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Issue #43
November 9, 2022

My take on the intersection of marketing + life

Hi 👋

My teenage boys are 6’4” and 6’1.” We bought them identical black suits for our daughter’s wedding.

When the “shorter” one told me his suit pants needed to be fixed post-wedding, I took him to the seamstress. He was right — they were way too big. So much so that I asked: “Could these possibly be your brother's pants?”

“Nope. They were this big on me at the wedding."

If you’re a parent — or ever had brothers — you know what happened next.

My older son called from school a few days later. “Hey, I think I brought my brother’s pants back with me. I can’t button the one's I've got.”

Big surprise. 🙄

Besides the extra $35 to reverse the tailoring, this isn’t really such a big deal.

But, when it comes to content, creating an identical blog to your competitor is a big no-no. And content managers know this. They're always asking: How do we cover the same topic and still make it compelling and different?

Insurance and risk businesses often put out information on the same topics. Whether there’s a new OSHA regulation or a new cybercrime threat, your customers need to know about it — and they want to hear about it from you, their trusted advisor.

Building out a content strategy with the following four pillars makes creating unique content a lot easier than identifying two identical-looking suit pants.

·      Audience.
Each business – yes, even competitors – have their own slice of the market. For example, is your clientele made up of small to mid-size businesses or large commercial entities? Are they in a specific industry, local market or vertical? Often times this is enough to differentiate the content because a regulation will apply to each demographic in a different way.

·      Distribution.
As long as you’re not relying 100% on SEO to drive your content to customers (I hope not!), then you’re leveraging multiple distribution channels that speak directly to them. They have come to rely on your expert information wherever you communicate with them. Think: Your email newsletter, an industry association or publication, your social media channels. When you distribute directly to your target audience, you’re not competing with others in the same way.

·      Expertise.
This is the secret sauce of your content marketing. Ask your experts: What do you know that our customers need to know? Bottle it up and shoot it out in the form of blogs, eBooks, white papers, podcasts, short videos, LinkedIn posts and more. I promise it won’t be the same as that of your competitors — yes, even content on the exact same topic. The ideas, best practices, tips/tricks your experts have are specific to your customers only.

·      Purpose.
What’s the purpose of a piece of content? If the goal is to make your customers aware of a new regulation, consider creating a bulletin instead of a blog. If your sales team reports major industry confusion on a topic that requires in-depth explination, create an eBook on the topic. Customers need a quick lesson on something? Make a short video. Tailor your content to your unique audience and it’ll never get old.

Yes, it’s 100% possible to create really good content no matter how many competitors are also doing it by... talking directly to your customers.

All the best,

Stuff worth reading

Content Marketing Institute: How to raise your brand's voice on issues that matter

Forbes: 3 trends that will shape B2B CMOs' 2023 planning

MarTech: B2B marketing confidence survives budget pressures

The Drum: B2B marketing and the rule of three in a recession

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