To say that it’s hard for branded content to stand out online would be an understatement of the century.
Content marketing is the current big thing — everyone, and I do mean everyone, is doing it. Consumers everywhere are overrun with branded content to the point that even top-quality articles, videos and whatnot are struggling to earn their attention.
If you want to cut through the noise, and attract dream-fit leads into your sales pipeline, then you want to focus on something other than “just” quality.
Quality is the baseline. It’s the price of admission.
To make your ideal customers take notice, you need to be different.
That’s why today, I’m going to share with you the #1 content marketing strategy that will help you differentiate your branded content from everything else kicking around the internet today — and pull your desired audience towards you like a magnet.
But before I reveal the strategy itself, we have to talk about the biggest problem plaguing the content landscape today…
Content marketers and business owners: stop doing this
If you’ve spent any time on the internet, then you’ve noticed the biggest problem with branded content.
It all sounds the same.
Every day, millions of articles, videos, social media posts, infographics, etc. go live that look, sound, and feel like barely distinguishable clones of one another. Because they are!
Companies that create this kind of samey milquetoast content don’t do it out of malice — quite the opposite, actually. They want to be known as thought leaders; they want to provide their audiences with valuable info…
But the only way they know how to do it is by imitating other, more prominent companies. That’s why they recycle content topics, rehash the same tired advice, and worst-case scenario — just straight-up plagiarize more successful content.
(Note: never, ever do this. It’s one thing to be derivative, and quite another to steal someone else’s work.)
Long story short, that’s how we ended up with the online landscape chock-full of generic content that barely makes an effort to seem even slightly original — and usually fails anyway.
Soooo… where does that leave us?
What’s a brand to do if they want to achieve genuine thought leadership, and attract ideal customers with their memorable voice and unique content?
The answer is actually pretty simple…
Turn your unique experiences and insights into content
Stop creating infinite variations on the same tired topics that everyone else is doing!
Instead, probe your own memory and experiences for content — and you’ll be amazed at how much engaging material you may find.
Think about it:
Your target audience can get generic “10 tips for X” kind of posts or videos absolutely everywhere.
But do you know the one thing they cannot get anywhere else? That’s right — it’s the first-hand account of your experiences, and those of your customers. Ditto for your original research on how you approach your work, or your perspective on what’s going on in your industry!
All these things can become the foundation of remarkable content that grows your business and differentiates your brand from the competition.
So if you’re serious about becoming a preeminent name in your industry… then you wanna double down on this type of original, irreplaceable content.
The sooner you do this, the easier it will be for you to attract ideal customers for your brand.
And now, let me give you three actionable strategies for implementing original insights and research in your content marketing — deal?
If you haven’t done anything like that before, you want to focus primarily on three kinds of content…
1. Magnetic case studies that prove your expertise
Sharing the results you’ve created for your customers and your team is the single best way to promote your business and your offers. Hands down.
I mean, what would you be more impressed by? Some serious-sounding, but ultimately generic, “thought leadership” content describing how amazing some company is…
…or a gallery of in-depth case studies that actually show you what said company has done for its customers or clients?
That’s why, if you haven’t been leveraging case studies in your business, you want to start now. They can be about your clients / customers and their results — how you’ve helped them solve difficult problems, achieve incredible growth, or reach their dream goals.
Alternatively, your case studies could also be about your company and the things you have achieved as a business. For instance, these are highly relevant if you’re a B2B company and your internal achievements can speak to what you can do for other businesses.
Or better yet, you can use a combination of both types of case studies in your content marketing!
2. Polarizing industry content that helps you stand out
One of the biggest reasons it’s so tough for branded content to stand out is… it all sounds the same! Everywhere you look, there are companies sharing the same best practices, the same tips, and the same opinions.
So if you want to get noticed and remembered for your content, it may be a good idea to pick a fight. To go against the grain. To challenge what your industry believes without question.
By doing this, you will instantly set yourself apart from the competition, and attract customers who are also on the hunt for something new and different.
- What are some commonly held beliefs in your market that you ardently disagree with?
- Are there any “best practices” in your industry that you believe are actually terrible?
- Do you have a divergent, or even completely opposite, take on industry trends or news?
If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, congratulations — you have what it takes to create compelling contrarian content (couldn’t resist the alliteration)!
Go boop those industry “sacred cows” on the nose and see what happens. The only condition? Always remember to do it with sincerity and good intentions. Don’t pick a fight for its own sake — stand for something.
3. Original research that bolsters your credibility
No matter what industry you’re in, I feel pretty confident saying this:
Your market and your audience are starved for valuable, original insights that can help them excel at what they do.
Why? Because most of the content in your space recycles the same research over and over again. Everybody cites the same 3 studies from the 70s, or worse yet — simply repeats long-disproven sensationalist data points (like the myth of the 8-second attention span). If your customers or clients want solid data, trust me: they have to look really hard for it.
If you want your business to get noticed, step up to fill that knowledge void with some original research of your own!
Sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? Well, don’t worry — here are 3 simple ways you can augment your content marketing with new and valuable insights:
- Do a survey of your audience. This is the easiest form of research you can do, and it can still produce valuable data unavailable anywhere else. E.g. that’s why you see marketing blogs run audience surveys every year.
- Run an experiment or test and document it. “Research” doesn’t have to mean “peer-reviewed scientific paper” — it can just be an informal experiment you conducted. Run it, record it, and share the results with your audience; they will thank you.
- Discover, analyze, and share NEW research. Search for real scientific studies and findings that are relevant to your industry and share them. Everybody else is citing the same old research ad nauseam — but you can break the echo chamber and influence the conversation!
Want more training on kick-butt content marketing?
We’ve got you covered! Here are some more guides you will enjoy:
How to Create Magnetic Case Studies that Attract More Customers — case studies can be a powerful growth engine when done right. This article explains how to nail them.
Your Marketing Should Pick a Fight! 5 Ways to Build a Remarkable Brand by Being Contrarian — read this unconventional guide on how to stand out from the competition and build authority in your industry.
Creating Copy Consciously with Jennifer Hudye — copywriting is a must-have skill for any content marketer, and this podcast interview with Jennifer will help you hone your writing abilities!
P.S. Would you like us to create unlimited video content for you… for a fixed monthly fee? Check out our newest service package here and prepare to grow your business with remarkable, high-converting video assets!