The Black Box of Content Uniqueness

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“Uniqueness” is espoused as one of the content attributes that will lead to better search rankings, shares, and inbound links – thus leading to improved reach, higher consumption, and a greater return-on-effort (and hopefully, investment!) for the creation of the piece.  So there you have it – create unique content and you’ll be well on your way!

If you want to give me the finger, I don’t blame you. “Unique” as an aspirational content attribute fails to deliver the tactical guidance that marketers need to be successful. But before we can shed some light on that black box, let’s discuss why uniqueness is so difficult to achieve:

One of the most substantial challenges of uniqueness is the fact that most persona or audience definition exercises ask that you group certain types of buyer questions, initiatives, challenges, and decision drivers together.

From a marketing perspective, one of the objectives of the audience definition exercise is to create scalability in how content and messaging is originated and delivered to these audiences. The ability to distill relevant thoughts or questions for each audience type allows you to address those thoughts and questions with marketing content and programs. However, the occasional unfortunate output is a standard, somewhat generic list of audience types, common themes and challenges, and a content strategy that addresses them. Combine that with a crowded competitive landscape, and what do you get?

A whole lot of content about the same damn thing. Goodbye, uniqueness!

So let’s do a mental inventory of wiggle room when it comes to creating content aligned to specific audiences at scale: although there might be commonalities – there are still ways to create uniqueness within common content themes:

    • Delivery Mechanism, format, or channel
      Infographics began gaining popularity in 2012 for their ability to visually communicate complex sets of information. It is argued that information communicated visually can be understood quicker, and the infographic format is easily shared on social media. Infographics are a great example of changing the delivery mechanism or format of the content idea to make it more unique.


    • Perspective
      Is your CEO responsible for generating the thought leadership content for the blog? Are product managers the main source of product-use information? Think about changing the perspective from which certain content themes are addressed. In a complex purchase – there could be up to 10 different roles on a buying committee, each with some skin in the game for a different reason. That’s potentially ten different perspectives on a common business challenge that you can unpack with your content.


  • Source
    Maybe it’s time to let your community address some of the common questions, challenges, and decision points on the minds of your prospects. Current customers, analysts, and enthusiasts can provide a wealth of user-generated content for you if you let them and enable them. What’s more, many analyst reports will cite peer reviews and interaction as a valuable resource throughout a buying process. Don’t get me wrong, communities take time to build and nurture – but once thriving – they can make a huge difference in how your organization ranks as a credible resource in the eyes of a searching prospect who has a business challenge.