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Familiar Content Isn’t Necessarily a Bad Thing

6/07/22

Content Creation

When it comes to creating content, a lot of small businesses and entrepreneurs run into the same issue: diversifying their subject matter. 

This is especially true when you play in just one area of expertise. I mean, how many times can you write about [insert any subject here] before it gets really stale? What if your audience gets tired of listening to you? What if you’re setting yourself up for failure?

Understandably, it’s a tricky problem to navigate. Thankfully, we’re here to tell you: Familiar content isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

Take summer blockbuster action movies, for example. Every year without fail, we see tons of hype surrounding the hottest new flick coming soon to a theater near us. And they usually go something like this:

  • We’re introduced to a hot man who’s rough around the edges (i.e., he’s damaged, flaunts a huge ego, and has a smidge of narcissism)
  • Hot man is given a quest or adventure to go on, like saving the world
  • Hot man hits several roadblocks along the way while meeting a hot femme fatale who is just as stubborn as he is
  • Hot man falls in love with the hot femme fatale but must defeat his enemy to save the world
  • Hot man eventually saves the world and learns a valuable lesson along the way
  • Hot man becomes slightly more tolerable as a character and is likely to appear in the sequel coming to a theater near us a few summers from now

Bottom line: They’re all predictable AF. There are no surprises, and we can all see what’s coming next. Yet we keep buying tickets to see them summer after summer. 

So, if the formula of familiarity works for TVs and movies, why can’t it work for your content? 

Spoiler alert: It can. 

Here’s why you should lean into familiar content – and how you can make it work for your overall content strategy. 

We like what’s familiar to us

In a world where the future is unstable and unpredictable (get fucked, COVID-19), it turns out we find comfort in the familiarity of things. It’s one of the reasons psychologists say we constantly return to our favorite shows and movies: They feel safe to us. 

When we know what to expect, we don’t have to use as much brainpower or emotional energy to comprehend what’s happening around us. It’s almost like a relief in a sense, right? There’s no anxiety or confusion or uncharted territories to navigate. It’s just pure enjoyment. 

Well, the same exact logic can apply to your content. It’s okay for your audiences to know what to expect from you. In fact, we would argue that it’s a strong strategy for growing brand recognition and loyalty. 

And if you’re really good at what you do – and how you share that information with the world – who cares how often you bring it up? Just like movie directors, you can create your own formula for success and repeat it as many times as you want. Because bottom line: You know what you’re doing. 

Repurposing content is more than okay

If you ever hit a roadblock coming up with new and fresh content, it’s more than okay to repurpose your old content. Now, we’re not talking about going through old stuff and just copying and pasting everything. That would be bad. But breathing new life into older content? Good. Repromoting evergreen content that performed well in the past? Also good. 

Here are some ways you can do both of those things:

  • Update and optimize old blog posts that performed really well
  • Turn a popular blog post into other forms of content, like a short video, a how-to guide, or an email newsletter
  • Turn other popular pieces of content like podcast episodes or webinars into blogs or social media posts
  • Repromote popular posts on social media

If you need more inspo, check out our tips for repurposing old content.

Extending the life of your content is more than okay, too

If you have a piece of content that performed really well, it’s also more than okay to extend the life of it. What do we mean by that, exactly? Take a cue from all of those summer blockbuster directors and create some sequels!

Maybe that looks like turning a great video or blog post into a series – whether it’s weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Or maybe it’s riding the success of a blog post to finally launch a course or webinar to expand your services (and your wallet). Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to ride the wave of familiar content by expanding it even further. 

To do that, we have lots of hot tips for how we turn one piece of content into five. (The Twilight and 50 Shades sagas don’t have shit on us.)

Check out these familiar examples

If you still aren’t sure about our formula of familiarity (we’re definitely going to trademark this), take it from other popular brands that do the same thing. Whether it’s memes, messaging, or products, there are tons of successful brands that have found their own formula and are better because of it. Why? Because consumers know what to expect from them.

Here’s a starting list of brands we love, and here’s another list of even more brands we love.

Take some time to explore these brands to get a better sense of the familiar content they continue to create, repurpose, and repromote. It could be the confidence boost you need to do the same damn thing. And hey, if you need a familiar face to help with your content strategy or copywriting, we’re right here and ready to help.

Ashley Blonquist, Uncanny Content Writer and Math Enthusiast/Bad-Ass M.C.
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