Does your brand have a content differentiation factor?
I talk about it a lot – and there’s a reason for that.
Your content differentiation factor (CDF) is your key to standing out from the 500 million blogs on the internet today. Without it, you look like just another one of those blogs. Potential readers will skip right over you to someone more interesting.
Your content differentiation factor is an integral part of your content strategy. In fact, the two work together and if you’re missing one then you won’t be able to create the other effectively.
Here’s a quick refresher on what it is and why you need it.
How Your Content Differentiation Factor & the 4 Keys to a Content Strategy Work Together
If your brand needs an ecosystem, then your content needs a house. And, like a house, you want it to stand out. Therefore, you paint it, put nice things in the front garden, and decorate it to your heart’s content.
You need to do the same with your brand’s content. (See what I did there?)
Build your house well and it will withstand anything.
When you’ve got a unique message to share with the world, it’s much easier to create a strategy that gets it out there to be heard. So, how do you identify your CDF and use it to create your content strategy? Follow these four keys:
1. Discover WHO You’re Helping, Reaching, Impacting
Before you do anything else, make sure you know WHO you’re educating and helping with your content. That’s because what you say is important, but so is how you say it.
Consider a baker who specializes in cakes. Does he want to attract high-end, spendy clients or is he interested in making birthday cakes for kids? Such decisions influence things like word choice, voice, and the vibe that you put forth.
Not knowing who you’re trying to reach will result in random targeting and unclear content results. It’ll also cause you to miss out on valuable information like pain points, parallel interests, or market opportunities that could strengthen your content game. (Read: How to Define a Target Market.)
2. Identify HOW to Help Them Better Than Your Competitor
Forget blue oceans – you will have competitors. And that means you must prepare to handle them, to break through the noise, and dominate the landscape with your brand.
I recommend you spend some time doing some competitive analysis and pay particular attention to the pain points that they’re missing. In my guide on content strategy, I use the example of the athletics gear retailer that has a lot of reviews where customers complain about how difficult it is to identify correct sizes. Your response? To create a sizing guide that solves that problem for their (and soon to be your) customers.
Boom. Content strategy.
3. Learn HOW to Create Content That Reaches Them
I’ve got a secret for you: “build it and they will come” isn’t really true online anymore.
You need to build it where they’re already going – which is to Google. In 2019, 65 percent of all eCommerce sessions started in a search engine.
Make sure you’re creating content that actually reaches your audience. That means you should know how to:
- Research and find lucrative, low-competition long-tail keywords
- Use on-page and technical SEO to make sure your content gets found
- Create the right content for the message (and medium) you’re using
- Leverage base strategies for content promotion
4. Know WHY You Create Content by Analyzing, Auditing, Updating, Measuring
Why create content that’s not worthwhile?
Nobody does that – and yet they do. Brands publish blogs, post on social media, engage in endless content publication. (Pro-tip: if your content marketing feels endless, you’re doing it wrong.)
Your content should be working for you, not being WORK for you. But to make sure it does, you need to analyze its performance.
That starts with defining your goals in content marketing. Why are you creating a piece of content? You should always have that answer clearly defined. If you can’t answer that question, you have no need to create that piece of content.
(By the way, do you know what metrics to use? Now’s a good time to brush up on them.)
I teach content buckets in the Content Strategy & Marketing Course.
G.R.O.W. Your Brand With Your Content Differentiation Factor
If you follow all steps above, you’ll walk away with a solid content differentiation factor that addresses customer or business needs. In the process, you’ll also build a solid content strategy that drives your brand to success.
But that’s not all building a brand from the ground up entails. If you’re ready to take it a step further, I invite you to join Gather Round Our Why, a digital community of like-minded entrepreneurs and marketers focusing on growth. You’ll get live coaching, templates, frameworks, and everything you need to know to grow a real business from content.
It’s something different – because you’re different.