Is there ideation without perspiration?

04/05/17

What would you give for content ideation without all that perspiration?

Eureka moments are so ancient. It’s no wonder Archimedes had his in the bath. Coming up with new ideas can be very sweaty work.

Thomas Edison, a man who was not short of game-changing ideas, claimed that they were the product of just “one per cent inspiration but ninety nine per cent perspiration.”

That will explain why those of us who are facing ever greater demand for content marketing ideation have rings the size of Saturn’s under the arms of our once-crisp white shirts. And this isn’t a pretty sight. Nor is it a look that will attract, engage or convert our audiences.

The challenge of ideation

Last year Neil Patel highlighted a survey of marketers that clearly shows we’re struggling to produce enough content – in fact, 44 per cent of us say that producing consistent content is one of our biggest challenges.

Picture1

The CMI has revealed that 70 per cent of marketers are being asked to create more content than they ever have before. Unfortunately this incessant demand can lead to deterioration in quality. It’s increasingly hard to find something notable or new to say when so many other people are talking.

Indeed, in the chart above, you can see that a bigger challenge than the quantity of content we’re asked to produce is the quality of content required to make an impact. Half of us agree that getting the ideas for engaging content is one the toughest jobs we now face. As the quality of content that we compete against rises, the barrier for successful content gets higher. Sometimes it can feel like nothing less than a world record back flip is needed to even join the conversation, let alone grab that share of mind.

The schlock of the new

So what can we do? It’s time to work smarter rather than harder. We need to be able to ideate like a boss every time without having to hope we’ll be blessed by that elusive Eureka moment. To make every piece of content we produce glisten attractively – rather than sweat and pant like a tired work horse – it’s time to start approaching our ideation differently.

Photographer Lynn Friedman once commented that “serendipity doesn’t scale, but systems do.” The more Eureka moments we’re asked to come up with, the longer we’ll be sat in an increasingly tepid bathtub creating nothing but wrinkles on our skin. What effective ideation needs is a system, not blind faith in serendipity.

Thankfully, such a system has been created: it’s called Oz Content and it abandons the search for the absolutely new in favour of making connections from the best of what is already out there. In short, it approaches ideation like Steve Jobs rather than T.S. Eliot. In The Waste Land, Eliot bemoaned the fact that everything has already been said by claiming that all we can do is “shore up fragments against our ruin”. Back in the real world, Jobs just dived into what was already there and realised that “creativity is just connecting things”.

Oz Content helps your brand find real, meaningful connections from the conversations that are going on out there, rather than leaving you stultified as you seek out the illusory holy grail of the brand new. In doing so, it lets you join the conversation in an interesting way and from a radically different angle. And it is eminently scalable: it’s not so much Eureka as Hallelujah! We were one of the first UK content agencies to use it and we love it.

Ideation without all that perspiration

“Inspiration is for amateurs: the rest of us just show up and get to work.”
Chuck Close

Matt Lovett, the CEO of Oz Content, quotes the artist Chuck Close before he goes on to drive his point home. “When you’re responsible for regularly producing high-quality content, waiting around for inspiration — those elusive good ideas – just won’t cut it. You need a solid idea-generation pipeline, populated by relevant data and augmented by smart software.”

Oz Content is content idea generation software that offers a systematic approach to coming up with better ideas and coming up with them faster. It does this by letting you create customised datasets that pull from the most popular and authoritative sources that are relevant to your topic and industry. The data is sorted algorithmically for you, making the job of finding surprising connections and emergent patterns easier. From these connections, engaging content that will stand out in a crowded market is born.

Choose your angles

In its approach, Oz has simply codified and systemised what the best journalists always practiced.

“The reporter sees and exploits the thread of unifying several developments that to others appear unrelated. He assembles promising story ideas from what looks like a junk-pile of spare parts. He thinks of events as being potentially linked and tries to spot the connections that a story will provide.”
William E. Blundell, Wall Street Journal writer

This is to say that from these fragments he scores his story. We can use Oz Content to score yours. It helps us ideate across industries and topics without breaking a sweat but always making a splash.

Let’s get connected

Oz is an ideation tool that enhances rather than tries to replace creativity. It automates the digging so that we can help you plant stories that will grow. Fancy seeing what it can do?

Let’s ditch Lady Luck and start getting some real results.