I love success stories.
There’s normally a business lesson in them.
Take this example.
In 2009 UberCab was founded in California. They wanted to be a luxury budget taxi company.
Talk about mixed messages.
They started with one driver and an S-Class Mercedes. UberCab was just another company in a crowded market. Two years and nothing.
In 2010 UberCab had a facelift. A new business plan was implemented. They dropped ‘Cab’ from the company name.
The rest is history.
In less than a year Uber established a new market. They removed the competition.
When they first promoted themselves they didn’t need to make big claims about the service they offered they just had to explain what they did.
Uber grew very quickly (in December 2014 they were valued at US $40 billion)
Of course, as soon as they became successful competitors move in. It became harder to get exposure. Growth slowed.
Now think about your blog. I’m sure there are a lot of competitors in your niche. They are all fighting over the same traffic and most of them are producing the same content.
To get lots of customers in a competitive niche you need to be different. Uber different.
A Lesson In Advertising
Eugene Schwartz was one of the most famous copywriters of the 20th century. He mastered the art of selling products in a crowded market.
After he became successful he told people how to do it. Being a marketing man he called his tactics a theory (it’s more memorable that way); ‘The Five Stages of Market Sophistication.’
You’ve got to hand it to him. The name is intriguing.
You just want to click a link and find out more. Check out the video below instead to learn about his theory.
Interesting theory right? Especially that last stage. The one about the ultimate product. Sounds familiar.
As a blogger I’ve heard a lot of people talk about ultimate posts. They are supposed to be amazing and unbeatable (and to be fair most of them are very good).
Remember Uber before they became successful? Luxury budget. Sounds pretty ultimate to my ears.
Have you had the same problem with your ultimate post?
The Problem With Ultimate
I’ve read three guides already today that I would consider to be ultimate posts. Every single article was great. They were long. They were in depth and I wouldn’t be able to improve upon them. They had headlines like this:
– Viral Marketing Case Study: How a Brand New Blog Generated 17,584 Visitors in One Day
– How to Steal Your Competitors Best Content and Use It Against Them
– How You Can Create Content That Generates 40,000 Targeted Visitors
There are 1,840,000 ‘ultimate guides to blogging’ results on Google and more than 8,000,000 results for ‘how to steal your competitor’s content. Of course not all of these results are genuine, but these articles are part of a very crowded marketplace.
Now imagine writing another post on this topic. You know the audience has already seen a lot of ultimate posts.
That doesn’t mean writing another ultimate post won’t get you traffic. It will, sometimes…
The problem is, by definition, there’s nothing better than an ultimate guide. When more than one million of them have been created your audience will stop reacting to the content. You won’t get the kind of traffic that your competitors received (even if you produced better content).
There is a simple solution to this problem though.
And Why I’d Rather Be Unique
Like Uber, you need to start thinking differently.
First, find content that you know people are interested in (here’s a nice how to guide for finding proven content ideas). Then make your content original or at the very least different. Here are three ways you can do this:
- Identify popular content that is so old most of your audience has forgotten about it.
- Give existing content a new focus.
- Re-target the same information to a different audience.
As the article below proves, you don’t need to make big changes to an idea to get a reaction from your audience. A slight change in focus can get great results.
The topic of the article is still headlines, but it was targeted at social media. By changing the focus it raised two questions (or desires in the minds of the readers):
1) Are popular social media headlines different from normal headlines?
2) Could this be the secret to getting more readers from social media?
The article resulted in more than 1,200 social media mentions. I’m sure it got the website a lot of visitors.
The content worked because it related directly to the audience’s needs and wants. Kim Garst did not just write another ‘how to’ headline article. She stood out from the marketplace.
Now it’s your turn. Share this with a friend if you found it useful and tell me what content strategies have worked for you.
P. S. Want to learn how I slashed my bounce rate by more than 60% overnight. It took me less than 30 minutes and I know you can do the same on your site. Really. Check it out. I promise you’ll kick yourself if you don’t.