It’s no surprise to any social media user – the casual Facebook scroller or the professional data analyst – that every platform is saturated with content. Stakeholders in the marketing or advertising industries will provide you with different numbers, but we encounter thousands of marketing messages each day… The only question is, “How do we cut through the noise?”
There are countless ways to answer that question, and while no answer will provide you with the perfect formula, my thoughts encircle the word “authenticity.” You can create a copy of a copy of a copy of someone’s original idea, but more often than not, social media users can sniff out an idea that’s not original.
Luckily, history has presented us with masters of producing original work and their art holds all of their secrets.
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Don’t be afraid to be bold. | Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh gave us one of the most famous paintings in the world when he produced Starry Night, and he has captivated viewers with intense, energetic brushstrokes and vibrant colors. He produced works of ecstatic beauty, which at the time broke the mold of what was expected from well-respected art.
How can you be bolder with your content?
Do what has never been done before. | Édouard Manet
If you don’t have an interest in art history, you may not know who Édouard Manet is, but we owe him a lot. When “good” art was judged by how well it represented reality – down to the tiniest details – he decided to create a work called Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe or Luncheon on the Grass that changed the course of art history. By challenging the way nude women were typically presented in art (think: “goddess-like”) his central figures’ confronting gaze and the way he skewed spatial perspective (the figure in the back is much larger than she should be), Édouard became known as a rebel in the world of art.
What can you create that challenges the status quo?
Look at things from a new perspective. | Pablo Picasso
Many of us are familiar with Picasso’s work and can easily recognize it as a different view of reality. Developing his own take on modernism with abstract and fragmented figures, Picasso chose to create work that represented how he uniquely saw the world. Each of us holds a unique perspective on the world, but many of us aren’t fearless enough to create content true to that perspective.
What unique perspective do you have on the world?
Everyone loves a good mystery. | Leonardo da Vinci
What does Mona Lisa’s smile tell us? Is she happy? Sad? Deceptive? Furthermore, do we even know conclusively who she is? Many disagree on the answers to those questions, but what can’t be disputed is the fact that Leonardo da Vinci created what is quite possibly the most famous painting of all time because it’s shrouded in so much mystery.
How can you create content that makes your audience really think?
Find beauty in the simple things. | Claude Monet
“Tranquil” is a word I would use to describe Monet’s world-famous Water Lilies series. Creating work that featured the flower garden in his yard for nearly thirty years, Monet painted the simple things in life that presumably brought him a lot of joy. With the fast-paced and ever-changing online world, there is something to be said for being present.
How can your content tell stories about the “little” things in life?
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It is no surprise that these artists became some of the most famous figures in history. The things they made captured the hearts and minds of generations, but they were only able to do so because they created original work. Of course, few are so successful in doing so, but starting with one Facebook post, Instagram story, or YouTube video is a great place to start.