Here’s the thing about your content: it’s not unique.
I know that may have come off harsh; but trust me—it’s okay!
There are millions of blog posts published to websites and 500 hours of video published to YouTube each day.
If you’ve somehow cracked the code to creating brand-new content unlike anything else being published… let us know. If you’re like us and have accepted that your content isn’t unique, but there are ways to make it better than your competition’s, keep reading.
The thing about content is that there are a lot of variables that can set you apart from your competitors. For example, at DigitalMarketer we focus heavily on quality over quantity and making sure we’re consistent.
- When it comes to quality, we only publish top-tier content that will actually teach a reader what they came to learn
- To show you our consistency: you’ll see 2 blog posts and 2 podcast episodes go live on our website every week as well as our weekly DM Insider email newsletter, and that’s just the free stuff
Start adding in the paid content in our Lab membership and you’ll see that we practice what we preach. High-quality content on a regular basis is our (unnecessarily long) middle name.
But honing in on quality and consistency only sets us apart from the competition that isn’t trying as hard as we are in their content efforts—it’s not setting us apart from the competition that’s putting in the same amount of effort.
We have plenty of competitors (do you know how hard it is to rank for the keyword digital marketing?!) who are just as knowledgeable and consistent with their content calendar as we are.
So what makes us different?
We have a brand voice.
What is a Brand Voice?
To get DigitalMarketer heard above all of the other digital marketing content online, we made our content unique by giving it a specific voice… and you need to do the same for your business.
Just like you’d brand your business with colors and a logo, you need to brand your business with a voice. Sure, somebody can recognize your Instagram post when you brand it with your logo, but can they recognize who’s talking if you remove it?
That’s what a brand voice does. It helps people recognize your content among the competition and in turn, relate to it on a higher level.
A brand voice is the personality that shines through in your content via the tone, style, and personal signatures of your writing.
It’s how you’re going to make your customers choose you over the competition, even when your content covers the exact same topic.
For example, Bon Appétit Magazine has taken its brand voice seriously. The culinary publisher lives in an extremely saturated content industry, which means the only way they are going to stand out from everyone else hawking recipes online is to create a strong brand voice.
Take away any Bon Appétit branding and anyone familiar with their brand voice is going to be able to say, “This is definitely Bon Appétit talking about shallots right now.”
You seeing what we’re cooking here?
How Do I Create A Brand Voice?
At DigitalMarketer, our brand voice is inspired by our CEO Ryan Deiss. He’s the face of DM for good reason. He’s down-to-earth, he knows his stuff, and he loves a good Dad joke as much as the rest of us.
The problem is that Ryan is busy. He doesn’t have time to write every email, every article, and every lead magnet. We need his voice, even when he’s not able to be the one behind it.
The biggest challenge that arises when businesses try to implement a brand voice is keeping it consistent across every platform and every piece of content. This is especially difficult when there’s a team of people creating content for one company, and even harder if you don’t have a Ryan Deiss to base your brand voice off of.
Calling the ultimate brand voice cheat sheet… your brand’s style guide.
A style guide is incredibly important for any company (and I’m not just saying this as DM’s Managing Editor). If you’re going to be posting content, and especially if you’ll be posting as much as we do, you need to be able to hand your employees a cheat sheet that tells them exactly what to say and how to say it.
A style guide is something that all the big-name publishers have…
But don’t think that you should abstain from creating one just because you aren’t a publisher.
The point of a style guide is to define the brand voice so that each time a new piece of content is created, you can check it against the guide and ask, “Does this content fit our brand voice?”. The guide gives you the definitive yes or no, acting as your ultimate voice of reason.
By creating this style guide, you give your business the ability to say, this content isn’t right, let’s fix it based off of X section of the style guide.
Here’s what the DM style guide looks like:
This gets shared with every employee creating content at DigitalMarketer. Even small inconsistencies in your writing and voice can stand out and make you look like an amateur to your customer, so sharing this across your team is essential.
We know that Bon Appétit isn’t going to publish a blog post with the voice of a sweet old grandmother anytime soon. They’re going to stay fun and relatable. That consistency is what keeps their followers coming back for more…
Even when the same content can be found on hundreds of other websites.
No, your content isn’t unique—but your brand voice is. Nail your brand voice (and stay consistent!) and you’ll see that your content doesn’t have to be unique. It just has to make your customers feel connected to you.