for Content Marketing World 2023.

But this system’s story doesn’t finish there. Manifest took Creative Pushups on the street to broaden its impression and affect past the advertising and marketing area. “Lots of organizations have internal creative teams that can benefit from activities or workshops that get them thinking a little bit differently about their day-to-day challenges,” Mark says.

That effort kicked off with a sold-out session at this yr’s South by Southwest occasion. Manifest plans to share highlights and particulars on its newest artistic workout routines and methods on LinkedIn.

Enable ‘operation innovation’ to succeed

Your content material staff’s artistic concepts can forge a memorable, significant reference to customers. But you have to ignite these sparks of consideration repeatedly and maintain and lengthen their preliminary connections via extra content material belongings. Take inspiration from these consultants to create an modern imaginative and prescient that may lead your group to the subsequent stage of success.

Editor’s observe: This article initially appeared in CCO.

Get extra recommendation from Chief Content Officer, a publication for content material leaders (month-to-month beginning May 2023). Subscribe today to get it in your inbox.


Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute