Entertain me for a few seconds. Let’s go back to 1997, a time when there were no social media. A time with no YouTube. A time when you had to rely on traditional media to access an audience.
Remember those days? Now, watch this video:
That is Rachael Ray. The very same Rachael Ray from the Food Network’s mega-success 30 Minute Meals. Today, almost two decades after that video aired, Rachael Ray has a media and product empire. What made Rachael Ray’s content so appealing, so addictive? Why did Rachael Ray cut through all the other cooking show content to become a mega success?
It’s simple, really. Rachael Ray had a hook.
Cutting through commodity content
We live in an information overload age. Content is created today at an unbelievable pace. The vast majority of that content is called “commodity content.” Commodity content is the raw material of the online world. It’s the generic blog posts and newsletter content we are all churning out. Ironically, the most successful online content creators aren’t creating commodity content. Instead, they rise above the fray by creating content designed to build a relationship with their audience. They create content that is unique. They do the same thing Rachael Ray did in 1997; they create content with a hook.
What’s a hook?
A hook is a simple twist on a familiar theme designed to ensnare or entrap your audience. Television producers are notoriously good at creating content with a smart hook. What’s Rachael Ray’s hook? 30 Minute Meals. Even in the late 1990’s there were lots of cooking shows on television, but Rachael had a novel idea. What if she could prepare a meal in real-time over the course of a thirty-minute cooking show? That’s the hook. 30 Minute Meals turns a generic cooking show (commodity content) into something that the audience falls in love with. I want you to think like Rachael Ray. Create content with a hook.
Stop chasing the social stream
There’s a problem with most of the content we’re creating in today’s online world: it’s unbelievably inconsistent. Just take a look at your web analytics. So many of us are chasing the next spike. We’re working extremely hard to create the next piece of content that our audience consumes and shares with fervor.
Treat your content as a product
Creating content with a hook allows you to cut through the clutter. It enables you to create content that your audience wants to subscribe to. A hook provides consistency. Instead of chasing the social stream, we can now focus on being part of the information our audience wants to consume on a regular basis. A hook helps you treat your content as a product.
What if we created less content and saw bigger success? What if we stopped chasing views and likes and shares and instead focused on building an ever-growing opt-in audience? What if we got out of the commodity content game?
What’s my hook? How can I create content with a simple twist on a familiar theme? What’s my 30 Minute Meals? And share with us in the comments below!
About Andrew: Davis’ 20-year career has taken him from local television to The Today Show. He’s worked for The Muppets in New York, written for Charles Kuralt and marketed for tiny start-ups as well as Fortune 500 brands. In 2001, Andrew Davis co-founded Tippingpoint Labs, where he changed the way publishers think and how brands market their products. His most recent book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships hit shelves in September, 2012. Check out his website to learn more!
Learn even more!
Take a look at your email marketing, is it grabbing your consumers attention? Do you have the right hook? Maybe you need more information and inspiration?
Take part in an exclusive webinar with Andrew Davis – HOOKED: How Clever Brands Create Addictive Content, on Thursday May 14, 2015 10:00 am EST.
You’ll learn five simple secrets to creating a hook. But it doesn’t stop there! Andrew will teach you what he learned while working for The Muppets and how you can apply that in your opt-in content strategy. Save your spot!