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Think about the brands that are crushing it in today’s environment.

They don’t play it safe.

They are innovators who take risks.

While a functional website with polished visuals and responsive design elements is important, that alone will not drive success for your brand. Successful branding happens within organizations that understand the importance of unique content.

What Is UCDF?

A unique content differentiation factor (UCDF) is exactly what it sounds like. It’s that certain something about your content that sets your brand apart.

To better understand UCDF and what it means for your brand, ask yourself these questions:

What is it about your brand that makes you unique and makes you stand out within your content niche?

Why do your consumers seek out your content? Is it your expertise? Is it the way you approach content?

When you answer these questions, you will have found your UCDF.

What If I Don’t Have a UCDF?

If you had trouble answering the above questions, you are not alone.

Maybe your content blends in and contributes to the sea of information creating market noise. Maybe your customers and leads are not seeking out your content.

Rest assured that it’s never too late to improve your content strategy.

Here are 5 ways to develop your UCDF:

1. Start with Your Audience

Think about who you’re helping, what they need from you, and how you fulfill those needs. Aligning your UCDF with your customers is a great way to make sure it’s effective.

That’s the easy part.

There is bad news, however.

It’s very likely your competitors are doing the very same thing already. Therefore, it’s critical to take it a few steps further by executing on this step more effectively than your competitors.

2. Identify Gaps in Competitor Content

What pain points can your content address that competitors haven’t already tackled?

Go to their websites, read their ad copy, sign up for their newsletters, and see what topics they address. Find the white space and establish your brand there as a thought leader.

3. Help Consumers Know It’s All About Them

Sales 101 teaches that salespeople shouldn’t lead with their product or their service. Instead, the sale must focus on what the customer is thinking: what’s in it for me?

The same is true for content. Customers don’t care about you or your brand or even your product necessarily. They care about solving their own problems and pain points.

If consumers can rely on the fact that every single piece of your content will provide value for them and answer that all-important question “what’s in it for me?” they will trust your content and you will be on your way to your UCDF.

4. Think Outside the Box

Compelling and unique content comes in many forms. Blogs and articles are the easiest to produce; but once in a while get out of that box. Try some new formats, like:

Industry Survey. Some would argue this is the best and most effective way to set your brand apart and position yourself as a thought leader in the industry.

Compelling Video Content. Study after study proves that video content makes people stop and pay attention. Keep it cost effective by keeping it short, simple, informative, and, of course, well branded.

5. Walk Away and Let Go

That’s right. Close the laptop. Put the phone down. And walk away from work.

Recharging is the lifeblood of the creative process. By exposing yourself to experiences outside of your normal routine, you never know what inspiration you’ll find.

Give yourself the permission to not only take a break from work, but to take a break from playing it safe. Your competitors are likely to keep their content in the safe zone. If you go outside that zone and create content that takes risks, chances are you’ll come up with something unique and that is what you’re after when developing a UCDF.

So, Why Should My Brand Care About UCDF?

Your success on Google, social media, email, and other digital marketing channels depends on UCDF. Without those things, it is nearly impossible to connect with today’s consumer.

To make consumers stop long enough to notice your brand, you need to grab their attention and engage them. It’s how you will connect with them, nurture leads, and convert sales.

To grab and hold their attention, your brand must present content that has a unique factor – that certain something – that they haven’t seen before: your UCDF.