The idea that unique and authentic content is a critical digital marketing success factor might seem obvious at first. After all, would you expect to see identical ads for Ford and Chevy? You wouldn’t, and if you did, you might rightly wonder what they were thinking.
And yet, there’s an argument made in some marketing circles that it is more important to be active in the digital space than it is to be original. Some industries, like financial services (where we are focused), have compliance requirements that the content must adhere to, which leads to a more homogenous type of content by law. In that context, firms sometimes ‘give up’ trying to create original content that satisfies compliance, and opt instead for content that is canned, bland, and the same across the land. Being active with digital marketing seems to be more important than being original with the content.
There are two underlying fallacies to this line of thinking. First, the inward focus on what are really creativity challenges and the resulting shortcuts to get around compliance ignore the impact on the perceptions of the audience when they see the same content from you and your competitor(s). If you elicit a ‘what are they thinking’ response, you can be sure they are not thinking about buying from you. Second, ‘hard’ does not mean impossible. In fact, we find most compliance teams are very reasonable about their critiques of the content (although to be fair they’ve come a long way). If you retain a team like us that is experienced in financial services, you’ll find the compliance challenges become almost non-existent.
As part of understanding why the uniqueness of content is so important, let’s look at what well-written, unique, and authentic can do for your brand:
- Differentiation: In a crowded digital landscape, unique content sets your brand apart from competitors. It allows you to simultaneously emphasize what you do best and contrast you from your competitors. It helps you stand out and leaves a lasting impression on your audience, increasing the likelihood of them remembering your brand.
- Brand Identity and Consistency: Authentic content reflects your brand’s values, personality, and voice. Consistently sharing authentic content helps establish and reinforce your brand identity, making it easier for consumers to connect with your business on a deeper level.
- Brand Authority: By consistently producing high-quality, unique content on topics relevant to your industry, you position your brand as an authority in your field. This authority can attract more customers and business opportunities.
- Credibility and Trust: Original and authentic content builds trust with your audience. When people see that you are offering something valuable and genuine, they are more likely to believe in your expertise and trust your products or services. Authentic content also allows you to convey things like your fundamental brand beliefs, how you do business, and what your brand stands for. You’ll more easily attract prospects that share the same perspective and beliefs, and they are more likely to become your best clients.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search engines, like Google, prioritize unique and valuable content in their rankings. By creating original content, you improve your chances of ranking higher in search results, driving more organic traffic to your website.
- Social Media Engagement: People are more likely to engage with and share content that is novel, interesting, and authentic. This engagement can lead to increased visibility, broader reach, and greater brand exposure.
- Enhanced Conversion Rates: Content that addresses the specific needs and interests of your target audience, including educating them on your products and services and being tailored to different stages of the buying cycle, has a higher chance of converting leads into customers. Authenticity in your messaging can also lead to more conversions, as people are more likely to buy from brands they trust.
These factors are all relevant and important. A case can be made for originality solely on the Differentiation dimension; you’ve got to position your offerings differently to capture your audience’s limited attention span.
We’ll add one final consideration. Publishing digital content that looks like everyone else’s makes you look like you don’t get it – it makes you look lazy. Not wise, not experienced, not mature – lazy. And that’s not a good look when it comes to marketing, digital or otherwise.
If you’d like to work with a firm that’s experienced and wise when it comes to the ways of digital marketing, give the experts at JQLaCorte a call. We’re happy to help.