Skip links

The unicorn marketing theory

Today, 98% of marketing efforts go nowhere. I think I know why.

In 2017 I published over 300 posts at my last company’s blog. Just 8 of them performed. Those are the unicorn content.

The rest? Donkeys.

We spend the majority of our time working on things that will give us a fraction of return — the donkeys.

But unicorn content garners an incredible amount of attention and engagement.

Unicorn content ranks high on Google and blows out key performance indicators.

Of course, if it was easy to find unicorns, there would be a lot more of them.

So I’ve developed some shortcuts for hunting content marketing unicorns

Here are 10 ways to find unicorn content.

1. Curate top unicorns from popular Facebook pages

Facebook is the world’s top social media platform with a wealth of content.

Look at the top performing Facebook pages relevant to your business.

Take note of what kind of content gets the most likes, shares, and comments.

You can also see how many views the videos garner.

Save a shortcut, bookmark your favorite pages using Facebook’s “Save” feature.

Here are some bookmarked pages I follow for entrepreneurial topics:

2. Hunt for unicorns on top relevant subreddits

Reddit is a rich source of user-submitted content. Its upvote system lets you see the most popular posts right off the bat.

You can gauge how much unicorn potential a piece of related content may have by the number of votes it has.

Say you’re making an infographic about digital marketing. Visit the subreddit, and sort by the most upvoted infographic:

You can browse subreddits relevant to your industry with a lot of members, a signal of how active and popular the subreddit is.

You’ll see the top posts that are the best recent content in that subreddit.

Check in daily for content taking top spots.

3. Mine Quora for FAQs

Quora is an underrated goldmine of content treasures.

Search for your relevant industry and topics. You’ll find common questions and as well as deep inquiries you may not have thought of before.

You’ll get ideas for new blog posts and be able to build out your website’s FAQ.

You might even learn something about the topic yourself.

4. Use medium to follow interests

I’m an active contributor and top author on Medium.

I’ve seen a lot of its tremendous benefits as a marketer, including reaching a new audience and generating new social media followers.

But apart from these great things about the blogging platform, what I love about Medium is interest-based following.

Not only can you get ideas from the top posts in the interests relevant to your business, but you can also take cues from Medium itself to make your blog have better readability.

5. Find inspiration from Videos

Whether you focus on developing video marketing content or just want more ideas to flow, check out popular videos on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.

Well-done videos are usually teeming with information that you can mine and use with your own content to come up with something even better.

6. Subscribe to the best industry blogs

Some of the best content are from the top blogs in the industry you belong to, especially if they’re in-depth articles on topics that are not usually written about.

You’ll know a good blog by its significant percentage of content that’s informative and unique.

On top blogs, you’ll also notice a lot of blog engagement, like comments and shares.

7. Follow relevant hashtags on Instagram and Twitter

Hashtags are a great way to track topics across Twitter and Instagram easily.

You can then see what the most popular hashtags are and discern how most people on those platforms like their content in that subject matter.

Note how strong the visual language of hashtags is on Instagram.

Twitter is a more text-heavy channel, which can clue you into what people find most interesting in a given hashtag or topic at the moment.

8. Tap into user-generated content

User generated content (UGC) is a source of both insight and content ideas.

Reviews and feedback on your products, comments and messages on your Facebook page, emails with comments and suggestions regarding your business — all full of unicorns.

UGC can yield a targeted response with specific details and concerns regarding your business, super useful to your business.

9. Find top performing posts on pinterest

Pinterest’s image posts show what kind of aesthetics people are interested in.

If you’re looking to do visual content like photographs, charts, infographics, and image macros then Pinterest is a source of inspiration.

10. Repurpose your top performing content

When you create unicorn content, reuse it in another way at another time.

Make more unicorns out of your unicorns!

So if a blog post of yours goes unicorn ballistic, turn it into an infographic or video or ad!

Repurposing your unicorn content lets you get more mileage out of whatever hits the jackpot among the content you publish.

You can add more and enhance, update with new lessons, new data, further developments, and so to breathe new life to your unicorn content.

With continued practice, you can actually develop a sense for spotting marketing unicorns.

The more unicorns under your belt, the easier it is to create a long-term content strategy with more unicorns and fewer donkeys.



by Larry Kim