Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why your website content needs to be specific

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Web content needs specificity. Every once in a while, people say to me: Why do we need to be so specific? We didn’t do that previously? We just shared the typical stuff.

And that’s the problem, many people are sharing the typical things. These are the facts. In the case of healthcare you can easily google and look up them up on WebMD, the Mayo Clinic’s site and others. And that’s the problem. Most people’s site won’t rank high in Google for generic content that has also been published by who knows how many others.

Why do people publish generic content to begin with?

That’s a question for those that do. 🙂 But seriously, most likely because it’s easier and safer. I’ve talked to writers before who tell me that their process to writing blog posts includes googling the topic and then writing a blog post based on what they learned from the stuff already readily available on the web. There’s no way to make that a unique blog post. Yes, the words may not have been said in the exact way this writer is writing it, but the content is still the same.

It’s also safe to publish content that is widely accepted as being the fact of the land. If we publish simply the same stuff everyone else is publishing, we won’t be raising any eye brows, nobody will argue with us over our opinion and we’ll fly under the radar. But, flying under the radar also means that people won’t find out content.

Finally, some people might think it’s good enough. I remember way back in the phase when newspaper editors were trying to get ahead of the digital transformation. “It just needs to be good enough to be published on the web” was something I’ve heard many times across the industry.

How do we go about getting unique content for our website?

Once you decide to want to share unique content, it’s actually quite easy and often becomes a habit. Take my blog as an example. I can’t stop sharing stuff. It’s a habit. Maybe an obsession?

I’ve seen people without any experience in authentic storytelling content marketing do this. They start with the understanding that uniqueness can trump many things when it comes to content creation on the web. They decide on their audiences and their business goals for the content and before you know it their content, which is always educational, informational and sometimes controversial enough, is being published on a regular schedule.

Once the direction has been set:

  • Keep looking for unique things happening in an organization.
  • Empower people to share stories.
  • Spot trends and share those trends publicly. Are we seeing a rise in certain surgeries, for example! What’s our theory? What have we heard? Why is that happening?
  • Share opinions – even if they aren’t mainstream. Just be sure to back them up and stand by them. Once you are publicly stating things, expect people to respond publicly.
  • Share local stories, events and trends. Especially in healthcare where hospitals are trying to outrank local competitors, local unique stories can make a huge difference.

The biggest thing to actually being able to taking the step to sharing unique and valuable content is to decide that you want to. Then determine who’ll lead the charge and give them the authority to actually lead. Then start sharing. Once you are at it for a bit, make sure to measure what’s working and what’s not.

Conclusion: Unique website content

While it’s okay to repeat some of the generally accepted facts of our industries on our websites, the unique stories will be the ones that’ll set us apart. The key is to figure out what needs to be unique, what can restate accepted facts and what doesn’t need to be included at all. It’s quite okay to link to other sites that offer the information that we don’t and that our readers might care about.

Everyone has unique stories. Every organization. Every business. Every person. Every family. We just need to take the time to look for them, identify them and then share them on our website and other relevant channels.


Christoph

Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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