5 min read

Developing a strong rationale for creative projects

By Julie Molloy, Head of Marketing 7 March, 2016

When we invest in making creative content, our ultimate aim is for that content to achieve viral success. To make sure that is going to happen a lot of time and energy is required, not to mention design work and an extensive promotion plan. Therefore, instead of going with the first idea we think of, we need to approximate success levels prior to creation.

But how do we do this when it is impossible to predict the future?

Although we will never be able to be 100% sure that something will be successful, by considering these important questions before the content is created, it won’t feel like such a leap into the dark.

Does It Appeal To A Relevant Audience?

First and foremost, you have to consider whether your idea appeals to the right audiences. Although we all strive for content that appeals to the mass market (such as this highly successful example from Superdrug), this can be hard to achieve – so it is best to stay relevant to your main audiences. You can analyse what your audience has previously been interested in by using tools such as Buzzsumo.

Has It Already Been Done, But Could Be Improved?

Remember that although original ideas can be the best for gaining viral fame, sometimes creating an excellent, comprehensive version of content that already exists can work really well. Maybe something has fantastic search volume, but the content that currently exists is thin and there is potential to rework it into a larger creative project. Originality is not the only path to follow.

What Type Of Content Works In Your Industry?

Considering the type of content that works best within your industry can be an important factor in the content being successful. Perhaps your target audiences prefer infographics, or maybe expert interviews. This will require some research using Ahrefs and Buzzsumo, looking at the top industry competitors and breaking down what content types are proving the most successful in terms of links and shares.

Where Would It Sit On The Site?

Do you have a suitable area on the site that can accommodate the content? It is important to consider any limitations that your site structure may have before finalising a creative idea. You don’t want to come up with a fantastic plan only to realise that your current platform won’t be able to display it.

Is It Going To Be Linked To/Shared?

Last but certainly not least, will this content gain links and shares? This is probably the most challenging aspect to predict, but by researching similar themes of content you can get an idea of how well they have been performing. Maybe there is a lack of content on the topic but what does exist is doing well, this provides a great rationale for going with that theme. Again using Buzzsumo for social share data and Ahrefs for backlink data is will aide this process. Also remember that a simple Google search can provide valuable insights into what exists and is doing well, and take your time here to really scope out the current content.


By considering these questions before going ahead with a creative project you can have some confidence that the content will be successful. Complimented with good design and a well-researched, structured promotional plan, the content is more than likely to bring in lots of links from a variety of websites.

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