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How to Produce Content that People Will Share

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So you've had your brainstorm, now what? You need to assess your ideas in the cold light of day. Discover the 5 ways the criteria for sticky ideas can improve the creative process, and give you the best chance of creating something that people will want to share.

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How to Produce Content that People Will Share

  1. 1. ideas with legs: how to produce content that people will share by mark johnstone
  2. 2. this is my friend Sean (on the left). he’s a chef. I once asked Sean, “what’s the biggest mistake amateur chefs make?”
  3. 3. he said, “you don’t taste your food enough when you’re cooking”
  4. 4. that’s good advice, but ONLY IF when you taste your food, you’re able to quickly tell what it needs
  5. 5. a good chef continually tastes their food while they’re cooking and decides “more soy, more salt, more ginger…”
  6. 6. if it’s your job to come up with content ideas, you need to be able to assess your ideas and determine what they’re missing
  7. 7. somebody asked me recently, “which idea do you still think’s good even though it failed?”
  8. 8. this one thomson.co.uk/blog/infographic/superbowl/index.html#2010
  9. 9. in the lead up to the 2012 super bowl, we visualised the data from all the previous super bowl matches
  10. 10. take the 2010 super bowl for example…
  11. 11. Indianapolis Colts took the lead in the first quarter
  12. 12. they stayed in the lead throughout the second quarter Indianapolis Colts took the lead in the first quarter
  13. 13. Saints mounted a comeback early in the third
  14. 14. Colts regained the lead and held on until the last 5 minutes
  15. 15. Saints scored 2 touchdowns in the last 5 minutes to win the game
  16. 16. only 37 Facebook likes! what went wrong?
  17. 17. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas
  18. 18. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas a novel execution that allows you to see the game in a new way
  19. 19. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas it takes something abstract (the score line over time) and makes it visible
  20. 20. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas it’s based on sound data
  21. 21. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas it tells the story of the game
  22. 22. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas but it wasn’t a story people cared about
  23. 23. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas if your team is in the super bowl this year, do you really care what the score was in previous years?
  24. 24. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas without the annotations, people found it hard to understand Indianapolis Colts took the lead in the first quarter
  25. 25. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the 6 criteria of sticky ideas without the annotations, people found it hard to understand Indianapolis Colts took the lead in the first quarter if we’d used these criteria up front, it might have saved us pain down the line
  26. 26. simple unexpected (different) concrete credible emotional (resonant) story the 2 most important criteria
  27. 27. but things might not need to be as different as you think
  28. 28. these are all separate editions of Men’s Health released in America in the last 10 years
  29. 29. journalists will cover the same content time and time again
  30. 30. an example from our own work
  31. 31. these infographics show the habits of famous creative people - neither of them allow you to easily make comparisons http://infowetrust.com/2014/03/26/creative-routines/ http://nymag.com/health/bestdoctors/2014/genius-sleeping-habits-2014-6/
  32. 32. so we made this https://podio.com/site/creative-routines
  33. 33. you can filter to compare sleeping patterns
  34. 34. or compare work patterns, etc
  35. 35. 19,000 likes 395 LRDs* * Linking Root Domains
  36. 36. the way in which it’s different is where the value lies
  37. 37. but how do you come up with different ideas?
  38. 38. dataviz data journalism digital awards advertising you need sources of inspiration for different executions (and knowledge of resonant topics within your niche)
  39. 39. dataviz data journalism digital awards advertising
  40. 40. build a swipe file epicviz.tumblr.com
  41. 41. simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story the criteria: know when not to use them
  42. 42. concerthotels.com/100-years-of-rock
  43. 43. 96,400 LRDs* 507 likes * Linking Root Domains
  44. 44. success! but how would we follow it… ? * Linking Root Domains 96,400 LRDs* 507 likes
  45. 45. hey Phil, you know we showed HOW the different genres emerged? what if we could show WHY they emerged? or what if you took one tune and played it in different styles? start off blues, make it rock, make it funk? I saw this thing called the Bonhamizer once, where you take a pop song and add John Bonham on drums oh, what if you could make your own super group? hmmm… I wonder if that’s possible… static.echonest.com/bonhamizer/
  46. 46. I started searching for Jimmy Page vocal solo huh, that’s interesting…
  47. 47. data! I discovered this site therangeplace.forummotions.com
  48. 48. we ended up building this
  49. 49. 102,000 likes 777 LRDs* concerthotels.com/worlds-greatest-vocal-ranges * Linking Root Domains
  50. 50. what if? what if? what if? we started with the idea of showing why genres emerged and ended up producing a piece on vocal ranges
  51. 51. what if? what if? what if? we started with something rather vague but interesting and ended up with something concrete and compelling
  52. 52. what if? what if? what if? if we’d brandished the criteria too early, we’d have killed the process dead
  53. 53. what if? what if? what if? we allowed ourselves room to explore what was interesting, making lateral leaps without knowing where they would lead
  54. 54. what if? what if? what if? give your ideas room to grow
  55. 55. divergent emergent convergent the 3 stages of idea generation source: ‘Gamestorming’ by Gray, Brown & Macanufo
  56. 56. divergent emergent convergent use the criteria to inform your research and idea generation
  57. 57. divergent emergent convergent leave the criteria alone and give your ideas room to grow
  58. 58. divergent emergent convergent use the criteria to coldly assess your ideas
  59. 59. so you’ve got your idea - now for the pitch!
  60. 60. this is honestly how we used to pitch ideas (in email!)
  61. 61. we’ve only described WHAT the idea is
  62. 62. we’ve done nothing to sell them on WHY it will work
  63. 63. how to sell clients on the WHY
  64. 64. a while back, the web was suffering from infographic fatigue flowingdata.com/2010/02/15/data-underload-9-big-graphic-blueprint/
  65. 65. a while back, the web was suffering from infographic fatigue but every now and then, a piece would come along that used the long, tall format brilliantly
  66. 66. ripetungi.com/shark-attack/
  67. 67. we used this as inspiration for a more light-hearted piece
  68. 68. side-note: this is one slide from the idea pitch deck (a bit better than the old emails we used to send!)
  69. 69. Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Story simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story we explained the criteria to the client, and how the idea stacked up against them
  70. 70. Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Story simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story you don’t have to tick every box, you just need to know where the weaknesses lie
  71. 71. Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Story simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story even with the weaknesses, we felt this idea was worth a punt. we were transparent with the client. he agreed. it worked.
  72. 72. Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Story simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story 25,400 likes 184 LRDs* * Linking Root Domains concerthotels.com/ipod-visualized-as-vinyl
  73. 73. ? ideation pitch production
  74. 74. we once had a client who lost faith in an idea midway through production so we shared the criteria with him, and discussed the idea. it turned out just to be an issue with the copy. peopledesign.com/creating-the-new
  75. 75. the creative process can be a rollercoaster of clarity & confusion, confidence and doubt if you lose your way, use the criteria to assess the production. it can get you back on track and everyone back on board. peopledesign.com/creating-the-new
  76. 76. five ways the SUCCES criteria can improve the creative process
  77. 77. focus on what’s different (unexpected)
  78. 78. what if? what if? what if? give your ideas room to grow (put the criteria down)
  79. 79. choose pain up front I’d sooner choose the pain of going back to the drawing board than push through an idea that doesn’t have legs
  80. 80. Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Story sell them on the WHY simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story
  81. 81. Simple Unexpected Concrete Credible Emotional Story keep things on track simple unexpected concrete credible emotional story
  82. 82. follow these steps and you’ll give yourself a better chance of producing content people will share
  83. 83. thank you
  84. 84. @epicgraphic

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