Why You Should Steal Content Marketing Ideas to Build Your Business

Brad Smith
Find out how to steal content marketing ideas from popular movies and TV shows.
Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs is a desert resort town located 111 miles east of Los Angeles.

It grew to fame as Hollywood’s elite flocked in the mid 1900s, and has been a popular tourist destination ever since — pulling in a million and half visitors each year.

And I’ve been vacationing there for as long as I can remember.

My parents used to take our family all the time, and it was common to have timeshares or extended stays. My wife and I have continued to go there frequently over the 8 years we’ve been together.

In Downtown Palm Springs, right on Palm Canyon Drive, there used to be a small, independent bookstore called Latino Books Y Mas.

Each trip we would try to stop in at least once, to get a new book to read by the pool. It was owned by a friendly husband-and-wife team, who would always be there to help or make recommendations. He was a retired school teacher, who started the bookstore as a way to stay busy during their retirement.

However on a recent visit, we walked over to the bookstore and discovered it was sealed shut with locks. Not only that, but there was an eviction notice on the door.

I felt really bad. These were nice people and the shop seemed to do reasonably well with a good location. So I jumped on Google and tried to see if there were any stories or updates about what happened.

And I was quickly surprised.

Turns out, it wasn’t money problems after all. They were being kicked out. But it’s because the landlord is planning on a $100 million redevelopment project. So they terminated their lease 2½ years early with only 30 days notice.

And I read all about this in the Los Angeles Times.

Wait a second… doesn’t that seem odd?

Real estate problems and lease issues like this happen everyday.

Why would the Los Angeles Times be covering this story — when it’s located 111 miles outside of Los Angeles and not even in the same county?

Why is this little story getting all this time and attention?

And why is it so important that I’m bringing it up again?


Watch a Young Woman Avenge Her Father’s Death

The hit TV show Revenge premiered towards the end of 2011 with generally favorable reviews (66/100 from Metacritic).

Since then, it’s become one of the biggest new shows on television, and is the highest rated show for ABC since Lost.

It stars a young heroine who returns to her childhood home in the Hamptons to secretly plot revenge against the family and people who were responsible for her fathers murder.

The storyline is interesting enough, and people seem to love it (but let’s be honest — it’s no Mad Men).

But it’s not new

In fact, this same storyline has been around for over one hundred years.

And it’s popped up multiple times since then in different reincarnations.


Great Artists Steal

“Good artists copy, great artists steal,” is a quote generally attributed to Pablo Picasso.

And while I wouldn’t necessarily go that far, he was on to something.

The plot structure for almost every single popular TV show, movie, or book has already happened before.

In content creation, there are certain plots, storylines or templates that are almost always successful. So they are rehashed, reused, and adapted to give it a contemporary spin that will fit a new specific, target audience.

The TV show Revenge? It’s loosely based on The Count of Monte Cristo, which was finished by Alexandre Dumas in 1884(!).

And what about our little bookstore from earlier? Classic David vs. Goliath.

The Los Angeles Times is covering this story (happening outside of their county) because it depicts a small, independent bookstore — the last in the area! — who is being treated unfairly/unjustly by a big, wealthy property owner.

The tiny, sole proprietorship doesn’t want to give up. This is their retirement and livelihood after all! And the big conglomerate is pushing and throwing their weight around to get what they want.

If you can pick up on a story like this, then you’ll know it’s going to be a hit before you even publish it.

And if you can tie your product or service to it, then (a) people will actually look forward to reading your content, and (b) it will actually drive new business.

Because today, marketing is in the attention business.

The more attention we can get, the more people we’ll reach.

The more attention we can hold, the longer we’ll have to build recognition and recall.

The more recognition and recall, the more direct sales we’ll generate.

And it all starts — and ends — online with content.

Content that interests, persuades, and entertains.

And content that gets your readers to become clients and customers.

If you want to hear more, then let’s set-up a time to talk about how to use content to generate leads & loyalty.