Unique Branding Meets Any Content - How to Stand Out From the Rest?
What would happen if your content was deleted from the web? Would your followers miss it at all? Would they lose content they would come to love or value?
Most likely, the answer is no, they wouldn't. In fact, 90% of content is pretty much ignored. So how do you make content that stands out?
To create content that people love, you need to give them something they can't get elsewhere. Content that becomes part of their life. And to do that, you need to create content that has a Unique Selling Point.
Unique Selling Proposition
You probably know USPs from product management. It’s an essential marketing concept for brands and product creation, yet for some reason, content marketers seem to ignore this when it comes to creating content.
Content is a product. So content needs a USP.
Content that is created around vacant keywords is oftentimes built around ranking in search engines so much that it ends up ignoring the readability from a human’s perspective. And at its heart, content needs to be read by your target audience. So your USP needs to be focused on what they want.
When you come to writing your content, you need a unique take. There’s a simple rule to follow in storytelling, and it rings true for all types of content.
Great content adds real value and says something new, or something old in a new way.
Don’t try to become a star
You’re not going to have the resources to compete with the big beasts. So don’t. Change the game.
Don’t just shout out “Our sushi is the best!”. Tell them why it’s different. “We love sushi. And we love dessert. We make unique menus in which we put oranges and strawberries in sushi rolls poured with sweet honey. Wanna try it? We are the only place where you can get it.”
If you want to compete in a market the answer is not to compete because it is much easier to become the best in a new field, where no one has tried their luck before. Instead of playing the game, change the game. Be the one who defines competition.
When you start defining your USP you might feel that you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. Put simply, you can't please everyone. If you build connections based on trust, it spreads far and wide, helping you to stand out from the crowd.
How to find your content USP and stand out from the rest
There are several ways of discovering your content’s USP but it always comes down to one of the followings.
The power within you
Every successful business starts from the vision of the founder, so use your personality. Your personality can resonate with your audience so long as it is honest and true. And as it is your essence, it is unique. It can't be copied.
Find the sweet spot between your knowledge and passion. This combination can help you drive your mission and find out how you can stand out from the rest with your content.
American entrepreneur Rand Fishkin started his career in the web-design business. He also knew how to drive traffic websites through the variety of search engines and did his best to find strategies to help his clients rank on Google. Rand’s passion for websites and SEO drove him to found SEOMoz blog and fill in the lack of knowledge about search engines on the web.
Mix it up
You don’t need to invent something new, just mix two or more things you already know. Combine cloud systems with music and you get Spotify or the travel industry with the social web and you get Airbnb.
At the beginning, Netflix started as a DVD-by-mail rental service. They were not as profitable as expected, so they reinvented themselves by combining technology with television and started to produce their own award-winning original series.
Narrow your target audience and topic
Another approach is to narrow your target audience as much as possible. Imagine a scenario. You are talented in creating awesome videos, but it’s a struggle to stand out from tons of video production companies. Why not specialize in creating music videos for hip-hop artists alone? When a hip-hop artist needs a video, your specially tailored services are going to stand out.
Promotion becomes much easier, too. You only need to focus on that specific audience. You will know where they hang around and how you can target only those people who are interested.
Discover your content's mission
There are three main parts of creating a great mission statement:
- The main target audience - Who do you create the content for?
- The content that will be delivered to that audience - What content do you offer?
The outcome that audience will get - Why is it good for your audience?
Lifestyle magazine Mr.Goodlife is a great example. You can find their mission statement under the about us tab in the footer menu on their website:
“Mr.Goodlife has focused on fashion & style, architecture, design, business, and travel. Simply on all the good and positive things in life. He visualizes these things every day with the intention to inspire and motivate people to achieve their goals. Mr.Goodlife introduces an extensive variety of topics by being a trendsetter, using a confident style and an aesthetic quality at the same time. His high level of reach, as well as, the sophisticated network of like-minded people is constantly growing.”
They define their target audience - “fashion & style, architecture, design, business, and travel”
They define what content they offer - “an extensive variety of topics by being a trendsetter, using a confident style and an aesthetic quality at the same time”
And they define the outcome - “to inspire and motivate people to achieve their goals”
Utilize Google Trends
Google Trends is a great tool for helping you to compare different search terms and trends. With several functions it allows you to research the hottest and upcoming trends and find your way to stand out from the rest.
Let's put it into practice. You would like to write an article about food in Germany, but there are tons of food blogs and articles out there. Google Trends can give you great insights into what niche to pick, and what those people are interested in. Visit Google Trends and start searching for Food (Topic) in Germany.
As you can see, interest in food as a topic is constant throughout the year. Scroll down and let's find some gold here.
You can see the Related topics and Related queries tabs here. They are all set to Top searches, where you can see what the trendiest related topics and searches are. If you click on Street food you can see it's a hot topic in Germany. Examine a bit closer and you can see it is getting trendier every summer.
Go back to the Food topic and switch the upper right corner button to “rising” in both topics and queries field. You can now see the upcoming data related to our main topic.
Festivals are an upcoming topic, for instance, there is a huge query rising on the African food festival in Berlin. African food is getting trendier in Germany, along with festivals and street food. Utilizing these insights you could write an article or blog about the best African street food at festivals in Germany. Combine the information you gathered from Google Trends and constant communication with your audience to get more specific insights about what they are interested in.
Use your content USP for clear and constant communication. You can tie this whole uniqueness together by developing your branding, design, the tone of voice, and message. Your USP is not a one-time decision. It can change with trends throughout the time. You need to constantly keep people informed about what it stands for. Always tell them what makes you unique.
It is great to be unique. But it can only work if there is demand for what you offer. You should not confuse it with establishing a totally new market with unproven demands. Your USP should be reasonable and easily understandable. If it takes hours to understand it, you won't stand out from the rest.