If you’re buying into the content marketing thing.
The idea that every company is a media company.
Then you’ve probably heard about “Interesting Content”.
It’s kind of a vague term.
I like the way Mel Gibson thinks about the content he creates. He talks about Entertaining, Educating and Enlightening (or Elevating).
Good content has one of the three.
Great content has all three. But that’s difficult.
If you’re looking at interesting content you really only need one. And sometimes you’ll stumble on two or three with one piece.
Here are some tips for creating your own interesting content.
Step 1. Set Ego Aside
There is no way around it.
So the first step in creating interesting content is realizing that there is a learning curve. We’re not really entirely sure what might be interesting tomorrow.
We kind of know what has been interesting in the past and we can see what people find interesting right now.
But it’s difficult to predict the future.
The only way you get a feel for it is by putting in the work and the quantity.
So set the ego aside and start creating content everyday.
Step 2. Listen
This doesn’t just mean listening to conversations around you and listening more intently to the people you have personal conversations with.
It means doing more listening everywhere in your life.
Social media is a great place to listen. Most of what you see on social media is content that people are broadcasting.
You can see what they’re sharing that they think is interesting.
But you can take this a couple steps further to listen not to what people are saying, but to what they’re doing.
Look at what is getting the more engagement. Shares, likes, comments, etc.
Also look for questions people are asking on social media (and in other areas of life).
People do ask quite a few questions online. Search. Social. Forums.
Find those questions and you can educate by providing the answer. If you can make the answer entertaining then you’ve got two out of three.
If you can find something that others don’t know about. That they don’t even know to ask. But that they will care about them you’ve enlightened them.
That’s the most difficult one, but if you do that you’re really on a roll.
I loved the movie Goodfellas. It hit on all three of Mel Gibson’s keys.
I had no idea about mob life. That’s enlightening.
I had no idea how mob life worked. That movie was like a handbook. Educating.
There were so many amusing scenes and the movie was an enjoyable experience. That’s entertainment.
Step 3. Analyze
It’s great to listen and analyze the world around you, but don’t forget to analyze the content you’re starting to put out.
NFL teams are often asked about how they watch film of the opponent each week. But what’s not often said is probably more important.
NFL teams are constantly watching film of themselves. Even of practices each day. They’re looking to make sure they’re doing the right fundamentals and techniques.
The first key is to start creating content. The second is to look at the big wins. The big losses. Looking for tendencies and characteristics. Things that show you why something did well.
There’s no formula, but over time you build intuition and that will help you create content that will be interesting today and tomorrow.
Bonus: Embrace Your Strengths & Be Yourself
The entertaining aspect of interesting content is tricky. You often see extroverted people on YouTube with lots of views.
That’s their style. They embrace it and it works for them and becomes entertaining for viewers.
But it might not be your style.
Whatever your style is can be entertaining. You know what your strengths are. Embrace those strengths and use them to your advantage.
Maybe you have a dry sense of humor. Quick wit. That can come through very well. Focus on that and not trying outlandish things.
Maybe you’re really good at writing. It might be better to start a blog or a newsletter versus a podcast or a video series.
Actor Christian Bale doesn’t seem like a very funny guy. In fact, he seems overly serious. Could you imagine him trying to be the funny and jovial guy in the room?
Nope. But he embraces his serious side and it really works for him. He’s entertaining. The same could be said for Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. Not very funny, but still entertaining.
Do a self assessment of your personality. Also assess your skills. Be honest about it.
Then embrace it and go with what works for you.
Interesting content is a pretty vague term. I’m guilty of writing about it. I’m guilty of thinking about it without really thinking about it and understanding it.
But the steps above do help to create more interesting content. And not just content that is more interesting, but more interesting content as well.