If you’re preparing a roundup post, stop this right now

roundup post

By Mark Schaefer

This week I received a request for a contribution for a roundup post. The author said the post was going to be called “Best social media tips.”

I’m normally happy to help people with posts like this, but my return question to the blogger was this: How many other roundup posts have already been written about social media tips? Here is the answer: Approximately one bajillion … give or take a few.

When I get a request for a contribution for a roundup post, 95 percent of the time the request is for the same four topics:

  • My favorite social media tool
  • My favorite social media tip
  • My favorite social media platform
  • And the ever-popular, “what is your favorite social media/content marketing trend?”

Some day far in the future, an alien civilization will be uncovering the remains of the human race on planet earth and they’ll conclude that people of this age were consumed by social media tips and trends.

The missed opportunity of the roundup post

This is the thing that perplexes me … If you’re going to the trouble of connecting with a thought leader in whatever space you’re in, why waste that opportunity by writing the same post that you KNOW has been written a quadrillion times before?

Here is the simple answer: You are applying no imagination or creative effort to your content marketing process. In fact, you’re simply checking a box and following the crowd.

Roundup posts are a GREAT opportunity to create big content with ideas from smart people. Most of the time these influencers will also share and comment on your post. So I want to challenge you to use that opportunity to write something that people will remember.

Ask a question that uncovers something surprising, provocative, entertaining, inspirational, or hilarious. If you’re asking me to write something for you, make me think, create new value, find an unexplored edge.

To stand out today, you simply can’t keep doing the same old thing over and over. Bring new energy and inspiration to your round up posts.

SXSW 2016 3Mark Schaefer is the chief blogger for this site, executive director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions, and the author of several best-selling digital marketing books. He is an acclaimed keynote speaker, college educator, and business consultant. The Marketing Companion podcast is among the top business podcasts in the world. Contact Mark to have him speak to your company event or conference soon.

Illustration courtesy Flickr CC and Bev Sykes

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