In today’s crowded digital landscape, creating content that truly stands out can be challenging. With so many brands vying for attention, it’s easy to get lost in the noise and struggles to make an impact.
How do you differentiate your content and make it truly stand out?
Fara Rosenzweig, Head of Content at Workramp, and Jeff Coyle, Chief Strategy Office at MarketMuse, share their insights and best practices for creating content that truly stands out in a sea of sameness.
- Why differentiation is essential for successful content marketing
- How to identify areas of opportunity for differentiation in your niche
- Strategies for creating unique, high-quality content that sets you apart from your competitors
- Tips for optimizing your content for maximum impact and visibility
- How Fara’s team increase page views by 900%
Whether you’re a content creator, marketer, or business owner, this conversation will help anyone looking to take their content marketing to the next level.
With the popularity of generative AI, it’s never been easier to create unmemorable content.
It’s critical that you take the time to really understand your audience when creating content.
Too often, businesses create content without first understanding who their target audience is and what they want to read.
As a result, businesses end up wasting time and resources on content that no one cares about.
How Fara Differentiates Her Content
Fara believes that differentiation is key. You need to find the story within the questions to set yourself apart. Start with the basics and then add your own elements to make it unique. Make sure your article answers the questions you want answered.
Analyzing the Competition
When observing the competition, Fara thinks their answer to a question should be looked at from the perspective of meaning, — looking for what else the question might bring up. Find the story in the questions to identify areas of opportunity for differentiation in your niche. Other things to consider when looking at the competition’s answer to a question are whether they answer other questions, what evidence they are providing, and if they are bringing in experts.
Indirect Competitor Analysis
Fara casts a broad net when conducting competitive analysis, examining all types of competitors when researching her work. This includes looking at B2B competitors, publications, and influencers. Rosenzweig believes it is important to look at the big picture and not just the organization competition. She also believes in writing outlines and bullet points helps organize her thoughts. Rosenzweig does her due diligence by fact checking and finding different people to interview.
Evangelizing Content Quality
During the conversation Jeff mentions a friend, a content strategist who takes an interesting approach to generated content. He compares the process of creating content to writing a bad film noir script.
Jeff suggests that a key to differentiation is finding the story in the questions. He argues that if you’re up against a major publisher, you need to move faster than they do. When creating high quality content, Jeff recommends leveraging internal subject matter experts. This enables you to find the story in a topic and to differentiate yourself from what’s already out there on the web.
Fara’s case, Work Ramp has many subject matter experts internally that can be leveraged to write content that is unique to the company. These experts can provide lessons they have learned on the topic, as well as representing the company’s voice and style. That makes the content more differentiated than what is already out on the web. Fara understand that not every organization has this advantage, but thinks that if you look, you can find at least a few experts in any given field.
Optimization vs Differentiation
In order to create content that stands out and has the best chance at success, Fara thins that one must be authentic and answer common questions in an interesting way. She notes that Google has recently started to award more to content that is considered authentic and informative.
In order to create such content, Fara suggests following some best practices for SEO as well as being a thought leader in the space. She also believes that it’s important to not steer away from optimization and that there is an art form to mix it into storytelling.
She’s notice that at present, AI is not providing a gold mine of content. Instead, it offers a way to get started if teams are stuck. In order to create content that is successful, one must put their thinking cap on and ask questions such as the who, what, why, when, and how.
Prioritizing and Balancing Production
There are three types of content that Fara balances at Workramp: thought leadership, SEO, and customer questions. Her team produces a minimum of three pieces per week, with each piece being dedicated to one of the three types of content.
Every Thursday, the team devotes an hour or two to reading about trends in their industry. On Mondays, they have an editorial meeting to discuss what type of content they need to publish that week.
They try to take a journalistic approach to their content, focusing on accuracy and trustworthiness. The team also aims to make their content engaging, with the help of a strong hook and interesting visuals.
Using Clusters in Storytelling
Ask Fara and she’ll tell you that clustering is important for storytelling. She thinks of clustering as different chapters in a story, with a pillar page being the main story.
Clusters allow you to dig deeper into a topic and build a relationship with your audience. Creating clusters that are different than what other people might be talking about is a way to make your content stand out.
An Usual Way of Using Gong
Here’s an interesting approach of which you’re probably not aware. Fara and her team use Gong to listen in on customer and prospect calls in order to understand what questions people ask and how best to answer them in their articles.
They also leverage multimedia assets to make their how-to content more engaging and interactive. Rosenzweig believes that this approach provides more value to readers who are looking for answers to specific challenges.
Avoiding the Trap of Being a Support Site for Your Own Product
Work Ramp avoids this situation by making support articles available separately for customers. in order to generate awareness, they publish teaser content for those who haven’t purchased the product yet.
The how-to content is created with a specific audience in min — their goal being to generate interest without scaring potential customers away. In their Monday meeting, they discuss what type of content to generate and the appropriate target audience.
Incorporating Guest Posts Into Your Site
Guest posting can be a way to rapidly increase the amount of content published on your site, but you need to be careful. Fara cautions about the importance of considering who to allow as a guest poster, in order to maintain the authenticity of the site. In making their decision, Workramp factors in the persons knowledge and work experience.
Both Jeff and Fara agree that sometimes it is helpful to have someone who is not the best writer, but is a great subject matter expert. Ultimately, you need to police your brand and make sure that the information provided is authentic. Allowing just anyone to write on your site can be determental to the relationship you have built with your audience.
Fara Rosenzweig is WorkRamp’s Head of Content and brings over 20 years of content experience. Her love for storytelling has earned her an Emmy Award, and she’s been featured in many publications. When not wordsmithing or talking about learning and development, you’ll find her globe-trotting while logging miles for her next half marathon.
What you should do now
When you’re ready… here are 3 ways we can help you publish better content, faster:
- Book time with MarketMuse Schedule a live demo with one of our strategists to see how MarketMuse can help your team reach their content goals.
- If you’d like to learn how to create better content faster, visit our blog. It’s full of resources to help scale content.
- If you know another marketer who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.