What is original content

Original content is what it says on the tin: content that is original. In other words, that piece of content – be it a blog article, Instagram post, or infographic – has never been produced or published before.  Of course, this does not require you to pull a Stephen Hawking and conjure a whole new theory of the Big Bang. Content which is ‘original’ does not have to be revolutionary – it can simply entail a unique perspective on something everyone else is talking about.


Why are we talking about original content then?

Content, quite literally, makes the marketing world go round. It is all the stuff that colours our Instagram feeds, makes up interesting articles and fills all of those insightful PDF guides. It is no surprise, therefore, that we comprise a generation overwhelmed by content.


The issue? It makes ‘being seen’ all the more difficult. When you hear people complaining about the Instagram algorithm and how its so hard to amass followers these days – the problem is content overload. Faced with way too much content to consume, people tend to resort to the content produced by brands and businesses they know well – leaving SMEs fighting to reach the surface.


The solution to the problem? Original content. This is because original content maximises your chances of being seen in an over-saturated market. People don’t want to read the same article over and over again – so an article that presents an entirely new angle on the situation is much more likely to be picked over 1000s of carbon copies.

The success of creating original content can be demonstrated by giving some original content examples. Have a look at what is original content on YouTube. It is guaranteed you will find many, many videos reproducing the same content: a house tour, a Q&A, a clothes haul. Because of this, only the most subscribed-to Youtubers are able to garner masses of views on these kinds of videos. Their strong market position means they do not need to fight to be seen – whatever content they produce is willingly consumed on a large scale. However, you can still compete with these strong market players if you make original YouTube content – for example, I give you Josh Pieters & Archie Manners’ video of listing a Doll’s House on Airbnb (I definitely haven’t seen that before).


Perhaps the best example, though, is when you look at what is original content on Netflix. When Netflix chose to devote a quarter of its total content spending on creating original content, people were dubious. It’s content marketing strategy paid off though, with many of Netflix’s originals breaking streaming records. So, if you’re still wondering what is original content and whether to incorporate it into your marketing strategy – I can tell you now that it is not a ‘gamble’, it is a vital marketing tactic.


Creating original content

Creating something original is a lot easier said than done. Having just talked about the sheer volume of content that gets produced everyday, it can feel like almost everything has been done before. This is not a sign to give up though, as I’m here to equip you with some handy ways of generating original content ideas.


  1. Make it personal

There might be 7 billion+ of us on this Earth but, genetically, there is only one you. Using your own personal experience to inspire your work is therefore a sure-fire way of making something original.


  1. Mix the ordinary to find the extraordinary

If you feel you’re having a creativity block, get a plain sheet of paper and start brainstorming. I like to play a game of word association: think of a word, write it down, then write down another word that you associate with that first word. You do the same with the second word, and so on. Once you’re bored of word-associating – you can use this sheet of random words like a random ideas generator: start mixing up thoughts, concepts and phrases, and see what funky ideas you arrive at.


  1. Find some creative influence and start mood boarding

My favourite source of inspiration is Pinterest – as such, I like to spend a lot of time sifting through various pictures and putting together mood boards. It doesn’t have to be directly related to whatever you’re doing: you could be creating fashion content and source colour from famous art pieces, or you might be writing an article about choosing the best car to buy and base it on interior design colour trends.


Whatever you create, make sure it’s relevant to your audience and I’m sure they’ll love it. Happy original content creating.