How to stand out from the crowd

It’s incredibly easy in a big city to just disappear into the crowd, especially in a city like London, where even the subbiest of sub-sects can find a home. Which is why I admired him so much.

He was there, in the depths of incredibly non-hipster South London. Standing out. Looking fabulous. He was an individual, a unique snowflake in a sea of dark greys and blacks. In his turquoise velvet blazer, his frilled collar, his ripped jeans. Dripping with bling. And not giving a single f*ck what anyone thought of him – and there were clearly opinions. You could see it on the faces, in the stares. In his bravery.

This guy drew attention. He wasn’t flaunting his uniqueness, but he oozed confidence in his choices, in his brand.

This guy is your new content inspiration.

There is a lot of drivel out there these days. A lot of useless content. Everyone is doing it, because everyone says you NEED content these days. That’s the problem with this industry: everyone is doing it, but no one is thinking about it. A lot of agencies, a lot of writers, a lot of marketers, just phone it in; same old same old, just the names replaced and the keywords optimised.

In fact, VentureBeat this week wrote about a new report from Beckon, a marketing performance data platform, that found that branded content production is up 300% year-over-year – but just 5% of that content accounts for 90% of total engagement. And the primary cause of flat engagement? Low quality content.

Now, there are loads of studies out there, and lots of science, that will tell you how to make your content engaging, but unless you really know your brand story, none of that science will matter. The worst thing you can do is create content for content’s sake. Ask yourself these questions before even embarking on content: What is the purpose of this content? Where does it fit into the narrative? What’s your intent? Why does your audience care? How will you measure its success? What will count as a conversion?

And, of course, what makes you different? Why will people want to hear this from you? What can you say about this issue that only you can say?

Get those right, get that thinking behind the content before you embark on it, and you’re well on your way to standing out. In your own turquoise velvet blazer and frilly collar, not being afraid to say what you think and be true to yourself. And that’s what all great content should aspire to.