This is one of the biggest challenges for people looking at content as their main marketing tool. Content is everywhere. While the traditional newspapers and magazines are disappearing left right and center, the new-age publishers are storming the Internet with great force.
According to a Content Marketing Institute report almost 95% B2B enterprise marketers one way or another use content to promote their products and services. 78% of smaller business (100 or less employees) are working with dedicated professional content writers.
Throw a stone and there is a great possibility it will hit a content publisher
(No, I don’t intend to suggest that you start throwing stones at people) On the Internet, everybody is a publisher. I’m not saying this in the bad sense, because if everybody can be a publisher, what stops you from becoming one?
Being a publisher in the context of the Internet doesn’t mean publishing a magazine or a newspaper. You are a publisher if you publish a blog. You are a publisher if you broadcast a newsletter, upload podcasts and videos, or put out a series of ebooks. If people consume the content you publish regularly (with a strictly followed routine) you’re a publisher.
Conventional publishers publish for the sake of publishing. But as a business person, as an entrepreneur, as a content marketer, you publish to build a platform for your business. Building a platform means providing people a place where they can come and access your content at their own discretion.
One can become a content publisher by spending little money
You can become a publisher almost free of cost. If you have a business website then you already have a domain and I can safely assume your website is hosted somewhere. You can use one of the free source content management systems (WordPress, for instance) and with little bit of tweaking you can even make it look decent.
Then you can either write content for your publishing platform yourself or you can hire a content writer for yourself. It’s this easy.
The problem is, if it is this easy for you, it is also this easy for 100s of 1000s of other entrepreneurs like you who want to promote their business by building such publishing platforms. If you are planning on writing that killer blog post or article, rest assured it has already been written by scores of other people. This is true for almost every business.
So how do you stand out? How do you become a peacock in a flock of swans, or if you want to be a bit rude, how do you become a swan in a flock of crows?
How to make your content stand out
A great thing about everybody writing and publishing content is, very few people actually publish useful, quality content. Most of the entrepreneurs and small business owners have no clue how to implement an effective content marketing strategy. In fact most think content marketing means publishing content to improve their search engine rankings. Whereas it’s important to improve your search engine rankings, if you’re publishing content just for that, you’re using just 10% of its power. More than 90% of content marketers, it means, know how to use just 10% power of content marketing.
A big and massive chunk of the remaining 90% power of content marketing is available to you and this can help you stand out.
Listed below are a few things you can do to make your content stand:
- Write in your own voice: This is one of the most difficult things to achieve while writing content for your website or blog, as very few people can do that. Mostly people are taking ideas from other publishers and writing them as they are. Not everybody can be creative and unique. So this is where you can be totally different. Be yourself. Develop your own unique writing style and if you cannot do it yourself, then work with a content writer who can.
- Write about the same thing with a different twist: Do you think whatever you want to write about has already been written? That’s all right. But you are in business because you know something that others don’t. Use that unique knowledge to give it a totally different twist to what has already been written.
- Don’t worry too much about SEO: Of course SEO is good but it begins to affect your writing if you were too much bothered by it. Focus on quality and write content that is actually helpful to your visitors. It will automatically have better search engine rankings.
- Write content regularly: Regularity is very important. If you think content marketing is your thing, then you should publish a new webpage or a new blog post at least once a day and not just for a couple of weeks, but for a few months in order to see tangible results.
- Solve people’s problems: They will respect you, trust you and come to your website repeatedly if you solve their real-world problems through your content writing. Give them solutions. Improve their lives in some manner. They should be enriched after going through your content. Provide them something they cannot get elsewhere. Really mean to help.
- Promote your content using the right channels: Content in itself doesn’t mean anything unless people know about its existence. Once you have created a presence for yourself this is not a problem but if you are in the process of making a name for yourself then you need to promote your content. You need to be selective about where you promote your content. For example, most of my clients are B2B and for this niche, LinkedIn is the best place and then, Twitter. I don’t bother much with Facebook aside from having a page and posting my content there – but my main energies are focused on LinkedIn and then Twitter.
- Curate content: You don’t always have to create original content. There are many content publishers that are creating awesome content and you can simply share it on your blog or website. You can create a repository of great content centered around a particular topic. Become a resource. Suppose you compile a list of 50 great blog posts and articles on creating compelling content – they encompass practically all the knowledge one may need to succeed on the Internet. It will be a ready reference for people. They will not only share your link, they will also save it somewhere so that whenever they need to refer to it, they can come to your website.
Standing out as a content publisher basically means not becoming one of the herd. Be useful to your audience in a sincere manner.