*This is an updated post
Let's face it, when it comes to content marketing, knowing how to up the ante on your content experience and make your blog stand out is likely one of your biggest challenges.
In 2013 there were 152 million blogs out there. Can you imagine how many more blog posts are now published everyday? There's bound to be some content overlap between you and your competition.
Delivering a Content Experience
Remember: Don't create content simply for the sake of creating content.
Your target audience is disrupted on a daily basis with mediocre content. Take the time to deliver rich, valuable and truly practical content, and you'll easily reach the goal of standing out from the crowd.
Here's the breakdown on how to create better content for your customers.
Step 1: Focus on What's Not Being Said
You see it time and time again. Several different blogs cover the same topic, with no new angle or spin. Different organizations are essentially duplicating content and everyone is singing from the same song sheet.
How do you do that?
Quora and Reddit are online forums that are chock full of questions your readers have asked directly. A way to set yourself apart from your competitors is to look for the questions that have a low number of responses — I'm not talking about questions where no one cares about the answer.
I'm talking about questions that are difficult to answer, and that's why they don't have a large number of responses — those are the questions that your competition are less likely to have created content for.
Bonus tip: online Q&A websites are great for long-tail keyword research!
Step 2: Develop Your Content Strategy Accordingly
You've honed in on your target audience, key topics, tone and frequency to develop your content strategy but you're still creating content that is too similar to your competitors.
It's time to analyze your competition now, and see where and how you can do better.
- Is their blog lacking visuals?
- Are their headlines a bit boring?
- What kind of content are they publishing?
- Are they getting any comments or shares?
Make notes on where other blogs are lacking to use for the next step.
Step 3: Fill In the Negative Space
Now that you know what content your competition is missing out on, and where their blog is currently lacking, use that information to fill in the negative space.
If their blog is missing visual content, make sure your content always has eye-catching graphics.
If their headlines are boring, craft attention-grabbing headlines that make readers want to click.
Are they not sharing informational and practical blog content? Create more how-to posts and step-by-step guides.
Step 4: Create Useful Content
The reason there is a ton of mediocre content online is because sometimes, businesses forget that they are creating content to solve their customer's' problems. Instead of answering the 'so what' factor, they create blog content that hasn't been reframed or related to their customers, at all.
Keep the purpose or goal of the piece in mind when writing. The most important thing your blog content should do is reinforce your 'value-add', and not become part of the overwhelming online noise.
Some quick tips for creating useful content:
- Break up your topics — don't try to stuff too much info in one post. If your topic can be broken up, create a few digestible posts that can be distributed over a few days instead.
- Make it visual — on top of always including eye-catching graphics, consider trying out multimedia content formats like videos and infographics.
- Encourage engagement — instead of writing content you think your readers want, why not include them in the process and ask them to participate in a survey to really find out what they want to know
Content marketing is the new landscape when it comes to digital marketing. Knowing how to create blog content that stands out from the noise is no longer a 'nice to have', it's a must.
Take the road less travelled when it comes to your content — search for the questions your customers are asking and no one is answering, develop your content strategy accordingly to fill in the negative space and always set out to create content that is truly valuable and actionable.
Off to you now: what are some tactics you use to create content that stands out from the noise?
About the Author:
Jennee Rasavong is a freelance copywriter and blogger who helps startups and solo professionals confidently use words to grow their business online. She specializes in crafting simplified, uncomplicated content to help clients connect and convert. Learn more about her services here or say hello to her @jenneerasavong
Original 2011 blog post:
Turn Down The Noise, Up The Experience
Is your brand being drowned out by the endless stream of tweets, posts, comments, rants, reviews, alerts, et al? You are not alone.
Do you feel like your LinkedIn page is being overrun by one or two overly enthusiastic Posters? Is your Twitter feed flooded with re-tweets and lackluster sound-bites? Have you invested significant time and capital in building a Facebook community but now finding it difficult to keep your fans interested and engaged?
I remember a time when we could not get our hands on enough interesting content to build a compelling website without having to pay an untold fortune or, the only place we could get access to interesting news and information was from magazines, newspapers and publications. Then came the birth of social media and our lives were forever changed. Not only did we have access to a new wave of content tools and sources, we were invited into the process and given the opportunity to start sharing our own thoughts and opinions, alongside the content producers– awesome!
Now, while I am a huge fan of social and have been involved in the industry from day one, I am dealing with a new epidemic, one I believe that many brands are also experiencing, noise pollution.
Noise pollution is the result of just too much content. Rather than being able to deliver an engaging website or social experience to our customers and prospects, we are now confronted with too much content from an endless pool of sources. This is making it very difficult for brands to connect with, engage and maintain a direct line to their customers, fans and prospects.
At Atomic Reach, we believe in delivering a content experience as opposed to a content stream. This means, less but more meaningful content that is published by the brand and produced by a small group of fans, customers and industry thought leaders. Brands that turn down the noise and heighten the experience will deliver a more interesting and compelling story to their customers and prospects yielding a more engaged and active daily audience.
Turn down the noise, up the experience and Go Atomic today!