Ever since Rand Fishkin coined the term 10x content, it has caught the attention of marketers worldwide. 10x content delivers ten times more value to its viewers which makes it link-worthy, shareable and high on emotional value.
Hector & the search for happiness is 2014 film starring (Hector) Simon Pegg; a psychiatrist who goes on a journey to find what makes people happy. What follows is a journey of self-discovery where he travels to different countries and has experiences which help him to shape his answer to the question.
As marketers we also on a journey of self-discovery. 9 out of 10 times what we believe is 10x content doesn’t work with the audience.
Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story
Being an active blog its a question that we often ask ourselves. We are attempting to answer questions that most marketers and publishers have related to content marketing and on how to find the recipe to create 10x content.
Choosing from Content Ideas
If you have been to a brand newsroom the day usually starts with a meeting to discuss content ideas. For an idea to be accepted, it has to meet the following criteria’s.
- Whether the ideas has been covered before and whether it was covered well
- Whether the idea will deliver value to its readers
Brand newsrooms also need to spot trends and the virality that the content will generate. For example publishers like Buzzfeed track share rate of content to understand the potential virality of content.
Content marketers always struggle with this question. The team at Contently has answered this questions in their recent article on How Many Stories Should I Publish Per Month?.
Content creation should maintain the fine balance between volume and quality. Quality is what will drive readers back to your site. Evergreen content will drive traffic and subscription even after it’s been published.
Content vs. Traffic
If you are in the business of creating content, then traffic is your top most priority. Anybody in the business will tell you that it’s not easy even large publishers like the New York Times struggle with this problem. In fact, the New York Times Innovation Report leaked in 2013 exposed that the publisher was struggling with traffic in spite of creating more content than most publishers.
A lot has changed at New York Times since the report came out in 2013 and the publisher has embraced digital with over 1.5 million paid subscriptions on its platform.
So what’s the horizon to build traffic? Can brands produce and sustain traffic like traditional publishers?
Brands like Redbull, Reebok, Google and Johnson & Johnson have already proven that the publishers can build a sustainable content marketing model. One of the best examples is how Johnson & Johnson has built Baby Center as a global content brand after it acquired the company nearly sixteen years ago.
Finding 10x content
For content to be classified as 10x content, it has to be clearly different and more valuable than anything else that can be found via a search engine. A classic example of 10x content this year has been the Time’s campaign for 100 most influential photos of all time. The campaign was widely covered by almost every website that you can think of and has received numerous back-links and shares.
The essential ingredients for creating 10x content are following:
- Make sure that your 10x content is the most exhaustive piece of literature available on the subject.
- The language, tonality, and presentation are so simple that even a layperson can understand the subject.
- The content has to be easily accessible (don’t make it difficult for people to access the content).
- Don’t think conventional. For example, can you use data visualization instead an of an excel graph to present the content? The little pieces would add up to differentiate the content.
It’s a question that most brands & publishers struggle with. Honestly, it’s a struggle and needs you to constantly push the envelope and experiment with content so that you find your fit with the audience.