CREATIVITY: noun. "the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work." Creativity rises up in many forms, having capabilities seeming almost impossible.
I believe that every human brain has a "spark" of creativity stored somewhere within their right brain hemisphere. You may quickly defer, but go ahead.....try to prove me wrong!
"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand."
Some people are born with it........or maybe it's just them making the choice to step out in confidence, not being afraid of failure, but embracing it and learning from mistakes daily. Developing. Growing. Creating. as they journey along.
Curiosity is defined as having "a strong desire to know or learn something." This is what, I believe, keeps us alive and well.
Manifestation of curiosity comes in many forms, one of which could be having a desire to read the gossip columns or watch reality TV shows, or having the desire to get to know about people and their lives.
Another way it can manifest is the desire to collect knowledge about science, geography or other topics similar to this, or having the urge to recognize how to fix things.
Some may wonder, "Is curiosity still alive?" I'm here to tell you....."YES, it is! Look all around you."
"When curiosity is alive, we are attracted to many things; we discover many worlds." -Eric Booth
FACT: curiosity makes you smarter. It is important for one to excel in any job or career and continue striving to better oneself. You are continually doing this by asking questions, learning from those surrounding you, and find ways to better your job.
"A curious mind is an active mind," wanting to know and to understand is the ultimate goal. Curiosity is an essential ingredient of the learning process at any age.
Intellectual curiosity is imperative for keeping your mind focused and agile and is necessary in every age. You can say it "stimulates" the mind and keeps it youthful.
Widening the mind and opening it up to different opinions, lifestyles, and topics is its main objective.
It's been said, "The future belongs to the CURIOUS. The ones who are not afraid to TRY it, EXPLORE it, POKE at it, QUESTION it and TURN it inside out."
CrEaTiVe CoNtEnT mArKeTiNg
"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about." -Oscar Wilde
The holy grail for Content Marketers in today's attention starved society is 'being talked about."
You must create articles, videos, infographics, and social media posts that are not only going to be searchable, but shareable.
In order for your content to stand out from the rest of the crowd, when it comes to crafting your content pieces, they should consist of both artistic and scientific evidence.
Even though the science behind Content Marketing has been exposed for many years (data analytics anyone?), the art part is something that has been sorely lacking.
I recommend checking out Rod Judkin's book: The Art of Creative Thinking. This book contains a total of 89 tactics and techniques that boost creativity.
Here are 10 nifty ways that you can spark creativity in content:
#1. Be Playful
Have you heard the story about how David Kelley and his colleagues introduced their computer mouse mock-up to Steve Jobs?
They put together a variety of scraps, a roll-on deodorant ball, a refrigerator piece, bits from a car gearstick, and a dish purchased from a supermarket. This flimsy concoction was held together with only a few simple items: tape and rubber bands.
Luckily, their efforts made an impression on the legendary Apple CEO and the rest, to them, was history.
Be like Kelley. Reconnect with play! Each content piece should be treated like a game or toy, allowing your free-spirited curiosity to determine what you write, produce, or design.
#2. Break Rules
Don't get me wrong, there are rules that should be followed within Content Marketing. Right keywords, right image sizes, and the right video lengths are all vital when it comes to resonating with your audiences.
Although there must be ways that will also astonish your audiences with something unexpected.
Here is a great example: Seth Godin is an uber marketer, but unlike the rest of content marketers like himself, his blog does not include any images, fancy videos, SEO keywords, or Call To Action (CTA) buttons. His readers are not even allowed to leave comments on his blog, and does not follow anyone on Twitter (besides himself).
Instead of following the crowd, Seth puts his sole focus on creating brilliant, original insights that will ultimately add value to his following. What does this do for him? It helps him keep up with his clout online, even though he chooses to ignore every rule of digital engagement.
"If I'd observed all the rules, I'd never have got anywhere"
#3. Immerse Yourself
Want to succeed in creating out of this world content? Well then, ever consider becoming like Quentin Tarantino? If not, you should!
Tarantino was once an employee working at a video rental store. Here, he was a highly devoted film fan who would watch as many films as he could get his hands on. Doing this helped him become the world renowned auteur that he is today.
When people ask me if I want to film school, I tell them, "No, I went to films." -Quentin Taratino
Be like Tarantino. Delve into books, blogs, magazines, videos, podcasts, movies, and anything else affiliated to your domain.
#4. Embrace Chaos & Accidents
Accidents are bound to happen. No dodging can be done here. Learn to cherish the detours you have been forced to take. Learn to discover something "right" from the "wrong."
Did you know that Charles Goodyear ended up discovering vulcanised rubber on accident? Rubber seemed to be too soft when it became hot and too brittle when it was cold. Goodyear accidentally spilled a small amount of rubber on his stovetop. Want to know what happened next? It ended up baking into this dark hard substance that was strong as well as pliable at all temperatures.
Just remember this: the next time something does not seem to be going your way, try to turn experiences like that into a positive lesson. Afterwards, take it online by writing about it. There's something about this that causes a feeling of sweet relief.
#5. Take Advantage of Disadvantages
"Until we see the 'this-advantage' in the disadvantage, we shall always be looking at the disadvantages in life. Life does not present us with disadvantages, it gives us 'this-advantages' to take. It is only because of excuses and low courage that we regard 'this advantages' as disadvantages."
