Different Points of View: Using Fresh Angles in Your Content Marketing Approach
One’s man trash is another man’s treasure. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that phrase or a variation of it being spoken roughly a million times by now but 2019 is the first year in which I finally understood what that phrase meant. I went on a trip with a couple of friends in late July and one member of our entourage is a professional photographer and one photo he took during the trip stood out to me. It was a picture of a couple of guys hanging a banner by a busy pedestrian street assisted by a couple of tourists, a scene that we must’ve encountered at least a dozen times during our trip because there was a celebration at the time, and yet it was the way my friend captured that scene that enamored me.
Excellent photography has a way of making the ordinary look extraordinary. It’s actually pretty easy to get great shots of an already beautiful landscape but doing the same out of something that’s widely considered mundane requires an observant eye. What my friend did then was essentially seeing the treasure in what most people would consider trash. Even the banal can turn into something beautiful when viewed at a different angle, something that would also be relevant in the world of content marketing.
Changing the approach to your writing
Let’s be honest, with a total population of more than 7 billion people at the moment, it’s statistically very unlikely that anyone of us is capable of producing something completely original. At any given moment, it’s almost a given that someone, somewhere has already written or is currently writing about that burst of inspiration that’s just gone through your mind. Even Disney, a company that I’m sure is chock-full of incredibly creative people, can’t help but to reuse their older materials and simply repackage them as new films.
The solution here is to tackle the same topic but from a different angle the way photographers see a typical, day-to-day scene and craft something profound out of that scene. For marketers that are tasked with regularly creating fresh contents, trying to constantly come up with something original can be insanely hard, especially if you’re the kind of stream-of-consciousness writer that writes things as the flow through your mind. The solution here is to simply tackle something you’ve previously covered but approach them from another angle. It’s a bit like how a simple object or a landscape could look entirely different when viewed from a different perspective and apply this philosophy to your writing.
At its core, the type of angle you could use in the world of content marketing is divided into two, objective and subjective. The objective angle is factual and serves as an informational purpose and is written a bit like journalism where you pass on relevant information to the public. The subjective angle is about offering your take on something that’s relevant to your industry and written in a more conversational angle and you’re going to have to want to dig deep into your knowledge repertoire and personal experience for this angle. It should be noted however that these angles don’t have to be mutually exclusive as it’s possible for you to include mix both in a single piece of writing.
Writing to inform
The purest form of the informational angle is by doing a simple news roundup of notable information pertaining to your industry in a single day or a week. A more popular form of content marketing is the use of list articles or listicles, which are basically a list of facts pertaining to your industry. Most listicles you see online are going to be fluff and full of facts but not much on actual information so if you are keen on writing these listicles, I’d advise you to put some actual effort and make them as substantial as possible.
For a mix of the objective and the subjective, you could try mix news with your take on how that news might affect your industry as a whole. This can help establish your credibility as this can elevate your content above your competitors as you’re presenting something that isn’t just informative but also insightful and uniquely yours. This would also help increase the potential that your content would reach a larger audience as even those unfamiliar with your industry would benefit from reading up on the insights you’ve provided. Additionally, you could also include insights from other industry insiders to guarantee a more comprehensive point of view.
Writing to share
The most popular form of an opinion piece is a review. Many of you would probably consider a review to be objective but a review actually has considerably subjective elements. This isn’t to say that you could write whatever you want in a review but the adage of your mileage may vary very much applies to this situation. Let’s say that a certain product excels in A but performs poorly in B and reviewer number 1 might give said product a favorable reviews because they consider A to be important but reviewer number 2 might not be so forgiving because they consider B to be a priority.
For a more subjective take, you might want to try writing a personal essay and for this, there’s a very interesting piece on the video game website Eurogamer that could be used as an example. This piece I’m talking about draws a comparison between 2016’s episodic game Hitman with Columbo, an American TV show from the 70s. The piece is still about a video game but it draws from a very specific thought from the writer when he was watching Columbo on DVD. It’s an interesting rumination on the philosophical similarities of the two vastly different works and the fact that it was an unexpectedly insightful read makes the piece that much sweeter. If you’re feeling bold, pulling off something like this is definitely worthy of consideration as long as you make sure that it actually revolves around your industry.