14 Jun 2020
The value in creating unique content
The content you create is constantly competing for attention whether it’s on a website, blog, social media or in the search engines. In order to stand out you need to differentiate yourself, and one of the most important ways to do that is by creating unique content that’s recognisably from you.
Why don't more people create unique content? Simply put because it takes a lot of work. However I’m here to tell you that the rewards you’ll reap creating your own unique content will make it more than worth it. Here’s why.
The goal of any marketing is to capture the attention of your target audience. To do this online you need to differentiate yourself from everyone else. In fact, your marketing and message will only work if you differentiate yourself. Let’s look at three areas that creating unique content will benefit you:
- You’ll stand out from the crowd;
- Your audience will be more engaged;
- You’ll perform better on social media and search engines.
Sounds good right? Let’s dig a little deeper.
You’ll stand out from the crowd
The beauty of creating unique content is that you can play to your strengths. If you’ve read my previous post you’ll already know the benefit of creating your own niche. By creating content to support your niche you have the ability to be seen as the expert in your topic area. Someone people look up to and seek out.
The opposite is also true. If you share the same content as everyone else it reduces your uniqueness and you will simply blend in with everyone else sharing the same message. In fact you have a much bigger chance of people sharing your message if it is unique to you. This enables your message to spread further and can help you build strong relationships with those following you.
Your audience will be more engaged
Ask yourself why are you creating content online? Like most I suspect it’s to build an engaged audience that you can convert into followers and then team members. Not to mention the holy grail business builders. This brings me to the second benefit of unique content - unique content is always going to be more engaging than sharing the same cookie cutter content as everyone else. And unique content, i.e. something new and different, will give you more opportunities to capture users attention.
Once you’ve captured a user's attention you can start a conversation with them and encourage them to interact with your content by following, liking, commenting or sharing or ideally all of the above!
This engagement gives you the opportunity to turn your brand into one that’s easily recognisable, your followers into fans and finally your fans into members of your team.
You’ll perform better on social media and search engines
The internet is a noisy place. From social media to search engines, everyone is competing for eyeballs and businesses such as Facebook, Instagram and Google have to determine whose content is the most relevant and therefore more prominent in their feeds.
At this point I need to take a side step and discuss algorithms...
Let’s talk about algorithms
In search and social media terms an algorithm is a fancy way of saying content in a feed or search results is displayed based on relevance rather than just displaying the latest posts.
What this means for you is what you create, and how visible it is to your audience, is determined by how relevant, unique and useful that content is to your audience. My online marketing days started with getting websites ranked in online search engines, before Google even existed. In the early days there weren't many sites competing for the top ranks so it was relatively easy to get a site ranked number one, or at the least in the top ten. As the number of websites increased the effort required to achieve and maintain those rankings also increased. The search engines became smarter too and their focus was to ensure that sites with the most useful and relevant information were at the top of the results. This ensured their results were of high quality and not filled with duplicate and/or spammy pages.
In the early days of social media, such as Facebook, posts were listed in reverse chronological order. So the newest posts were displayed first. Now you’ll find social media algorithms focus on relevance and uniqueness rather than simply displaying random or the latest posts. Here’s the most up to date information on how Google, Facebook and Instagram determine what content they want to feature first:
If you’re keen to rank your website in Google unique content is an absolute must. There’s evidence that Google uses three primary factors when determining the usefulness of a page: quality, relevance and uniqueness. In fact, if your copy is the same as others (ie a duplicate) you won't be indexed at all.
Why? Because Google knows that unique content attracts readers. And for them that means their results are more useful than just a list of pages saying the same thing.
Google also knows that unique content encourages more shares and search engines love sharable content. In short Google penalizes sites with duplicate content and rewards high quality sites.
In January 2018 Facebook stated:
"Today we use signals like how many people react to, comment on or share posts to determine how high they appear in News Feed.
With this update, we will also prioritize posts that spark conversations and meaningful interactions between people. To do this, we will predict which posts you might want to interact with your friends about, and show these posts higher in feed. These are posts that inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments and posts that you might want to share and react to – whether that’s a post from a friend seeking advice, a friend asking for recommendations for a trip, or a news article or video prompting lots of discussion."
In January 2019 Instagram stated:
"What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc."
As you can see if you want to feature prominently in search and socials you absolutely must create unique and engaging content.
Phew, that was a long read. I hope it's enlightened you and convinced you to start putting time and effort into creating unique content. This is a topic area I adore so please reach out (Facebook, email) if you’d like more information or want me to expand on any of the points I’ve discussed.
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