3 ways to ensure your content is as unique as your organisation is
As per the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of unique is:
particularly remarkable, special, or unusual
A somewhat (un-unique!) conversation that bubbles away in the content marketing space is around to what extent content needs to meet the criteria of “unique.”
At first glance, it seems that uniqueness is something of an impossible goal.
WordPress users alone produce about 54.2 million new posts every single month, and the premise of content shock – that being “there is now so much content that even producing great content is not enough” is alive and well.
Simply put, there is so much content out there.
So how can you, as public sector communicators, cut through all of that white noise?
How can you come up with content that is “remarkable, special or unusual” enough that people will engage with it?
I’ll set your mind at ease straight away.
Public sector communications is, by its nature, unique. Its goal is to help. For those in the private sector, it’s to sell.
When it comes to uniqueness, the difference between those operating for-profit, and those operating not-for-profit is acute.
That’s not to say that public sector communicators don’t need to ensure their content stands out. Simply that by virtue of their function and their nature, they are already unique.
The key is in making the most of this uniqueness.
Here are 3 ways you can ensure that your content is as unique as your organisation is:
For those operating in the public sector space, uniqueness lies in authority.
The purpose of content is to ensure that citizens understand public policy and that they are well equipped to access public services.
They are authoritative by virtue of the fact that they are not all about turning a profit.
An example. There is an authority in a public sector organization communicating information about the value of safety attachments for farm vehicles that is in line with public policy. More authority than, say, a manufacturer of vehicle attachments stating their value.
Tip: Own your authority. Describe your not-for-profit status prominently on the “about” section of your website and place a brief explainer on the bottom of your email newsletter.
Inject a personality
While public sector content may already be unique to some degree, that’s not to say that it doesn’t have to make an effort to be interesting.
A culture of risk aversion means that content produced by government departments, not-for profits and peak bodies can lack any real personality.
Simply reciting public policy and expecting it to be immediately accessible is not sufficient.
For example, rehashing policy documents that describe workers compensation regulations is not helpful.
Content must be digestible and geared towards citizen’s needs.
Observe the “voice” your organisation uses to communicate, and answer these questions:
What is the tone of your content? Is your tone appropriate to communicate your message? Does your tone uniquely represent who you are as an organisation?
If you can’t answer these questions, spend some time workshopping them.
Tip: Find your organisation’s voice – are you funny, conversational or official? Once you find it, use it consistently. Avoiding “policy-speak” not only makes your content more interesting, it builds credibility with your audience, too.
Know your audience, inside out
In order to ensure your content is unique (valuable and remarkable) you must know your audience.
For the public sector, the audience could be as broad as all Australian citizens accessing Centrelink payments, or as niche as anyone who has suffered from a rare form of genetic brain disease.
For content to be unique, you need to know exactly who it is you are speaking to.
You need to understand who they are, where they are, what they do, their hobbies, how they like to consume content, what content formats they favour and how often they want to see new content.
Using these insights when creating your content will enable you to be specific and purposeful – you won’t simply be contributing to the “white noise”.
Crafting content specifically for your audience will see you cut through the over-saturation of content.
Tip: As a communicator, see if you can answer those questions about your audience. If you can’t, take a look at what we recommend at the strategy stage when developing your personas.
Make the most of the unique position of the public sector by leveraging authority, taking risk enough to ensure your content has personality, and making sure you know exactly who your audience is.
This approach will see your unique organization produce equally unique content.
How will you make your content even more unique? Tell us in the comments below.
28 November, 2017