-Ernest Adyemang Yeboah
During the Great Depression back in the 1920s. Kellogg's (known as one of one of the greatest breakfast companies around the globe), famously made a decision to go ahead and do the complete opposite of what everyone else had been doing.
It went ahead and doubled its advertising budget, while other companies were cutting back.
The company grew tremendously because of this and ended up having complete reign over the market.
Just like Kellogg's, strive to look for opportunities that will allow you to create things that others shun.
Why not create a whimsical video explaining to others how your B2B business works or even a game that contributes in making industrial grade cement enjoyable and alluring.
#6. Joke Around
Were you aware of the fact that Facebook was actually created by Mark Zuckerberg as a joke?
Facebook (best known as being the world's largest social network), was developed for one purpose only, to give Harvard students permission to nominate the best-looking person from a selection of photos (FaceMash). Eventually, it caused a huge uproar and was banned by the University, but it ended up being so popular that it crashed Harvard's servers!
Humour is a pattern-switching process that helps cause "insight switchover," enthralling us to proceed from that ever so familiar pattern to a new, unpredicted one.
Content Marketing is a world filled with all kinds of experiments. Fan of pop music? Touché!
Paul McCartney and John Lennon of The Beatles were best known for mixing together genres and experimenting with various techniques when creating music. Choosing to use feedback made them the first rock band to do so. They were also the first band to incorporate a string quartet or a sitar while creating music.
Be like Lennon and McCartney. Do not shy away from becoming experimental when creating new content. Mixing and matching in-between content formats is a good idea. Choose to test how well these channels work. Using videos and images to experiment is highly recommended as well.
#8. Be Daring
Not to sound cliché, but creative folks tend to thumb their noses towards locus cummunis.
Being daring basically means putting the right thing in the wrong place. It taunts you in creating wacky stuff. Take Salvador Dalí's famous lobster telephone for example, or the artwork done by Damien Hirst, titled: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.
There are infinite ways for you to become revolutionary in your art. Will you choose to do so? How will you zag while others simply zig?
#9. Take Hold of Curiosity & Discovery
Every great inventor out there has been known to have that "curiosity spark." Albert Einstein once quoted: "I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
Miuccia Prada holds a PhD in political science and was at one time a member of the Communist Party and an advocate of woman's rights. Later on, she studied mime for 5 years and also became a film producer, art curator, capitalist, and architect.
Serendipitous life experiences like this helped shape Prada's fashion designs into clothing pieces shouting "Who are you? Goad to find out." With sales in the billions, Prada stands as a fashion powerhouse!
#10. Listen to Your Heart
Final Creativity takeaway: Follow your heart......and maybe your gut as well.
Bluffton expressed how one of his students felt stuck while working in the admin department of her company even though she had been wanting to produce ads. She decided to apply to see if she could be transferred to the marketing department, but was rejected often. Bluffton then encouraged her to actually "do" the marketing rather than persuading her up-line with just words.
This student decided to create an advertising campaign for her company, including strapline, photos, concept, and design layouts. It turned out looking even better than the company's own efforts. After showing the campaign to her superiors, she was immediately placed in the marketing department.
What can be taken away from a lesson like this?
Be completely self-indulgent so that you can be your best self. Remember to treat each of your content pieces that you create as a a labour of love. Have a good time with it. Engage with it.
There has been scientific research conducted on how creativity is very well linked to a decrease in the risk of mortality.
Check out this Scientific American article. Here, you'll find out how researchers came to discover that only creativity-not intelligence or even overall openness-lowered mortality risk.
There is a reason behind why creativity is protective over one's health. It is known to have a drawing affect on an assortment of neural networks located in the brain.
James Clear has cited studies as well as conducted research that clearly demonstrates how creating art contributes in a decrease in negative emotions, reduces tension and anxiety, and has shown an improvement in medical outcomes.
Being creative not only helps you live longer, but it has the potential to improve the quality of your overall health and life too.
#2. Problem Solves
Did you know that being creative helps you in becoming a genius when having to solve problems? This is true for all aspects in your life.
Rather than approaching from a linear, logical point, try using your creative side where you'll be able to face a situation from every angle.
Creativity gives you a brand new set of eyes by allowing you to see things differently and gives you the courage you need to deal with uncertainty.
Studies have shown that creative people do in fact have the ability to deal with uncertainty with a much higher confidence than those who do not. This is because they allow themselves to adjust their thinking to open it up for the flow of the unknown.
#3. Confidence Boost
Don't get me wrong, being creative isn't always going to be a smooth ride, it will come with many ups and downs attached with a high risk of failure along the way.
It's going to take boat loads of vulnerability for you to share your art, and allow yourself to take the risk in accepting that what you have created may never see the light of day.
Engage in the creative process, it is a definite confidence builder.
Simply because you come to a realization that failure is only a part of the process.
Once you have discovered that failure is something that can be survived, that will help you grow, and that turns your work into a masterpiece, only then can you learn to let go of the fear in failure when trying new things.
Be a RISK TAKER! It is so FREEING.
I hope that after reading this blog post, you have uncovered the fact of just how important it is to implement CREATIVITY in your content.
Ready to start using your creative thinking skills?
Create that masterpiece you keep putting on hold. You know you want to. Why not start NOW!?
Malinda is a Content Creator/Web Designer @ Troyer Websites, a full service Web Design & Marketing Firm located in Orrville, Ohio.