Hacking Art History to Make Content Stand Out: Liveblog of Katy Katz @Pubcon

Katy Katz (@KatyKatzTX), content director at Inturact, got her BA in art history, and today at Pubcon Las Vegas 2015, she’s delivering a talk on how hacking art history can actually help with content creation. Looking at the epic paintings of the past and how artists have crafted them gives content marketers fresh insight into creating quality, high-impact content, according to Katz.

Most people forget 90 percent of what you share, she says. Good content won’t cut it anymore. It has to be great. Like Rand Fishkin said in his Pubcon keynote, your content has to be 10 times better than everything else (full coverage of that session here). Read on for tips from Katz, based on the lessons she’s learned from the great artists of history.

Tips Content Creators Can Learn from Experts of the Past

1. Your customer should easily see himself in your content. In these images of Jesus, for example, he’s portrayed differently for each audience. To do this, you have to know your personas.

Pictures of same person, different

2. Condition your customer with your intent.

3. Weave in a familiar story. Familiarity works because the brain is primed to pay attention to something that it recognizes. It takes less time for your brain to categorize familiar information.

4. Begin your content design with the end in mind.

5. Have a signature style. Personality should be woven into all your communications. Ultra-professional is boring. Be yourself and be consistent.

6. Appeal to human emotion. We crave content that reminds us that life is short, that dreams come true, that we matter, as well as content that surprises us, that encourages us to never give up, etc.

7. Bring the message to them. For example, Michelangelo put his paintings where people would see them, like the Sistine Chapel.


8. Back to basics: color theory. Eighty-five percent of shoppers place color as a primary reason for why they purchase a particular product. Understand what the colors in your headers, calls to action and images are actually doing. [See Using Color in Web Design for feelings associated with different colors.]

9. Be wary of peripheral bias. You can draw the eyes to different areas of your blog posts — pullouts, etc.

10. Be ahead of your time. Just be better than everyone else. Have a unique style that’s unlike anyone else’s, a la Marc Chagall.

11. Don’t be afraid to take a few risks. Katz uses what the 70:20:10 theory, which dictates that 70 percent of your time should be focused on your bread-and-butter content, 20 percent on epic, creative content, and 10 percent on edginess and taking risks.

Here’s Katz’s slide deck:

Kristi Kellogg is a journalist, news hound, professional copywriter, and social (media) butterfly. Currently, she is a senior SEO content writer for Conde Nast. Her articles appear in newspapers, magazines, across the Internet and in books such as "Content Marketing Strategies for Professionals" and "The Media Relations Guidebook." Formerly, she was the social media editor at Bruce Clay Inc.

See Kristi's author page for links to connect on social media.

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