What If Albert Einstein Were a Content Marketer?

Content marketing inspiration from the genius himself

June 30, 2014


If you’re looking to become a real content marketing Einstein, look no further than the man whose name has become synonymous with genius. Although his scientific discoveries and other intellectual achievements are what vaulted him into folklore status, Albert Einstein also had a knack for understanding what makes humans tick – a skill that led to some interesting observations.

Read on to learn what some of Einstein’s most profound insights can teach us about content marketing.

1. “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”

We all define success differently, and for many of us, success is a moving target that often appears a few inches higher than our current best shot.

On the plus side, staying true to your company’s core values is something that can be achieved. A content marketer of value is one who speaks openly with the audience, demonstrating the type of corporate transparency that builds relationships and garners trust.

2. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

There are countless platforms, tools, channels, formats and promotional options for content marketers to test. And they all have their own merits, yielding tremendous results for those who “get it right.”

But the thing about those who get it right is they are rarely first-timers. Sometimes they are, but most times they are content marketers who tried something new, learned from their mistakes and adapted.

3. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

First, if you are getting the results you want, it might be insane to stop doing the same thing over and over again. But if you’re struggling to get your content marketing program off the ground, or you’ve hit a plateau, it can be dangerous and wasteful to keep things in status quo. Instead of hoping things eventually “click,” reignite your passion by stepping back and re-tooling your content marketing strategy.

4. “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

Creative, interesting, relevant content almost always requires research and thought. Allowing insufficient time for research, ideation and creation generally leads to insufficient results. We can create smarter, quality content; we just need to allow ourselves the proper time to do it right.

5. “A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.”

Your audience leaves intelligible evidence regarding their engagement across a wide variety of touch points. This is what is. Today’s content marketers have too much data and insight to keep force-feeding topics that should engage the audience, but don’t. Use the data to your advantage.

6. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Einstein also said that everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. If you look at Q&A forums where the “best answer” is featured, you’ll find that winning submissions fully answer the question, yet are far shorter than most other submissions. As content marketers compete to be the best answer online, those who provide the simplest solution often win.

7. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

When we stop questioning, we stop learning. When we stop learning, we stop growing. And if we’re not growing, we’re dying.

A keen sense of curiosity is the foundation for thought leadership. Keep asking questions: “Why is this important?” “What does this mean?” “Why should I care?” “Why should my audience care?” “How can I get my audience to care?”

8. “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

Einstein thought enough of this quote to frame it and hang it in his Princeton office. Regardless of the size of your audience, or the engagement metrics your posts generate, there’s an unmeasurable element to content marketing.

Right now, as you read this, there is a chance someone is consuming your content and is inspired by it. It could even be a piece that fell flat according to your KPIs. The inspiration could bring about something small, like a solution that makes this person’s life easier. Or it could be the stepping stone to a larger change.

We need to allow ourselves to think beyond the metrics. We may not always get as many views, likes and shares as we’d like, but everything we create has an inherent ability to connect with real people, to pull them closer to us. That’s the genius of content marketing.

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