How does your business stand out from its competition?
Even if the products and services you offer are completely unique, it likely won’t be this way forever…but one thing always will be – your brand.
How you communicate what your business stands for can have a huge impact on potential clients. It may even be the difference between them deciding to work with you or your competitors.
So, even if you offer the same product or service as another business in your industry, there’s one factor that will differentiate you from the rest…your secret sauce, your content.
In this episode and blog post, I share how to find your brand’s secret sauce and use content to give people a taste of your business.
Press play to listen to the podcast episode…
Or watch the video below…
Or keep reading to find out how to create content so good, it’s your brand’s secret sauce…
Finding your secret sauce: a quick exercise
The first step in discovering your secret sauce content is to think about your brand and your competition.
Let’s try a little exercise.
Think about your business and your closest competitor. Take one minute and note down exactly what it is about their business and your business that you see as the same.
Make sure you’ve done this before you move onto the next part!
Now, once you’ve got your notes on what’s the same, I want you to think about what’s different between your two brands. Give yourself another minute to note down all of the differences you can see.
Alright, so for the first part of the exercise you noted down similarities. You probably noted down things like:
- We offer a similar product/service
- Our products/services are set at a similar price point
- We have the same target audience
Potential clients will often look at these factors first and compare you with your competitors. If all of these are the same or similar, they will look for other ways to find out which brand is a better fit.
In the second part of the exercise, did you notice that I changed my wording? I said “brand” not “business”. Because this is a major factor in helping people decide who to go for. The business model may seem the same, but the brand never is.
Your brand = your secret sauce recipe
If content is the meal, your brand is the recipe.
I’m not just talking about a brand identity here. Your brand image (aka logos, fonts, colors, etc.) is one thing, but I’m talking about how people interpret your brand on a much deeper level.
Your brand is your individual, iconic way of communicating what you do. It’s so much more than the products and services you offer – it’s your business’s edge.
A brand is a blueprint for your content. It encompasses your values, your beliefs, and sets the stage for how people will perceive your business and your offerings. Using your brand, you can create unique and powerful content that makes people feel something.
So, when you thought about the differences between you and your competitors, I’m sure your answers were something more like…
- Your values and vision
- Your mission and what you believe in
- How your products/services encompass your beliefs
These factors are the key players in differentiating your business from others in your industry. They’re how you define your brand and are the starting point for developing your content.
How content communicates your brand
Now you might be wondering why I’m talking about content in such close proximity to brand here…
Content is the number one way to communicate how you’re different to your competitors.
People aren’t mind readers – they need to be told and shown clearly, repeatedly, how you’re different, why you’re different, and what that means for them.
Content gives people a taste of what’s in store for them if they choose you. It’s that compelling ingredient that sparks intrigue, brings your brand to life, and keeps people coming back for more.
Plus, it’s something no other business can quite replicate – because nobody will be able to communicate the same mission, vision, and values in the way that you can!
How to create your secret sauce content
Here’s a three-step recipe for creating your own secret sauce.
Whether you’re just getting started with content or evaluating your brand image, this is a worthwhile exercise to go through to make sure your content is aligned with your brand and communicating the unique-to-you message.
1. Define and align
Go back to part two of the first exercise in this post and evaluate what you put down as differences between you and your competitors. These are the most stand-out and individual parts of your brand and will help you define what you want to create content about.
Your content should always align with your brand, your business, and your goals. Each piece of content you create should help you get closer to your ultimate vision for your business and defining the parameters early on means you’ll always be moving in the direction you want to be going – and not getting knocked off course.
This is the meatiest part of the process so here are some tips to help you work through it:
- Define your high-level mission, purpose, passion and values first, then use these to inspire content topics, making sure you know the motivations behind each one
- Involve your team – see how they perceive the brand and what ideas they have for your content
- Take your time – this is your secret sauce, it’s not going to be perfected overnight!
2. Decide on your delivery method
If you’re new to creating content, there are many things you need to consider here, such as:
- What format do my audience like to consume content in, e.g., podcast, video, blog?
- What content do I want to create?
- Which content type am I best at creating?
- Which platforms should I repurpose content to?
It’s best to think about these things first, and then have a sneaky peek at what your competitors are doing.
Say your closest competition is creating content for YouTube. This shows you two things 1) that there’s an audience for your products/services on YouTube, and so it might be worthwhile diving into that arena too. But it also indicates that 2) there might be untapped potential elsewhere, e.g. in the podcast space.
Choosing your content format is tough, but remember this: it’s better to share great content in a crowded space, than poor content in an area with less competition.
A brilliant podcast is better than a bad video or blog post, regardless of the competition. So my advice is to let your personal preference guide you, but always do your competitor research, so you’re aware of what else is going on in our space.
3. Create and share your secret sauce content!
Once you’ve made your decision on what format you want to create your content in, the next step is to give people a taste of your brand – aka actually create the content and distribute it.
This is where you tie everything together. You plug your values and vision into your content, package it up, and send it out into the world, ready to be consumed.
Authenticity is key here. Nothing is going to set you apart from your competitors like staying true to your brand, so lean into it, and you’re guaranteed to create totally irresistible content.
There are two things you have to bear in mind when creating and distributing content. The first is, whatever type of content you decide to create, whether it’s video, podcast, blog, or something else, go all-in on that platform. The more you focus on creating great content for that platform, the bigger impact it will have.
The second thing is to repurpose that content to different platforms. While making an impact on your chosen platform should be your first priority, you want to make sure you’re reaching your target audience in other places too.
For example, they might not all listen to podcasts, so repurpose your podcast into social media posts. Or your blog post into a video. Make sure repurposing isn’t an afterthought. If you think about it now, it’ll be much easier to implement down the line, and reach a bigger audience when your brand is ready to expand.
And that’s it – the three-step recipe to creating your secret sauce!
So if you’re worried about standing out from your competitors, get to work on understanding what makes your brand truly unique and incorporate it loud and clear in your strategy.
Now go find your secret sauce and give people a taste of your brand!
I hope this post has given you some food for thought about your strategy and what goes into your content. If you liked it, do share it on LinkedIn, send it to a friend, or let me know your thoughts. You can find me @content10x on all the usual social media platforms.Find out how