Have a look at this blurb a Sydney accountancy firm’s website:
We are committed to forming close partnerships with our clients. This way we can understand your unique situation and customise the assistance we provide to suit your needs. Our commitment to excellence is evident in the hardworking nature of our staff, and the exceptional service we offer.
Our enthusiasm for our work means you are provided with a friendly team of professionals who are eager to use their expertise to help you succeed.
Blah, blah, blah. This doesn’t tell us anything about the firm or why we should use its services. There’s probably not an accountancy firm anywhere in the world which doesn’t have a “commitment to excellence” or offer “a friendly team of professionals”. And who doesn’t say they’re “committed to forming close partnerships with our clients”?
In short, we don’t know anything about this business – which I’ve not named, because they’re far from the only offender here. It has totally failed to differentiate itself from any of its competitors.
DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS
The best way of doing this is to get into the details when you communicate with your customers and potential customers. It applies to what you tell them about yourself in your traditional marketing efforts, and it applies equally to content marketing.
If you can provide specific and detailed information to your target audience, your content will stand out against all of the bland and general material washing around on the web, and your business will come across as expert and credible as a result.
To continue with the example of the accountancy firm, it needs to identify and spell out what it does differently from its competitors. Does it bill by the job rather than the hour? Does it have expertise in a particular sector? Does it donate 5 per cent of its fees to charity?
WORKS IN CONTENT MARKETING TOO
It’s the same with content marketing. If you just skim the surface of a topic, your content won’t be any different from anyone else’s. So give your audience specifics.
For instance, if you’re doing a case study of how someone used one of your products or services to overcome a problem, then don’t be afraid of getting into the nitty gritty. Your target audience is businesses in the same predicament, so they’ll be very interested in reading a detailed report.
Of course there’s a difference between interesting specifics and mind-numbing detail – no one wants to know what you had for breakfast. So put yourself in your readers’ or viewers’ shoes. Is this fact relevant and interesting to them? Does it add to the story? Or is it just detail that you don’t need and which only clutters up the story?
And don’t lose sight of the fact that your content still has to be engaging and easy to read. But that’s no excuse to shy away from the detailed and sometimes complex information that will be of use to your audience and help you stand out.