You are often told to find your niche in content marketing — to carve a path through unexplored territory with a narrowly defined audience. As generally told, finding your niche is the only way to succeed in marketing.
But instead, find your key differentiator to establish your competitive edge. By zeroing in on what you are best at — what you can do better than anyone else. That can set you apart, even in the most saturated market.
What is your Key Differentiator?
In simple terms, your key differentiator is what you are best at. Your differentiator can be anything- customer service, tone of voice, humor, and may even seem unrelated to what you are selling. Chartr’s differentiator is their charts. Zappos’ differentiator was their customer service.
Every product, service, and brand has a key differentiator — a way that makes them rise above the competition. As a marketer, your job is to find your key differentiator and project it across all marketing channels.
Your Key Differentiator is not your Niche
When brands attempt to “find their niche,” they divide an existing market into increasingly more specific segments, attempting to capture the entire target audience within that segment. But by focusing on your brand differentiator — rather than carving out a niche — you can successfully enter an existing, competitive market.
For instance, since The Hustle covers business and technology, they technically compete against media publications like The New York Times. And yet, The Hustle created a name for themselves because of their unique voice. Even though their target market could read the same stories through other outlets, their tone and voice gave them a competitive advantage.
At CrowdTamers, we have/had a few clients who operate in similar or parallel industries. But if you read content from those two clients (within the same industry) side-by-side, two posts would sound nothing alike.
How To Find Your Differentiator: Defining Your Competitive Edge
To define your brand differentiation, you need to ask yourself the question, “What am I amazing at?” Once you find your key differentiator, you need to reflect it across all messaging channels.
Focus on the ‘How’ — Not the ‘What”
All too often, creators focus on what they’re creating. They want to launch a finance blog or create a newsletter on tech startups, thinking there’s only one way to be the best in that space.
Which simply isn’t true.
Rather than focusing on your end product/service, your what, focus on your how. How you — and only you — can deliver this product differently. Could you provide short, easy-to-digest snippets of information? Can you design infographics that help break down complex topics? Will you bring a sense of humor to an otherwise stale industry?
While these key differentiators may seem small, they make a big impact when setting your brand apart from the competition.
Carry Your Differentiator Throughout Your Marketing Strategy
Once you understand your key differentiator, you need to carry it throughout every channel, medium, and touchpoint.
To win at your key differentiator, you need to stay consistent and continuously search for ways to improve.
You must continuously publish content that highlights the uniqueness of your product or service.
Your Differentiator Helps You Stand Out
Many individuals wrongly believe that it is a mistake to enter a highly-competitive industry. However, no two companies approach business exactly the same way — which means no one can do it as you can.
By finding your key differentiator focusing on how you do business (instead of what you produce), you can create a name for yourself in a competitive space. Once you discover what makes you unique, you need to carry those elements throughout your entire content marketing strategy.