What We Can Learn About Content Marketing from Star Wars
Rogue One was released late 2016, and it's made over one billion dollars at the box office.
If you don't know (because you've been to Mars or something), it's part of a new anthology of spin-off films based on the Star Wars universe, and this particular story is a prequel to Episode IV – A New Hope.
It's a great film which has received lots of accolades from critics and fans alike, and it looks like there will be many more made.
But where did the story come from?
In the first Star Wars (Episode 4, which is confusing to non-fans, I know), the opening crawl had this line in it:
And that was the inspiration for the story.
Kathleen Kennedy, the producer, confirmed this when asked if the new films would feature the now famous crawl at the beginning.
She said, “…we're in the midst of talking about it, but I don't think these [Anthology] films will have an opening crawl.” Edwards said: “The idea is this film is supposed to be different than the saga films… [however,] this film is born out of a crawl.”
Further on in the original film, there's also a hint to why Rogue One ended as it did (no spoilers, honest!)
So literally seconds of a film, a few lines from a script and we have an entirely new story which has gone on to make a fortune.
How does this relate to us?
Creating content is by far the most important part of your SEO campaign, and it's something I've been personally banging on about for years, but there comes a time when people think – what's left to write about?
It's the writer's nightmare – surely everything's been written?
First of all, let's get this straight – there's always plenty to write about.
Your industry and how it's affected by outside influences, the economy, the environment, all of these have an effect on something that is close to you or your work. There's always change, it's the only thing we can be sure about.
But still, when it comes to writing a good story, where do you get your inspiration from?
Your existing content might be the key
If you haven't already heard about it, consider the idea of “cornerstone content.”
This is content that sits at the heart of your website and is the central piece of information about a particular subject.
In effect, it holds everything together.
For example, you could have a page that explains how to fit a new bathroom suite. This would ideally be a really comprehensive piece of content that explains in a lot of detail all the bits and pieces that go together to make your bathroom look fantastic.
However, it's going to include some information that will probably require more detail.
You probably need to explain how to fit bath taps, and maybe have some videos. This is the sort of content you should link to elsewhere on your website.
And of course, that content links back to this main bit of content which then becomes your cornerstone.
So, that's fair enough, but how can it help make more content?
Well, the important thing to do is to look at your existing article and consider whether it really is that clear for people who aren't you.
You see, as you're immersed in your own industry, some things will be obvious to you, but not to others.
There might be a single throw-away sentence that makes perfect sense to you, but which has others completely baffled.
Could that become the starting point for a whole new section of great information that goes on to bring you sales?