You Don’t Have to Be an Einstein to Create Great Content


Posted: June 22, 2011 | B2B Marketing, Content Marketing

Albert Einstein, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist best known for his theories of general and special relativity, isn’t an obvious choice for a content marketing role model.

Yet without using computers or the Internet, Einstein managed to be a prolific content creator who published more than 300 scientific papers and 150 non-scientific ones. Using a combination of plain language and mathematics, Einstein’s ideas broke through conventional thinking and changed how we think about physics today.

While few people can claim to be the next Einstein, why not try his approach to publishing to take your content marketing to the next level? After all, as Einstein pointed out, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Here are five Einstein-inspired tactics to help make your content marketing more successful.

  1. Have strong domain expertise.
  2. At the heart of effective content marketing is deep subject matter knowledge. Einstein had degrees from top universities. What credentials and/or experience do you have as evidence of your specialized expertise? Are they sufficient to make the grade for your audience?

    Area proficiency will enable you to give keen analysis of industry events and provide the sort of insightful commentary your readers are looking for.

  3. Don’t be afraid to present breakthrough ideas or take controversial stands.
  4. Einstein’s relativity theories challenged his era’s way of thinking. As a content marketer, you too will want to present fresh content and new ideas to capture your target market’s attention. Thoroughly examine the topics related to your niche and business.

    To up the ante of your content creation, consider these questions: Are there issues that are important for you to present? Do your readers need news analysis? Does your business support any topics that create controversy? Does your organization need to take a stand on a specific subject? Do you have information or methodologies that break through the accepted way of doing things?

    Of course, before using these as talking points, also consider your organization’s appetite for being at the center of an online debate and how it may ultimately reflect on your company and brand.

  5. Integrate stories into your content marketing.
  6. Einstein used examples that readers could understand to explain his theories. Similarly, you should incorporate stories that people can relate to into your content marketing.

    Stories provide a familiar structure that will resonate with your audience. Think about the variety of good movies that have a very familiar storyline. Boy and Girl Meet, Boy and Girl Fall in Love, Problem Arises from a Misunderstanding, Boy and Girl Fight and Eventually Make Up…you get the idea.

  7. Write in clear, plain language.
  8. Just as Einstein skipped the technical mumbo-jumbo so a special degree wasn’t needed to understand his writings, you should forget the empty corporate-speak. Don’t undervalue the need for and power of strong, well-written prose.

  9. Associate a strong brand or personality with your content marketing.
  10. Being a Nobel Prize winner and the father of modern physics gave Einstein’s writing instant credibility. Do you have a strong selling point, personality or brand within your firm that can help support your content marketing? Regardless, develop a plan to promote your content and build its authority in your core market.

Einstein was a prolific writer who was always trying to come up with original ideas and convey them clearly. As a content marketer, you must keep the ideas flowing too, and develop them into strong stories told in plain language in order to build an audience for your content. Take a cue from Einstein: use your domain area expertise as a content marketing guide, and don’t shy away from controversy – it can help build your visibility in the marketplace.

Have you used any of these tactics for your content marketing? If so, have they been effective in helping you achieve your content marketing goals? Please share your perspective in the comments below.

Ready to become a content marketing Einstein? Download Marketo’s Content Marketing Cheat Sheet and learn the six rules for better content marketing.

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  • Kirstin Lynde

    Love this!!!    Only thing I’d add: you (the next marketing Einstein?) can “humanize” your content not just through storytelling, but by bringing the experts’ smiles, expressions, and  warmth to their presentation of ideas that are brainy, breakthrough, and oh-so-logical.   I challenge forward-thinking marketers to be bold.    Select some of your company’s best written content in the form of PowerPoint (or other visuals such as web pages) then turn on a video camera and have the right expert talk through that content.   If it makes a presenter nervous to talk “to camera” – here’s a hint – just get another human in the room while you’re taping and have the presenter talk to and look at THEM.  Don’t let your expert use a detailed script – ask them to talk from the heart (you KNOW they know their stuff cold!).    In the video, talking that way will “up” the warmth and sense of connection in their eyes.   And because they will project confidence visually – their ideas will have increased credibility.   There are fantastic new tools out there that allow you to share any expert’s expressions (as well as his/her voice) via video.   We’re getting great reports on the impact these new video presentation tools are having for marketers who seek fresh content strategies.


  • Kent

    Story telling strategy is very effective when you  integrate in your content.

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Jon (@jonmiller) is a VP and co-founder at Marketo. He is the author of multiple Definitive Guides including Marketing Automation, Engaging Email Marketing, and Marketing Metrics & Analytics. In 2010, The CMO Institute named Jon a Top 10 CMO for companies under $250 million revenue. Jon holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard College and has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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You Don’t Have to Be an Einstein to Create Great Content

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