Don’t create content that tries to serve everyone. Columnist Rachel Lindteigen explains why specializing in one area will help you stand out from the crowd and deliver more value to your audience.
As marketers, we sometimes want to be everything to everyone. But the reality is, if we specialize and focus on one area, we can do our jobs better.
Finding your content niche is one of the major ways you can differentiate yourself and your content program. Focusing on one or two areas in particular can help you produce better content.
Why does specialization matter?
If you’re a blogger and trying to establish yourself in a market, it’s best to write about what you know or are most passionate about.
By doing so, you can write a more engaging piece of content, and hopefully, it will be well-received by your audience. Your readers will benefit from your experience and insights. You have real-world anecdotes and examples to share.
When you don’t have specialized content and you’re trying to serve everyone, your inexperience can show through in the form of high-level content that really says nothing. It may also take you a lot longer to write a post because you have to research or ask a lot of questions since you don’t know as much about the subject area.
For example, if baking from scratch is your passion and you decide to write a baking blog, you’re probably going to stay interested and engaged and have ideas flow pretty easily.
However, if you decide you want to add in content on cars because you want to partner with a car company in the future, but you really don’t know anything about cars, how much will your readers benefit? Will they learn anything new from you — or in the end, will they feel like their time was wasted by reading a piece of content that told them nothing?
Have you ever read a blog post and felt like it was a complete waste of time? What was your reaction?
In content marketing, it’s important that we know our subjects well in order to deliver high-quality content. Google rewards great content that includes insights, data, details and images — content that tells a story and helps readers better understand their initial query.
Specializing is easy when you’re in-house
Specializing leads to better results, whether you’re in-house or at an agency. When you’re in-house, you basically are a specialist because your brand or product serves as your niche.
You should know more about the brand or product than others outside of your organization. It should be easy for you to anticipate the questions your customers will have. And you should be able to create great content that answers those questions.
When you know your subject matter well, it’s easier to determine which content format you should use and how to re-purpose content and create pieces that support each other.
You can specialize in an agency environment, too
Being in an agency environment can have its challenges, but you can find your own niche market whether your agency defines theirs or not.
If the agency specializes in one area, then it’s a bit easier because they’ve chosen a niche market, and most of your client work will be related to that market. You’ll naturally become more of an expert in that area because you focus on it on a regular basis.
If you’re with an agency that hasn’t specialized or chosen a niche market, you can create your own. Even in an environment with multiple clients and verticals, you can choose to specialize in one part of content marketing.
It may not be your entire job function, or even within your job title, but having an area that you specialize in will help you provide better recommendations for your clients.
Choosing your niche
What are you most passionate about? Is there an area that you find yourself reading about on a regular basis and continually wanting to learn more about? That’s a perfect niche opportunity for you.
Maybe you’re most passionate about video marketing, and you want to know everything there is to know about video — which is not a bad area to specialize in, given how important video is to marketing in general and the growth it’s expected to see in the next few years.
You can learn about video and apply what you’ve learned from one client to the next. The industries may not be the same, but your background will help you develop strategies and answer questions about video in general.
You’ll know what’s worked and what hasn’t been as successful. You’ll know what clients should do to have better engagement and stronger results from their efforts.
How choosing a niche helps you stand out
When you talk with clients or customers, your knowledge and passion will come through. They’ll look to you as an expert and trust your recommendations more than if you don’t have a niche area.
With many things in life, when you try to do everything, you do nothing really well. And with content, or marketing in general, when you try to help everyone, you have to remain so high-level that it’s not really useful.
By specializing in one area, you can grow your knowledge, and in turn, provide more value to your readers, employer and clients.