Consider the noise

September 08, 2017
- Longform
Author - Amy Jacobowitz

There are estimates that an individual is exposed to as many as 5000 ads per day. It’s a clutter of messaging at best, and tack onto that political fanfare, your preferred daily entertainment, and your work routine, and there’s just a whole lot of noise where most people would prefer some quiet.

With that general ruckus, the need to develop original content has become so much more essential. Gone are the days when a simple repurposing of material could garner you as many likes, follows, or shares. Now in order to receive maximum impact, brands or individuals have to think of innovative ways to message their platforms, even when those ideas might be duplicative. Often that might mean conducting a new study or investigation; for our purposes, that often means pitching an interview or profiling an individual who might have something interesting to say that hasn’t been heard quite yet, or quite in that way.

But why does it matter to go out and conduct an interview, produce your own video, or run your own study? It’s easy to see that as a waste of time, money, and resources, when you can simply reshare or repurpose content at a much higher volume and much more quickly. So it’s important to qualify the value of original content in two broad categories: the more measurable and the less measurable.

The tangible begins with SEO. Search engines optimize for original content, and can identify sites as spam when there’s duplicated content, keyword density, and various other measures that their unique algorithms have developed for this exact reason. It isn’t in Google’s interest to allow unoriginal content to rise to the top if Bing is delivering better, more unique search results, or vice versa. Their users will ultimately choose which search engine provides less spam and more quality results, so original content gets more eyes to your page through search engine hits which you can track directly through your preferred analytics source.

As for the less measurable, original content allows you to grow affinity for your brand, company, individual, or otherwise. Sure, you can build up your reputation through associating with similar brands, reposting their content, and allying yourself in the right position, but there’s much more resonance in developing your own voice, determining your unique set of brand and tonal guidelines, and then developing written and visual content around that. Better yet, it helps facilitate community growth. When your voice and content is dialed into your target demographics, they respond in kind and you grow a lasting relationship that’s marked by loyalty and trust.

Original content means a lot of different things to a lot of different brands. To Netflix, it means an increasing number of their own TV shows, films, and comedy specials. To a brand like Nike, it means fresh ads, branded content series, event activations, and so much more. To Funkhaus, when we think about what our goals are and how we position ourselves, our original (marketing) content comes in the form of interviews, travel photos, thought leadership blogs, and our in-house publication, Scoundrel. Of course being a busy company, not everything we do is original – see our Soapbox content for example. Yet anecdotally, year after year, our highest ranked and most shared content comes from our interviews and longer-form pieces where we highlight our brand values (creativity, work/life balance, great design), and engage with members of our community whether it be online or in old-fashioned analog. And best of all, that’s the content we love to ideate, and love to consider making for our portfolio of content clients.

Interested in that content conversation? Hit us up – we’d love to make you original.