These past few weeks post-Renaissance have made me realize how ridiculous it is that I don’t have a content remix tear down of Beyoncé.
The woman repurposed a festival-headlining concert into a Netflix documentary, for crying out loud!
Plus, she’s an innovator when it comes to her content format.
You know she changed the game with that digital drop (”you know where you was when that digital popped.”).
But today, we don’t have time for an entire blow-by-blow (pun intended) of her remixing career.
We’re going to focus on Renaissance, the Break My Soul Queen’s Remix, and how it relates to something I’ve actually been meaning to email you about since I tweeted about it a few weeks ago.
Good vs. bad content remixing.
The difference between good and bad music remixing
There’s a big difference between a good remix, mashup, or cover song and a bad one.
It’s all about how you do it.
And a big part of that is originality.
Think about a mashup, cover song, or remix that you love.
How different is it from the original?
Probably pretty different.
The latest great example of this is The Queen’s Remix of Break My Soul that Beyoncé and Madonna put out last week.
It remixes Break My Soul and Vogue into something completely, wonderfully original that I’m physically incapable of not dancing to. I mean, you try:
Contrast that with…say…most of the mash-ups Glee did.
Now, I’m a shameless, unrepentant Gleek. No Glee slander will be tolerated here.
But even I have to admit their mashups were the show’s worst numbers.
Because they were always too similar to the originals.
Most followed a general pattern:
Take two songs that already sounded alike, then use the most similar part of the songs to switch from one to the other.
There’s no reason to seek it out in Spotify when I can just listen to the better originals.
Good remixes, mash-ups, and covers need to add something new to the art.
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The difference between good and bad content remixing
Now, let’s talk about what this has to do with content marketing and remixing.
A lot of people will have two versions of a piece of content…for example, a blog post and a video on the same topic. Or multiple social posts about the same blog post.
But one is very clearly just a basic cover of the other, and yet they try to get people to consume both.
It’s not an original enough remix.
Another way this pops up in content marketing is in citing experts.
You’ll see YouTube videos and Twitter threads that are just straight summaries of other people’s more original content, without any new insight added.
And people are trying to build an original brand off of it, without giving people anything to remember them by.
Or someone wants to quote other experts in their content, which is good. But they do it by just slapping together a bunch of random quotes, which is bad.
Lazy expert round-ups are infamous in the marketing industry.
But that doesn’t mean marketers should stop citing outside experts in their content.
It means we need to get better at it.
Here’s what good, non-lazy content remixing might mean:
- If you repurpose a video or podcast into a blog post, don’t just use the transcript. At a minimum, clean it up. But ideally add extra stuff like images, links, lists, and other things that make a blog post interesting.
- If you’re summarizing or curating someone else’s content, add your own insight and analysis so there’s a reason for people to pay attention to you in addition to the original.
- If you want to incorporate expert quotes, work them into the narrative of your normal content instead of making separate pieces of content to just smash them all together.
Make sure each piece of content you create, even when it’s remixed or repurposed, still has a crumb of originality in it.
And remember to cite your sources
Finally, Beyoncé is great at one other thing content marketers need to be better at: citing original sources.
As Diane Warren recently learned, Beyoncé is far more rigorous than the rest of the industry when it comes to crediting other artists she references, samples from, and remixes.
My friends Maggie and Michelle have talked about how lax online content tends to be with citations, and the tendency for people to “sample” others’ ideas and language without credit.
And the longer I’ve been in the content marketing and online business spaces, the more it happens to me.
Don’t be part of that problem. Instead cite your sources as rigorously as Beyoncé does.
Now go forth and remix...and do not be lazy about it.