Why Timeless Content Makes the World Go Round (Part 3)
Have you ever turned on the radio only to be confused with whatever it is they’re talking about? Apparently NBC pulled a fast one with their Olympic content a few weeks ago – something to do with prime-time hours and live recording. I purposely avoided further research on this topic for the sake of expressing my frustration and confusion in this post.
This is the 3rd post in the 4-part series: The Content Guide.
Part 1: The Comforting Realities of Universally Appealing Content
Part 2: The Universal Appeal of Knowledgable Content
The purpose of news broadcasts are to present readers and viewers with current, up-to-date content and information that is presently relevant. This is practical, sure, but should be avoided by marketing managers who wish to present timeless content that will be helpful today, tomorrow, five years from now and when Morlocks discover it in the year 802,701. Could happen.
Content That Will Always Be Helpful
Discovering new content is an enjoyable, fulfilling experience. Should that experience be any less worthwhile if the content you’ve come across was written a week earlier? A year? If a client discovers an e-book you wrote last winter, is he or she going to want to buy it? If you’re adept at creating timeless content then the answer is yes. Congratulations! Timeless content made you a sale.
When I watched Guy Pierce in The Time Machine in 2002 I was thrilled by the story and the idea behind the content. It didn’t matter that the original novella was written by H.G. Wells in 1895, in fact, I was even more impressed that an idea could be so powerful to withstand the test of time. I went out and bought the original Time Machine right away. Ironic, right? (Why is this ironic?)
Delivering timeless content in your ongoing marketing campaigns encourages people to read more, stay informed of your products and services and develop longstanding faith in your brand.
Quick note to the Devil’s Advocate crowd: When you deliver a specified promotion based on a specific event, people will pay more attention to it because it’s unique and time-sensitive.
Timeless content also promotes sharing and linking – once an idea grows, it becomes common and more people want to comment on it as time goes on. Some ideas and topics are too large for an hour-long radio broadcast or a
600 750 990-word article, so sending your readers to areas that support your central idea further develops a timeless platform of content that contributes to your idea.
Storytelling is a beautifully effective way to promote timeless content. No matter how much the world changes, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, written in 1931, remains a powerful comment on the state of society’s class structure.
Authors such as Huxley, Wells, and Jules Verne created more than just timeless stories – they created timeless ideas.
Timeless content also ensures that the future of your business is a lot more Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and a lot less Terminator 2.
Demonstrate Your Understanding
You don’t always have to create content that Morlocks will relate to in 800 000 years, but if you make the attempt to explain the source of your content and re-live your ideas then a lot of your content will become timeless naturally. The state of society in George Orwell’s 1984 obviously didn’t happen (right?), but the context demonstrated allows readers to fully grasp the ideas in each page, and readers are left with a timeless picture of a totalitarian, big-brother state regardless of what year it is.
Ok, so what does timeless content mean for my business?
Creating timeless content shows your client-base that your company understands the context in which your market operates. Articles, blogs and promotional materials demonstrate your knowledge of small details as well as the big picture of where your expertise is heading. Content that is applicable over time becomes a self-created archetype, a timeless resource for people who stand to learn from your field of expertise.
Consider the possibility of becoming a truly timeless resource…
- Isn’t this what all business strives to be?
- Can you picture yourself being a timeless resource and making money doing so?
- Does your business wish to be a legendary wealth of knowledge that helps more and more people every day?
The answer to all three questions, of course, is yes. This doesn’t mean there’s any short-cut to creating timeless content, but the way is easier if you aspire to be, so aim for the stars.
Common terms associated with timeless content marketing and ideas are SEO and viral content.
SEO (search engine optimization) is an element of successful inbound marketing, even though the rules are constantly changing. This is over-simplifying, but if your copywriter is creating truly timeless content then your SEO will take care of itself. (Check out Copyblogger’s excellent SEO Copywriting Made Simple for a much more in-depth analysis of proper SEO methods).
Viral content is a great way to create a buzz for your product, but normally it’s the idea that creates the buzz, rather than the content itself. There’s definite value in viral content, but viral content is different than timeless content. and could populate an entire series by itself. Viral efforts dissipate quickly. Remember Heather Black? Me neither. Remember Curt Cobain? That’s what I thought.
The Timeless Value of Freelancers
Freelancers understand timeless content better than anyone because it’s their job to leave a lasting impression so that they’ll be hired again. Freelancers used to be photographers, storytellers and village idiots for-hire, but these days you can hire freelance graphic designers, content managers and copywriters (like this guy) to contribute to focused projects automatically built to stand the test of time.
Freelancers want to look back at their work and know that it’s still relevant. Don’t you?
Does anyone else have specific rules they use to create timeless content?
Subscribe to the blog to receive the rest of The Content Guide for free. I promise you’ll learn more about how timeless content can boost your business, and you won’t even need a time machine. Being the captain of the Starship Enterprise will help, though.
Read Part 4: What Star Trek Taught Us About Content Development.
Back to The Content Guide.
Photo cred: Flickr user the monk.