One of the open secrets of HubSpot's success is its focus on content.
We create lots of blog posts, white papers, videos and webinars that
filter across the internet and drive people back to our site, building
our brand, our leads and our sales.
We are not alone. Businesses everywhere are beginning to create
content. They're circumventing traditional media, publishing content
that helps them get found.
This is an excellent development. It's a more efficient, democratic way
of communicating with customers. Forget advertising, forget PR.
Businesses tell their own stories now.
Yet one question knaws at me: Can there be beauty in business content?
In traditional content, beauty is excellence.
Should business content creators aspire to the same type of beauty?
It's hard to imagine that with a business' pressures of time, volume
and purpose it could achieve such excellence — except that if business
content doesn't aim for excellence, it is doomed to be inferior, to be
bereft of beauty.
Can this be?
I think we need to change the unit of analysis.
For traditional content creators, beauty lies in the content itself.
The beauty of Radiohead's live performance is in the departures from
the recorded music, the excellence of
execution, the scale of the work, the visual electricity and the
artistry with which it's all woven together.
Whole Foods also produces beautiful content, but the beauty isn't in
the content itself — it's in the way the content reflects the
This video about a grass-fed beef farmer in Georgia is nice, but not amazing in and of itself. What is amazing is the way it
reflects Whole Foods' business — the fact that they support
independent farmers with grants, their emphasis on locally grown food
and their work to inform consumers about the origins of their food.
Whole Foods' content is beautiful becuase it authentically
captures the beauty its business. That should be the ideal for business
Photo: Radiohead in Milan by redbanshee