6 Ways Creativity Can Be Your New Secret Marketing Weapon


Business Blogging

creative blog postsContent Marketing has become a critical component of the marketing mix for businesses of all sizes and types. In fact, it’s so popular that the “content competition” will get tougher and tougher. It will be harder to stand out unless you find ways to separate you company’s content from the crowd (see Darwin’s 12 Rules of Blogging Survival). What’s a company to do? More research? Develop more content? Hire more guest bloggers?

Well, these may help, but what you learned in 3rd grade finger-painting class may be your company’s next secret weapon. Yes, you can paint outside the lines. It’s okay!

In fact, it’s more than okay. This could save your business from unprofitable obscurity.

6 Ways Creativity Is Your New Secret Weapon

1) Makes Your Company Stand Out

Creative content helps you stand out from the crowd. There are any number of people blogging about “how to remodel a kitchen” or “how to pick an architect”. How many architects are writing about “10 failed kitchen remodels and what they learned”??

2) Is Hard To Copy

Creative content is hard to copy. It becomes a competitive advantage for the companies that crack the code on creativity.

3) Keeps Your Smart People Engaged

Creativity keeps you and your staff interested. Churning out average content becomes a chore and the payoff can be very incremental. Creativity keeps smarter people interested (hint: mix in some more basic articles or guest posts to give them a break!).

4) Helps You “Milk” An Old Topic

Creativity means you can do more things on an old, tired topic. It allows you to look at the same subject from different angles. Instead of “how to give your dog exercise”, you can write about “10 outdoor adventures for you and your dog” or “how to work your dog out and lose a few pounds yourself”.

5) Moves You Into Other Media

Creativity allows you to stretch your content into other media like pictures, video or infographics (see infographic example). Pictures, video or infographics not only keeps your readers more interested, but they can help you get found more easily in search or in other platforms (like Youtube or Flickr, if you load your media there as well).

6) Builds A Deeper Bond With Your Audience

How deep of a bond can your audience build with a company that blogs about very generic and hum-drum things. No, they need to see some personality and some creativity. Sure, you’ll turn some people off, but who doesn’t want a more engaged and loyal audience?

Turn your right brain on!

So what are you waiting for? Get your right brain moving to help your business stand out!

Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.


  1. Howdy Tom,

    At the risk of sounding like a little bit of a fanboy: I think David Cain of raptitude.com is one of the best bloggers out there. Basically, the philosophy behind David’s posts is… deep. But he always finds a new and novel way to present them. Makes everything a pleasure to read and way more accessible.

    Michael Alexis recently posted..The Warm & Fuzzy Side of Neil PatelMy Profile

    1. Hey Michael – thanks for the tip. I checked out Raptitude and I like it a lot. I’ll definitely add his posts to my reader!

  2. Thanks for the great post, Michael! Sometimes it is hard to get those creative juices flowing, but when they do the reward is so worth it. Being creative with adding media is where I always get stumped…I should probably work on that!
    Carrie recently posted..Shhh!! This is the Library!My Profile

    1. Carrie. Yes, I think different kinds of media is a great way to spice up a post and you can do it creatively to help your post (and your blog overall) to stand out. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Thank you for the continued inspiration Tom! Being an Artist, my creative juices are always flowing but I struggle with finding my online voice. I can talk you head off and be completely creative in the offline world but online I am shy and reserved. I am trying other resources for inspiration like StumbleUpon. I’ve only had this business about 5 months and I’m still settling into it. :-) This post has been a tremendous help. Dyane
    Dyane Bradley recently posted..Is this Facebook symbol costing you $$$?~ Part #2My Profile

    1. Thanks Dyane. Yes, finding your writing voice is an ongoing process that comes with practice and interacting with people online. See if you can apply some of your artistic instincts to your blog? I always think of each post as a work of art in a sense… some live up to the vision more than others of course!

  4. Creativity, personality and value. For me, that’s the magic combination to stand out in the blogosphere.

    When I read some of the blogs out there, I really wonder why they bother wasting their time writing. No one’s ever going to read it. It’s as dry as a college term paper. Why not have a little fun with your writing?! Believe it or not, it really does come across.

