In this day and age, in just about any medium, whether it’s music, art, film, gaming or what ever, there have been so many people thinking of ideas and executing them in some fashion, that I can confidently say that almost no new idea that you think of is brand new. When you think that the brilliant guitar riff in your rock song is a one of a kind,chances are, it’s probably not. There are other riffs that are eerily similar. When you think of that awesome story line for that new book or film you’ve been wanting to do, chances are somebody else has thought of something similar.
It’s similar in marketing. After a while, you can say the same thing. Enough ideas have been thrown around by everybody in the industry, and that means that almost anything that does come to mind for you, someone else has already had that epiphany. Hopefully that thought doesn’t deflate your ego too much, knowing somebody else has already thought of your idea.
In the marketing industry, we usually get some good ideas for ourselves from the minds of two different kinds of people. The first kind is from your consumers. Things they talk about in comment boards, feedback or reviews can gives us the ideas we need to improve our site. The other sort of person we get our ideas from…are from the people we are actively competing with. The key to being successful with this idea is to appear to be the first one to think of it. Sure, that sounds entirely unfair to the person who actually did think of it first. But unfortunately, that’s how the world is.
The whole idea isn’t to steal. It’s to take the idea that somebody else had, (in this case, content strategy) and make it better through improvements. Of course, stealing is bad. Please don’t assume that it isn’t. Don’t steal. The idea is to take what inspires you, see what makes it work, and try to use it create inspiration for yourself to one-up what you’ve already accomplished.
There is an article out there, posted on Moz.com, and written by Bill Sebald, entitled Building Better Content By Improving Upon Your Competitors that talks about several things that you can do to see what others have done, and shape the ideas that you find into something usable for yourself that can, in turn, improve what you do. Again, that doesn’t mean steal. It’s ok to use it as inspiration.
To check out Bill’s article, you can hop on over to Moz.com, or you can click on the link below and see how to build better content through improving on your competitors.