The new buzz words are “content marketing” and/or “content messaging”. I know there are magazines touting its importance, and articles galore attempting to explain it, yet, when someone identifies what they think represents good content, the content seems to have a “ditto” feel to it.

Each year, we are exposed to scores of different industries. We always ask our clients to tell us what the three most important ingredients which make up their value proposition. We want to know the “how” they sell, not the “what”. In other words, don’t talk about your product/service; in most cases, it is a commodity. The “how” may mean you “deliver on time”; “provide accurate invoices” or “provide free training”. We then search their website and marketing materials for evidence they are promoting those things; and more importantly, that those things are being measured.

Rarely can it be found. And, sadly when there is a trace of it, the message is generic: “We are committed to on time delivery”, “Our team is knowledgeable and experienced”. Really? Do you think your competition isn’t saying that too? Do you think your customers/prospects would even consider you if those were not a given?

Make sure you can support your claims with provable metrics; stand out from the crowd.

Test your message. Get some agreement internally as to what you think your customers and prospects value in their buying decision. Then explore your website for how you communicate those “deliverables”. Rather than say, for example, “we are committed to safety”, why not say “our safety record is 15% higher than the industry standard”– of course, only if it true! (Insert your own metrics) But do what you can to stand out from the crowd.

Next, view the websites of your top competitors. Look for content message similarities. We often find the content so similar, we joke that all the competitors must have the same web design company. It would be funny if the messaging wasn’t dangerously homogenous.

Differentiation is how you build a solid, relevant value proposition by content messaging that relays how good your company is in the things your customers and prospects value most!

Check your website and marketing/sales material. Is your content messaging significantly different than your competition? What relevant metrics do you tout?

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