Posted by Fabrick on 02 July 2018

The penny has dropped. Businesses are fast realising that good, useful content is at the core of marketing. Without it, what do you really have to promote your brand?

Many of our clients come to us saying they want us to help them become leaders in their fields, but when it comes to creating the thought-leadership content needed to help achieve this, more often than not a marketing person creates the content and then gets it signed off from a supposed thought-leader. Hum. That’s not how it should work folks.

I don’t mean to rain on the parade, but if you genuinely want your content to be leading the way, you need to get your hands dirty. You need to make yourself uncomfortable enough to create a different point of view, and you need to work out how to formulate those thoughts into a content piece.

Holding content hackdays can fast-track this process, turning high-level ideas into something tangible. So what is a hackday I hear you ask? A content hackday lets clients, content creators and designers all come together for 24 hours of exploration and innovation. It gives everyone a chance to flex their creative brains and create content in unimaginable mediums. They give us the opportunity to break out of the rut of creating the same old thing.

Most hackdays begin with an introduction and presentation on the theme of the hack. Participants are then teamed up to create a mix of skill sets.

Once teamed up, the hackday can run for several hours and can mean a missed night of sleep, fuelled only by pizza and beer!

At the end of the hack each team presents their piece of content in whatever form it has taken and a panel of judges decides the winner.

Is it hard? Of course it is, but then it may actually be worth it! We may actually be able to tease out the real thought-leaders within a business and also encourage that creativity which can ensure genuine thought-leadership around a particular subject. What is key to this solution is that instead of teams of writers creating a point of view from what is already existing online, we can work directly with the executives to ensure what we create is developed in line with creativity, expertise and a personal brand.

So what are the most important takeaways from a thought-content hackday?

1. Thinking in context

By focusing on the bigger picture we can often begin to develop a new way of tackling a problem, more often than not it can make you realise that perhaps you’re simply asking the wrong question. As a tool in a hackday setting, this larger context can be how we begin to tease out the questions a thought-leader should be looking to answer. It can be a great starting point.

2. Evaluate your perspective

Sometimes, simply by understanding our own thought processes a little better, we can begin to unravel where our own perspectives come from. Where do we source our perspective? Is it from peers? Experience? Education? Once we understand the elements affecting our perspectives we can begin to disrupt and change them.

3. Be open to people playing devil’s advocate

In an open and creative setting we can analyse thoughts and opinions we consider to be wrong or argumentative. It can be useful for strong opinions to clash with strong opinions in a productive setting. It can help to churn up new and exciting thoughts. This is exactly what we want.

A thought-leadership content hackday is a great way to get people’s minds turned on to the new ideas available for them and should end with an innovative and working piece of content.

Laura Curtis, Fabrick

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