Finding Your Voice: How To Be Unique In A Loud Marketplace

Imagine you’re in a room full of people all trying to sell something. You need to make yourself seen, heard and fascinating enough to get picked out of the crowd.

The problem?

The crowd is competing businesses on the Internet, and this room holds tens of thousands of other people.

Unless you’re in a very specific niche, you’re going to have competition. 

Just think…

3.5 billion Google searches are made every day (according to InternetLiveStats.)

Of course, not all of those are about topics related to your business. But it’s a good bet that your marketplace is crowded and loud. How do you get yourself noticed in the sea of competition?

Note: this blog post isn’t about polishing your entire brand identity. That would tail into thousands and thousands of words. Today, we’re focusing on your brand “tone of voice” and how having a unique voice can make you stand out in a flooded market. 

Picture this: imagine the Internet suddenly banned all imagery and pictures overnight. Based solely on the way your website, social media, blogs and any other piece of content was written, would you still be recognisable, interesting and clickable? 


Why is brand voice important? Isn’t it just “writing”?

Even if you’re not a professor of English, well-crafted and focused written content is critical to making your brand stand out.

If you’re choosing between two vendors, the one whose written content makes you pay attention and invest your focus is far more likely to get the sale than written content that’s boring, run-of-the-mill or even riddled with errors. Writing with mistakes in it looks sloppy and unprofessional - not necessarily someone trustworthy enough to buy from.

When the market is this crammed, there’s no room for sloppy writing. 

But a brand voice is more than error-free writing.

Your brand voice is the personality and character conveyed by your business's written content. 

It’s personal. It captures you and your company, and makes potential readers feel like they’re being spoken to by an individual brand or person rather than a faceless entity through a screen. It slices through the generic content out there and makes your brand individual, unique and memorable.

In summary, a solid brand voice:

  • Adds personality to an otherwise faceless brand
  • Helps craft a community, particularly on social media
  • Drives conversation and engagement with customers
  • Improves customer experience
  • Ensures consistency

That last one is important - as your brand grows, it’s likely that you’ll have to delegate responsibility for crafting content to other people. The content they create needs to sound the same as the rest, or it’ll feel disjointed and hasty.

Your brand voice should be representative of you and your brand's personality. A law firm's tone of voice will be straightforward and authoritative, while a travel agency aimed at young adults may be friendlier and laid back. You can check out our blog post about defining target audiences through product descriptions here.

To get you started, think of crafting standout content in three stages:

Stage 1: Who

Who are you helping/selling to? Know them inside out, so you can craft content that resonates with them.

Stage 2: How

How are you helping them? What makes you different to your competitors? Don’t expect your customers to figure it out on their own.

Stage 3: Create

Create content that’s fully informed on these two points to already be miles ahead of competitors who cast wide, thin nets of content in the hopes of catching the odd customer.

You know your audience better than anyone. Write for them, from you.


How do I stand out from the competition with unique content?

We’ve covered the importance of having good content with an individual personality - now we need to learn how to use it.

Standout, unique content technique #1: inform, don’t sell

Don’t get us wrong - generating the sale is the ultimate goal of all content marketing. But if every single piece of content is single-mindedly chasing a sale, customers will probably get bored.

Instead, spread sale-driven content periodically, and ensure your content informs and provides value to the reader.

This could take the form of blogs, case studies and social media posts. It demonstrates that you’re got expertise in your industry, showcases that you've got interesting things to say, and that helping your customers out is your main goal, not just getting into their wallets. It’s a trust building technique. 

Think of it this way - everyone in your industry is trying to sell the same thing. Offering seriously helpful content sets you apart from competitors who are only interested in the sale. 

If a customer can see you know what you’re talking about and that you can offer value in addition to your products, then they’re far more likely to do business with you. People prefer buying from brands they like, after all.

Standout, unique content technique #2: write with a focused goal

Throwing out content and hoping it achieves something will never hit the mark. Write every piece of content, be it a social media post or a blog article, with a focused goal and purpose in mind.

Are you trying to encourage a sale? Are you trying to get customers to sign up to your newsletter? Are you trying to get them to participate in an event or competition?

Use call to actions to encourage your readers to take the action you want. Never assume they’ll figure it out on their own - no one has time for that.

Solid calls to action mean that every piece of content has a point and a goal, even if it isn’t a direct sale. It elevates your content from random posts every now and again to well-crafted pieces that customers really engage with and remember.

Standout, unique content technique #3: understand the difference between writing for the Internet and general writing

Consumer habits have changed irrevocably over the past few years, and successful, standout content understands this.

Customers perusing the web don’t have the time or patience to sift through fluff content to find what they need. They know that if they aren’t happy with a brand, they can find another quickly. 

Unique content that stands above the stuffed market needs to be written with these behaviours in mind. We know it needs to be:

  • Error-free
  • Personalised with your own brand voice
  • Informative, helpful and inviting
  • Targeted with a clear goal and calls to action

But writing for the web requires more. It needs to be accessible and readable. The Internet is a crowded place, so readers are naturally suspicious. Making your already well-crafted content as easy to read as possible will catapult you above competitors who can’t let go of writing in the same style as they did in school. 


WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IN PRACTISE?

  • Write compelling headlines that are compelling, straightforward and informative
  • Write for scan readers with informative sub-headings, digestible lists, bullet points and numbers
  • Get to the point without waffling
  • Limit long sentences and chop long blocks of text with paragraphs and white space
  • Use keywords organically and naturally throughout the text to better the chances of your content being found
  • Update regularly and stay relevant
  • Promote your content to ensure it gets seen by your audience
  • Consider hiring a professional

Writing standout, unique content takes time and practise. We offer professional content writing and content marketing services here at Open Door Internet that engages and persuades - and we can help with promoting it too.

Posted by Victoria Brock on August 20th 2019

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