If you are just starting a content strategy in 2013, or are planning on revamping what you’re doing, there are real challenges moving into the future.
Each month, more than 392 million people view more than 3.7 billion WordPress blogs, and WordPress.com users produce about 29.2 million new posts and 40.5 million new comments.
And that’s only WordPress numbers, which are sure to rise significantly in 2013 as more and more people are realizing the value of content marketing for customer retention, brand awareness, lead generation, traffic generation and more, as shown in the image below.
So what does this all mean for you?
With so many adopting content marketing, if you don’t have differentiation, you likely won’t have anything at all. I think it’s the biggest problem faced by content marketers going into the future. If you’re writing or producing the same thing everyone else is, you are just another boring blog, article, video or graphic. Even if it’s great content, it’s still the same thing. And there are millions of other blogs also putting together great content.
It is the year for the online writer, but really only the online writer that can find differentiation.
Here are the 3 ways that can help differentiate you from anyone else: FIND your unique audience, SOLVE a unique problem, USE your unique experience.
1. Pick Your Ditch: Identify Unique Audience
Agencies often cite the billion people on Facebook, the high numbers of Google searches every day, etc., and then lure you in to thinking you can reach part of the pie. But it’s not that simple. Going after a billion people at once is a bad idea. It always has been.
It’s much smarter to identify your perfect audience — whether it’s 1,000 people or 10 million people. Create detailed personas so you understand exactly the content for that niche audience.
Once you understand that unique audience, you won’t need to care about anyone else. It’s much better to “pick a ditch to die in” than to straddle the middle of the road hoping everyone will like your content. Those that pick the middle of the road often become roadkill.
“Pick a ditch to die in. Take a stand. Believe in something. Being wishy washy gets you nowhere. Grow a pair. When you stop caring about the people who will never like you, the coolest thing happens: you find the people who actually do.”
–19 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Business | Erika Napoletano is Redhead Writing
Understanding the core, unique audience is what will bring you fans and followers. If you ride the middle of the road, you’ll risk facing indifference.
“Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.”
2. Solve Unique Problems
Once you understand your niche audience, you’ll be able to understand them so well that you can actually solve their specific problems.
Related Post: Forget Great, Forget Viral — Do This Instead
Because most people optimize for visitors, website traffic, viral sharing and eyeballs, if you instead optimize for problem solving, that changes the game. There’s a big difference between writing posts for traffic and those for leads. Focusing on solving problems makes you an extremely valuable resource for your core audience, and is much better at generating leads than optimizing for traffic only. In that same vein, don’t worry as much about targeting keywords for traffic. Target keywords that will make you money, instead.
3. With Your Unique Experience
Nobody can match your own unique experience. How have you overcome obstacles, how have you had success, what stories do you have that have solved a problem? Use your own unique experiences to show how others can solve similar problems. For instance, anybody can write “5 social media tools,” but nobody else but you can write, “The 5 social media tools I use to engage my audience.”
Answer your own unique client questions and problems using your own unique experience and expertise. It’s a simple formula that will help you stand out from the cesspool of digital content.
What do you think?
What other suggestions do you have to make sure your content stands out from everything else out there?