    And if I don’t see a name in the byline (like Admin), I automatically discount whatever the writer has to say. If you’re proud of your writing, let people know who you are. If you’re hiding behind a company name and I can’t get to know you as a person, then I’d rather spend my time somewhere else.

    So yes, be creative, but also let us know you’re human ;-).
    Jeanne Pi recently posted..How a Screwed-Up “Marriage” Led to the Creation of AppsBloggerMy Profile

    1. Jeanne,
      I agree with those three! I started by focusing on the value peice and have moved in the direction of being (or trying to be) more creative and of allowing my personality and brand to be more up front. Thanks for the comment. I agree about the admin thing and would add that a picture (avatar, on your blog, social media) can get people recognizing us around other parts of the web. It’s actually a smaller world in certain circles than we imagine.

  5. I absolutely abhor when people are vanilla in presenting their voice – so I really appreciate your suggestions for ways to help people get closer to “31 Flavors” (am I showing my age by remembering Baskin Robbins?). And as a person who blogs for myself and for companies, if I can’t show some personality, then it’s no fun. And if I’m not having any fun – ain’t nobody havin’ any fun. That’s kind of the barometer I run things through. One of my ongoing mantra’s is that “it’s all about the relationship”. And in order to have a relationship, you have to be human with a personality!

    1. Denise,

      Great points and I do remember the 31 flavors! Now it’s about chunkie monkey, etc..I also like the point about fun. I’m starting to prioritize posts and topics that are more fun to write about that connects with the need for creativity. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Wow, I’ve never been more sold on how important creativity is. I like how it keeps smart people engaged, never actually thought about that one.

    What I really like about it is that it keeps you original because it’s hard to copy. On the web that’s significant.

    Liz :-)
    Liz recently posted..Can You Really Make Money While You Sleep?My Profile

    1. Liz,

      Thanks for the nice comment! Having been in both the corporate and start-up worlds, I know how important “fun” projects are to keeping your team engaged. Also, as much as people can copy your posts, they can’t copy your style, personality and new, fresh ideas! Thanks for visiting!

  7. Hi Tom — Competitive differentiation is definitely a key to surviving in today’s market. Whether you’re the leader in your market or just getting started in your niche, creativity in your marketing is mandatory.

    I like your 6 suggestions – especially #5: Moves You Into Other Media. Figuring out how best to use text content, videos, images, and infographics together certainly gives you an opportunity to get your creative juices flowing… and produce dynamic, engaging content.
    Dick Foster recently posted..SocialOomph Crushes Twitterfeed and Feedburner at Automatically Tweeting Blog PostsMy Profile

    1. Dick,

      Yes I totally agree. I’m hoping to continue to integrate more different kinds of media (video, audio, infographics, pictures, etc.). Thanks for the comment!

  8. Tom:
    Thanks for your permission to color outside the lines. Honestly, if you don’t, you just add noise.
    My own challenge was to understand digital marketing vs. traditional but now that I do, I am having more fun and my posts integrate more images and more video.

    1. Myrna,
      That’s great that you’re starting to have fun with it. That’s when it moves from being a chore to something you actually look forward to doing! Keep it up!

  9. When people are looking for who they can really “believe in” on the internet, they often look for the flash of personality — making it have a voice. This keeps things interesting and makes it more personal at the same time. I’d even add to #3 – It also keeps your smart readers engaged! Nicely done!
    Kirsten Rourke recently posted..Take the easy roadMy Profile

  10. Tom,

    This is excellent stuff. I work in the insurance industry. Try getting insurance people to be creative… It’s like asking who wants to have a tooth pulled.

    I originally started my blog as way to get Insurance people (it’s now morphed to small business in general) to think about how they write their blogs… The Power of Personality.

    Thanks for a great article.

    Ryan H.
    Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation recently posted..Small Business SEO Experiment Results – Week 1My Profile

  11. This is a well timed post. Just as I was gearing up myself to get more creative at the start of this new year, you have given timely advice on how and why to give creativity a chance to work wonders for you.
    The idea of moving into other media might not sound as very important at first look, but as you rightly mentioned, it is absolutely essential to keep your community engaged. This is something I am trying to work on at my blog.
    Blogging Tipster recently posted..What About Google -1? – Part 2My Profile

    1. Thanks Sriram! Yes, I’m trying to move into different types of media more and more. Of course there’s a learning curve but the more you use the tools the easier it becomes. Thanks for the comment!

