Chief Content Officer. What kind of job is it, exactly? Well, it’s a dynamic blend of responsibilities consistent with that of a COO/CFO, that of an editor/creative director, and, an-all-between sounding board on business development and marketing strategy for my partners/founders.
After some conversation on Twitter, I realized things were happening in the millennial physical therapy generation. Many are looking into creating their own websites, blogs, podcasts, etc. I think this is great, and so, I thought it’d be helpful to share my personal Three “E”s of Excellent Content. If you make these three elements of content creation as part of a pre-publishing checklist, you will never go wrong in your journey in media development, digital marketing, or any like publishing.
Highly engaging content goes beyond being “not boring.” Engagement, at its root, is hype. Psychological, emotional, and even visceral hype which amps people up in way where they feel like something needs to be done. More people need to know. More people need to share. More people need to act. And, more of such content needs to be created! Engaging content is responsive content. It creates a response within the consumer. And, the more dimensions of response the content generates, the more excellent the content is. Engagement needs to encapsulate a sense of captivation, empathy, identity, and even a bit of outrage. Extremes are not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to engagement. Many times, the most extreme, most controversial, and even offensive content engages at the highest levels. The key, is making sure that extremes remain CONSTRUCTIVE. Content that emotes destructive, denigrating, and devaluing experiences are NOT excellent — they only hurt everyone. However, if you can create content which resonates, no matter how extreme and no matter on which valence of any given continuum… you will have generated excellence. That, is a great first step.
The second step to understanding content is to understand that content, no matter the form, is ultimately an expression of media. And, in one form or another, people consume content because they wish, in some part, to be entertained. As you are creating content, think to yourself if it would entertain you. If it makes you laugh, it’ll probably make the people who follow you laugh. After all, your audience is likely that of close identity, like minded, with many shared interests and points of view. Even if what you are thinking about creating might feel dorky, lame, or even weird… think of if it has entertainment value. Many times, the most raw and transparent productions resonate and engage at the deepest levels. Polish is great. But, authenticity is even better. Therefore, as you are generating content, think about various levels of entertainment value. Entertainment doesn’t mean it has to make people laugh. All the cinema categories have their own unique varieties of entertainment value. Ultimately, that which is entertaining feel valuable. It feels like it was worth the time to consume said content. That, is the value of entertaining content — it is worth the time and it was worth the experience.
Educational content ranges from strictly didactic materials to informational to remixed combinations. Regardless of what your content is to be, it must hold attributes that evokes action, inspiration, or both. Content can be absolutely new and novel, or it can be uniquely created or produced, and, it can be cleverly delivered. However it is done, what I mean by content being educational — I mean that content creates cause. Education should create cause; a rise to action, a new purpose, refined skill, better understanding, conviction, commitment… it should invoke, empower, trigger, promote, induce, foster, and even provoke.
While educational experiences have been highly formal in the past, the age of information and the advent of social media have taught us that we do not need structured, formal, and ordained settings to better ourselves and to more powerfully impact the lives of others. In all its finality, education is all about impact. How deeply, how profoundly, and how positively you can impact the lives of others through the content you deliver.
While it is absolutely important that you have the reach (distribution, following, audience, funneling, etc) for your content, my experience has shown me that excellent content can serve itself well in this regard. It does so by its very nature; it engages, it entertains, and it educates. Engagement will cause for hype, shareability, virility, and a building of brand awareness. Entertainment brings a humanistic value to content which is otherwise purely informational, dry, dull, or even worse, a waste of time (aka “Well, I won’t be getting the last X amount of minutes of my life back” type-of-waste-of-time). And, finally, content that is educational in the form of action and/or inspiration, makes an audience feel empowered. It makes audiences feel like they have come out of the experience of content consumption… for the better, leaving with more, and alive. That, is what makes for excellent content.
These, are your Three “E”s of Excellent Content.