Think of the strong brand identity of major players; they’ve built brands so strong that you don’t even need to see text to recognize their iconic imagery. These images are anything but generic, and the brands behind them spend millions to develop their unique identity that sets them apart from “Brand X” imitators. Differentiating yourself from your competitors applies to every aspect of what you do – your logo, your services, your social media presence and especially your content.
Generic writing hurts your brand image as surely as a plain brown wrapper would hurt its viability on store shelves. When you publish a blog post that offers thin content and a few lowercase search terms, you’re putting that plain wrapper on your writing. While you might not have the funds that a Coca-Cola or Target might allocate to its advertising budget, you can break away from generic content that does nothing to differentiate you.
Before exploring how specific, distinctive branded content can work for you, it’s worth taking a look at its opposite number. Generic content exists largely as filler with a few keywords in the middle. It’s like Styrofoam packing peanuts around a valuable item, and it has just as much personality. If you stripped the name brands and a few identifying nouns from it, a generic post could fit onto any blog. Whether you sold marketing or match-making services, colorless phrases like “offering you superior solutions” or “supplies clients with everything they need to succeed” work equally well – or more accurately, equally poorly. Readers ignore generic writing.
If you don’t want to be one of the masses, break free of “Brand X” copy with these three fundamentals.
Great Content Is Specific
What makes your company special? Defining your brand depends on how specifically you can answer that question. From your blog posts to your social media presence to your home page, your business content should help you refine and expand that answer. Pinpoint your areas of expertise and showcase them in your writing. Maybe you’ve been in business for decades or have a history as an industry pioneer; your expertise makes a fantastic selling point that’s specific to you. Highlighting the things that differentiate you is key to moving out of Brand X territory.
Great Content Is Distinctive
Your customers see hundreds of tweets, posts and articles in a week, but they only share a few of them; what makes yours one of those few? A generic blog post might repeat some variation on a trending news story related to your industry; a specific blog post takes a novel and insightful angle on that story or expresses an opinion on it. Give your readers a reason to share by taking a position on the subjects your business content covers. A talented content creation team can take a basic item and run with it in any direction you define.
Great Content Is Local
The Internet is huge, but depending on what you sell, local traffic still comprises the lion’s share of your business. For services such as plumbing and HVAC repair, local business is your only business. Localizing your content is vital to developing your brand. Part of that is using local place names as keywords, but localization goes deeper than that. Search engines may not care if you use colloquial terms and idiomatic English correctly, but your readers sure will. Keep your copy local by choosing a content development team that speaks the language of the audience you want to reach. If you sell colas, your content creators can make sure your blog stays on the right side of the “pop versus soda” debate for your region.
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