Why news media and content marketers can’t just publish what everyone else is publishing 

Estimated read time: 2 minutes



News publishing and content marketing publishing have a lot in common and here’s another one to add to the list:

Publishing what everyone else is publishing won’t set you apart. 

Let’s start with content marketing in health care. February is Heart Month and many healthcare organizations publish healthy heart tips or how to spot a heart attack. Since so many are writing about the same thing very few organizations will actually see return on their not-so-unique stories. 

Maybe share a unique story from your organization: How a patient and his doctor overcame an unusual heart issue or a local trend, for example. Link to the Heart Association for the other stuff. Or last year’s post.

Share your unique stories. Focus on what’s original to you. Link to the rest. 

In news media, I’m following a number of local media outlets from around the globe. Sometimes they  share local news. Many times, I also see them sharing national news that I’ve already seen on 4-15 other sites.

How can this be a differentiator? Are there really that many divided audiences?   It must work just well enough, but I’m wondering.

It used to make sense, though. When I got into the newspaper business in the late 1990s, the top national and even global stories in my local paper made sense. There was no Twitter or Facebook and the Internet was slow. Remember dial-up? Seeing those stories and the local news in my printed paper gave me one place to read it all.

But today, whether it’s in news or content marketing, think twice before publishing what others have already published a bunch of times. At the least, put a unique angle on it. Don’t use stock images. I’ve seen similar articles from different competing organizations in my social feed and both used the same stock image. Doh!

Imagine  all the staff hours that could be freed up if content creators (journalism and content marketing) would focus on creating unique content and stories only. Link to the general stuff elsewhere – if it’s even needed. 

That could be awesome, so much more enjoyable for the reader … and make social media feeds less repetitive.