By Lisa D. Jenkins
Where I used to live, thereÂs a thing called Bite-Size. When I moved there, I assumed it was similar to finger steak I couldnÂt have been more wrong.
Bite-Size is made with 2-inch hand cut chunks of beef and each restaurant has its own proprietary seasoning and cooking technique. One does a dry rub with batter and deep fry, one marinates and broils, while another seasons and grills. You order it cooked to temperature, just like a steak and depending on where you go, itÂs served au jus, with tartar sauce or with ranch.
In a town of 100k or so, there are no less than 10 privately owned restaurants that serve their own version of Bite-Size, and each restaurantÂs version has a fiercely loyal customer base. Ask any meat-eater in the valley and theyÂll tell you exactly why the Bite-Size they love is the best and why you should try it.
How does that happen with a product thatÂs basically the same? Easy; every customer has a unique set of taste buds. Even yours.
Content is a lot like Bite-Size.
Regardless of the industry youÂre in, the content you publish most likely bears some resemblance to the content your competitors publish. ÂIf thats true, why should I bother,Â I hear you ask. Because itÂs the flavor of what you deliver that strikes a chord with your customers and makes them come back for more of what youÂve got.
While you and Competitor X are both publishing content around Widget A, your target customers are not the same. TheyÂre segmented by their very real preferences for things like the language you use, color, brand voice, etc. And they choose who to do business with based on those preferences.
ThatÂs why itÂs important not to mimic what others in your industry are doing too closely. You donÂt want everyoneÂs attention, you want the attention of people who are going to stay with you.
Individuality will draw the right people to you.
NorthFace is very down to business, no frills. The phrase high tech – low drag comes to mind. The Husband prefers NorthFaceÂs delivery and thatÂs whatÂs allowed in his Inbox.
Moosejaw is all sorts of silly and fun. I giggle every time I see a newsletter from them in my Inbox and it makes me smile to spend my money with someone who understands the importance of humor.
Same basic products, different flavor.
Content strategy isnÂt not about making sure youÂre posting the same, keep-up-with-the-joneses content everyone else is. ItÂs about sharing that message with your own voice so that the people you want to attract find it valuable and recognizable.
Call it perspective, call it secret sauce, call it seasoning Â how do you prepare and serve up your content to stand apart?