Standing out from the crowd: The holy grail of advice

How many times have you clicked on a headline that promised to tell you all about content marketing, what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t, only to find like so many times before it simply tells you to ‘create great content’.
But how does one do this, we find ourselves exasperating. What is the magic ingredient that companies like Red Bull and Innocent Drinks appear to have that we don’t? Besides the huge marketing budget, of course.
We needed a true expert’s opinion, and there was only one man for the job.
Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute and an original content marketer. If you were to look at his personal bio, it would tell you that content is his baby.
He started using the term ‘content marketing’ back in 2001; his third book was named one of the top five business reads of 2013 by Fortune Magazine; his company has been named one of the fastest growing businesses of 2013 by Inc. magazine; consulting for enterprises such as LinkedIn and AT&T.
I decided to tweet Joe and get his thoughts on being original and standing out from the crowd.
I wasn’t really expecting a response. This was a very busy man with lots of spinning plates and any spare minutes he had were precious I’m sure.
Plus, how many times had he been asked this question? My tactic in itself wasn’t very innovative and somewhat ironic. So you can imagine the excitement I felt when I received his response.

Tell a different story

You and your competitors have a similar story to tell, right? Similar product, similar service.
So what’s that one thing that sets you apart? What defines you as a brand and what is the reason that your customers should invest their time and hard-earned money in you?
Even the most obvious of things could make a world of difference. Take David Ogilvy as an example; known as the ‘father’ of advertising, he shaped the way we describe our products.
Instead of the sticking to the generic way agencies were advertising at that time, he decided to look at the product in more detail, learn how it was created and shaped in the hope of finding that one thing that made it unique. The ads that followed were groundbreaking and in the words of David himself:

“The public is more interested in personalities than in corporations.”

Once you figure out your edge, the story that you tell will be yours and yours alone.

Work to focus on one core channel

Sometimes, putting all of your eggs into that one metaphorical basket is a good thing. Invest in one channel and give it everything you have, making sure to align your other platforms for consistency.
Unless what you are putting out there is of the best possibly quality it could be; your efforts will be in vain as you will not see any traction.

Work to build an audience

Find your voice. Something that is consistent and easily relatable to your brand. But more important than that, have fun with what you are creating and do something that gets people talking.
Red Bull are a perfect example of doing just that. Through the use of exciting mediums, high-profile partnerships, and their very own media house, they are able to create content that not only builds up a following, but makes them known for being more than just an energy drink whilst still bringing in the sales.
In 2013, they reportedly sold over 5.3 billion cans of Red Bull, an increase of 3.1% on the previous year. Their dedication to creating incredible content allows them to build not only a recognisable brand, but a personality and voice that captures their audience.

Social Currency

Recently explained by Jonah Berger at #ContentTECH; the virtual conference hosted by the CMI, social currency is the science behind viral marketing.
The theory is that the content we share defines who we are as a person, lets our friends and following learn more about what we are into, and offers the opportunity to be the first person to jump on something great. So taking this theory into consideration, create something that someone would be excited to discover and share to the world.
In sum, by investing in your content marketing efforts, you stand the chance of creating something wonderful, exciting and unique which will gain you the following and loyalty of your customers, and pay for itself in great return.
So thank you, Joe Pulizzi for taking the time to provide us with your unrivalled insight, and helping us to go forth and ‘create great content’.
david ogilvy quote
Images courtesy of Shade of Info, Brand Social, Pinterest

Written by Amy Norris

Brand & Agency Marketing Manager