I've been reading The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited by Emanuel Rosen, courtesy of Rosen himself. The book is a treasure trove of ideas and case studies on the way people share information and how ideas spread.
Rather than give you a review of the book, which you can find on Amazon, I thought it would be useful to share some ideas and take aways that apply to content creation - the new business of marketing and communications.
1. Simplify someone's life. That's the appeal of Tim Ferriss, for example.
2. Evoke strong emotions about the art of marketing. Guy Kawasaki does that in person and across social media.
3. Be visual. That's very much the appeal with David Armano's work.
4. Tell a story in a way that is concrete and personal. An example of that is my tale of the Broad Street Run.
5. Share good ideas. Gary Vaynerchuk hits the spot on that one.
6. Make small talk in micro-interactions gain big impact. Chris Brogan didn't get 61,000+ followers on Twitter because he was talking to himself.
7. Create a new list. People like to see where things stack against each other. By far, the most popular list is still the one Todd And created and AdAge took over.
8. Give away secrets and tips to help others become more effective. Adam Singer is very generous in that regard.
9. Teach something new or from a new perspective. Kathy Sierra has been able to do that on a topic that for many was considered not quite appealing.
10. Inspire people to take action and change the world. Entrepreneur Chris Guilleabeau is a good example of that.
11. Be opinionated about future trends. That's a trait that is best exemplified by Robert Scoble.
12. Track and review future trends from behind the scenes. A good guide is Louis Gray.
13. Create a conversation around a social object. That's what Hugh MacLeod does.
14. Become the expert hub on a subject matter. The go to person for all things WordPress is Lorelle van Fossen.
15. Write something that is unexpected or unusual, yet still applies to your business. The best example of that is Harry Joiner.
16. Analyze and interpret the current trends in your field or industry. A good example is Barry Ritholtz.
17. Start a new series that is unique to your site. Liz Strauss has a regular appointment with her readers every Tuesday evening.
18. Add value in exchange for attention. One of the best ways to add value to others is by being generous with links to other good content. That has been my direction on Twitter lately.
19. Take a strong position on a news story. Tom Peters is known for commenting on current events.
20. Make a list of tips for your customers that are useful and easy to implement, like this one.
21. Answer questions from customers or readers. Better yet, if the questions keep coming up in the comments to previous articles or writing. Fred Wilson picks up on that well.
22. Provide practical, actionable tips that can improve lives. Leo Babauta is known for this kind of content creation.
23. Take customers or readers on a day in the life of your product or service. This might be the new testimonial.
24. Teach people how to do something that will make them look good. Tom Kuhlman is a master in all things eLearning.
25. Host guest posts from up and coming writers. They will help spread the word in new networks.
26. Provide summaries or digests of complex information. In this time-starved world, pre-digested material is a welcome respite.
27. Write a style guide or book of best practices for your industry or line of business.
28. Add video. Dan Pink, a really good writer, decided to share travel tips on video.
29. Start a meme. They are really popular online, and they tend to spread very fast.
30. Share lessons learned and calls to action. Brian Clark is a good source of content marketing best practices.
31. Ask really good questions. This one is more effective after you've created a bit of a following already.
32. Allow your readers to participate in content creation. Crowd-sourcing or collaboration really work.
33. Start or talk about a cause. Rick Becker provides good examples.
34. Provide widgets or containers for other people's content.
35. Become a content aggregator.
36. Provide daily tips. Daily Blog Tips is such a hub.
37. Write in depth, thought-provoking content. Sometimes this is the opposite of where everyone else is going. For that, you might want to check out Kevin Kelley.
38. Keep a strong stream of innovative formats coming.
39. Build interest by creating scarcity. Stephen Denny has a post that expands on this point.
40. Talk up an outrageous idea.
41. Use compelling charts and graphics.
42. Interpret and lead the news in your field or industry. For new ways of doing PR, for example, you may take a look at t he work of Brian Solis.
43. Package your most compelling content so that it becomes portable in other formats. eBooks, but also think mobile.
44. Cut across different cultures. Martina Zavagno does just that at Adverblog.
45. Explain the factoids behind your product or company history.
46. Give people a tutorial on how to do something new. Steve Rubel does it often.
47. Address the concerns of your community, readership or customer base openly.
48. Find a new angle to a story.
49. Change the way people talk about an industry event.
50. Think and thus write differently about your own content.
[photos by Roby Ferrari from Modena]
© 2006-2009 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.