Differentiating Your Content Marketing to Build Identity

string_phoneNinety-one percent of B2B marketers are using content marketing. But how many of those companies actually have a differentiated strategy?

I don't think there are that many.

Your content strategy is based in your company’s identity and message. Building an identity is important for a brand, but building a differentiated identity helps companies gain a competitive advantage. You build fierce brand loyalty, like with Apple. You can make people laugh even if you’re in a not so funny industry, like Geico. And you can become the standard everything is compared to, like a Tiffany’s engagement ring.

Each of these brands spends lots of time developing a differentiated identity. For B2B marketers, the desire to stand out sometimes results in sameness.

As a B2B marketer, you know content is important. But when was the last time you compared yourself to a competitor? When did you last refresh your tone of voice? Do your materials actually stand out?

If your content strategy isn’t one of a kind, use these tips to take a second look at your strategy:

  • Know what you want your readers to do. No, “buy from us” isn’t the right answer here. Know the target results you’re looking for. Then make sure each piece of content can help drive those results. So, if you want your readers to know you’ve got expertise in a niche industry, focus on the niche industry.
  • Get specific with your tone. You can use a brand archetype to get started, but you can also think of people. Individuals have a way of speaking that is distinctive. You don’t have to go as extreme as Cher from Clueless, but developing your tone is like developing a character. Make yours interesting.
  • Shake up standards. Building a formula for how you’ll execute campaigns might decrease the costs of production, but make sure you explore new options. Your assets don’t have to be limited to white papers. Think about infographics, videos, slideshows and more. Make sure they’re still integrated with your identity, but use these assets to stand out.

Your content strategy is going to tell you how you’re going to communicate with potential and current customers. Why would you let it be the same as everyone else’s?