How to Manufacture Insight

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 6.36.08 PMManufacturing Insight

Compelling content is insight driven. An insight is knowledge that reframes, clarifies or disrupts a person’s understanding of a subject.  By solving a problem for your audience, you show implicitly that you really want to make their lives better. Your insights might be tied to products or services; they may simply provide instructions to help people achieve a desired result.

So, what makes a good insight?

A Good Insight Solves a Problem (even if no one has realized there is a problem)

Whether you’re trying to help people fix their own dishwasher, retire early, or live a more healthy lifestyle, there isn’t a single problem being handled today that can’t be dealt with in a better way. Your insights must give a fresh perspective on some problem you are uniquely able to solve. By bringing your experience and expertise to a problem, you can offer your audience new solutions and insights to meet their most perplexing questions.

Simply connecting two ideas can make for a good joke or interesting story, but to be an insight, it’s got to be valuable.

A Good Insight Makes a Leap

The solution you provide should offer some golden nugget of inspiration your audience has never considered. This is where you give them real value — something that could materially improve their lives.

Don’t worry if there is a little incredulity on the part of the audience. In fact, ideally they will be feeling  something like hopeful skepticism. They have heard and understood your idea, and they want to believe you, but they require some proof. They are intrigued enough to want to learn more, or to try your ideas out for themselves.

If you can’t communicate your insight in a single piece of content, it’s okay to break it down into smaller chunks. Just make sure each piece contains enough of the golden nugget to keep your audience coming back for more. It may be advisable to break down big ideas into different kinds of content pieces. This enables you to engage your audience more often, on different levels, and over a longer period of time.

A Good Insight Takes a Stand

Any insight you offer must be founded on your core values and further your purpose.

Your insight should be presented like one of those essays you used to write in High school:

  1. The Hypothesis – The idea that you want people to believe. For it to be an effective hypothesis, it must be somewhat challenging. There must be a sense of “really?” or “no way!” when your reader understands your idea.
  2. The Support – The body of your content must give direct evidence to support the hypothesis.
  3. The Conclusion – Rather than just restating your initial point, use this part of your content to delve into the application of your insight. Lead the reader to take action once they are inspired by your new idea.

Insights are the differentiating factor between a content strategy works and one that doesn’t. Don’t skimp on their creation.