  12. The idea of building a relationship with your audience rang true with me. When I first thought about writing a blog I thought my style would be informative and factual but as I began writing I realized I far more enjoyed expressing my oppinion and using writing as an outlet and tool of expression. This is something I’m continuing to try to develop on my own blog.

    1. Trevor. I agree – expressing your opinions is great and putting them down on virtual paper allows you to clarify and challenge your own thinking. I find I have a much clearer point of view after I write a post on something than I did before I started writing. Thanks for dropping by!

  13. I completely agree with you on #6. So many blogs regurgitate the same tired content over and over again. That might help you get some decent introductory traffic to your website or your product page but in the end it gets worn out and tired.

    Creativity keeps the mind right… Creativity is fresh…

    Great post and great topic!

    Ryan H.
    Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation recently posted..3 Reasons Why Small Town Business Needs a Business BlogMy Profile

    1. Thanks Ryan! Yes, we all have regurgitated some tired content at some point (guilty as charged) but bringing some creativity into as many of your posts as possible keeps everyone more interested (including you).

  14. Moving into different types of media is definitely something I incorporated in my networking.

    Some mediums I just can’t really connect with, while others, such as Instagram and StumbleUpon, have become my favorites.

    It does exercise your creativity — using videos, images, opposed to just plain text.

    Good tips, Tom, and good luck in the marketing contest — really excited to see the results and the outcome.
    Paul Jun recently posted..Starting A Website/Blog? Why You Shouldn’t Bother With a Free WordPress ThemeMy Profile

    1. Thanks Paul and I’m interested to read your post on free WordPress themes. I understand where you’re coming from with that idea. As far as the different mediums, yes, we all have to find the ones we like but also stretch ourselves by doing something new from time to time.

  15. I agree that creativity is important and I like your points but I’m going to go out on a limb here and disagree with the fact that you must always inject personality into every post you write or risk losing readers. (ducks for cover).
    I know that we’re all encouraged to add personality to our writing and I agree that this can be important but sometimes it is just as important to provide someone with the facts as quickly (and yes as dryly) as possible, and let them interpret them in their own way.
    I’m worried that the increased emphasis on creativity and personality that I see around the web at the moment might actually be stopping people from participating online because they’re scared they don’t have the ‘right personality’ to be online and that whatever they write will be too dull and boring.
    I’d like to see more encouragement of just write and the personality will come, along the lines of what @Trevor said in his comment.

    1. Hey Priya – duck! Just kidding. I get what you’re saying and I think everyone has to start somewhere. Writing posts based on formulas (list posts, how-to’s, etc.) is fine to start and to mix in later as well (in my opinion). For the newbie I’m planting the seed that they can feel free to stretch themselves when they’re ready and that injecting creativity and personality may actually accelerate their blogging because they’ll connect with an audience (or fail to) faster.

  16. Hi Tom,

    Good ideas. I particularly liked # 4 regarding milking a topic. We take our own ideas for granted, because they are so familiar to us.

    A reader may be encountering your idea for the first time. Some readers may not grasp the implications of the idea immediately and may appreciate learning about it from a different angle sometime in the future.

    As an example, take the Holy Bible. It’s a single Book. Granted it’s a big Book with 66 sub-Books, but it’s still a single Book. Yet every town in America, and many throughout the world, has multiple churches, each with a preacher who, at least once a week, preaches about the same information, trying to cast new light on the subjects. And there are countless commentaries written about it.

    That’s the great thing about complex content. It is endlessly fascinating and can be an endless source of inspiration for your creativity.

    1. Jack,

      Great point and I think we all need to learn to “milk” our primary topics in a creative way to be able to keep going. Interesting point about the bible and yes, I’ve seen how preachers get creative to deliver age-old messages!

    1. Thanks Kevin,

      Yes, I just read an article about “content” killing writing. If companies just think about content as a necessary evil it will be uninspired. Creative content is more strategic as you mention.

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