The internet is filled with a staggering amount of content. A Google search can turn up tens of millions of results for a single query in seconds.
So you’re an expert in your field, and you’re diligently creating content each week. But what is going to give you the edge up on all of the other businesses in your industry? And how will you build a loyal audience who will turn to you, rather than your competitors, for help solving their problems?
Here are some tips to help you create content that is a cut above the rest—work that really stands out from the content clutter.
Find a New Angle
The first step to creating unique content is understanding what makes your brand different. What is your business’s value proposition? You can discover your value proposition by asking yourself why you’re passionate about your work, and by asking your customers why they chose to do business with you over your competitors.
Asking your customers is a critical step, because sometimes the thing that makes you stand out is not what you expected. If you own a coffee shop, you may be passionate about sourcing the best espresso and think that’s what makes you exceptional. But in talking to your customers, you may find that they enjoy your coffee, but are even more excited about the baristas, who go out of their way to learn their names and greet them personally when they enter the store.
Once you understand what gets your customers excited about your business, you can create content that leans into that. Perhaps the owner of that coffee shop would want to start a customer of the month program, where they do a personal feature on one of their customers each month on social media.
Stay True to Your Brand’s Voice
If you’ve ever listened to A-list actors being interviewed about their careers, one of the most common questions they get is, “How did you get your big break?” Often, their answer is that they stayed true to themselves. They were competing against thousands of other actors, but they brought their own voice and personality to the role, and that’s eventually what helped them book the part.
Defining the voice and tone for your brand is a crucial part of creating content that resonates with your audience and keeps them following you rather than your competitor. This can sound like a nebulous pursuit, but you can use the same research you used to find your value proposition to define your voice.
What is it that people like about your brand? Is it your trustworthiness, your friendliness, your authenticity, or your passion? These words can help you create content that fits with the image your customers already have of your business.
Provide Actionable Steps for Your Readers
People turn to the internet looking for content that helps them solve a problem. If your content isn’t useful, it’s going to be ignored. This means you should be providing your readers with clear, actionable steps they can take to fix their problems.
This should be true for all of your brand’s content, from blog posts and webinars to Tweets and Instagram posts. Retweeting memes and cluttering people’s social media feeds with filler content is going to get you unfollowed. Sharing content that is unique, or at the very least thoughtfully curated and re-shared, is what’s going to keep people following your business.
Create Content in Desirable Formats
Part of building an audience for your content is providing content in a format that people want to engage with. Video has become hugely popular, and you should be working to incorporate it on your website and across social media. If you’re creating written content, make sure you’re creating effective copy.
When you’re posting on social media, make sure you’re active on the channels that are most important to your prospects and customers. If your ideal customer is a Baby Boomer, you should probably be focusing your efforts on Facebook rather than churning out content on Snapchat.
Establish Hub Pages to Keep Content Working for You
Creating content is a time-consuming task. And when you’re creating great content, you want to be sure you’re squeezing every ounce of value out of it. That’s where hub pages come in. These pages allow you to group your similar content together, making it easy for your audience to do a deep-dive into their topic of interest.
This positions you to be regarded as a thought leader in that area, allows you to continue to generate views for older content that would otherwise fade into the archives on your blog, and strengthen your ranking on search engines.
When you think about content creation, it can be easy to feel defeated: “There are so many other people out there on the internet, providing insight in my industry—how can I possibly stand out?” Fortunately for you, a lot of the content out there is not good. It doesn’t have a strong identity, and it doesn’t really add much value for readers. If you can create content that’s meaningful for your audience, you can get the upper hand and rise to the top of the content heap.