The most common problem with brand content today is that it’s sterile. Look at what your brand is providing. If you can reasonably take a competitor’s logo and put it over yours on the page or content in question and it still works, you’ve got sterile content.
The reason most brands fall into this vacuum — a term I use because it better indicates the content sucks — is they only think halfway about content. Let’s do the basics and that should cover it. Well, no. The basics are called that for a reason. They just cover the basics. Everyone can cover the basics. Brands that go beyond the basics do so with outstanding content — that which separates the wheat from the chaff, the signal from the noise.
Working through an exercise recently with a client, I tried to identify the methods to standout from your competition’s “basic” content. Keep in mind, you probably have to do the basics, too, but it’s that additional layer of sexiness that often does the trick for brands using good content marketing.
There are essentially four approaches you can use to make your content standout:
- Use humor
- Use drama
- Use celebrities
- Use influencers
Think about the best content marketing efforts you’ve seen. I’m betting they fit into one or more of those categories. Keep in mind that handy infographics or “I didn’t know that!” educational content can be classified under drama. The drama is creating that “wow” moment, not just making someone cry.
And note there’s a difference in celebrities and influencers. Getting Mr. T to be your spokesperson or share your content is using a celebrity. People will pay attention because it’s Mr. T and for no other reason. But getting Tom Foremski interested in writing about your tech startup or a mom blogger to participate in a baking event at your restaurant? That’s leveraging influencers.
As you dive into your content strategy, cover the basics. Then ask what else you can do to make that content stand out. It may cost a bit more to invest in celebrities or influencers. You may not have the content strategy chops on staff to build great humor or drama and have to invest in a content marketing agency. That’s okay. But knowing what you need to do is far better than churning out the same old crap and thinking it’s great.
Having a challenge with standing out from your competition with great content marketing? We’d love to help. Drop us a line and let’s chat about it!