Tell me, does any of this sound familiar?
“I’d love to publish more content, but my competitors seem to have already covered all the topics.”
“There are so many big sites in my niche that I feel my content could never break through.”
“I know I should launch a content strategy, but I struggle to find a way to beat large SaaS blogs.”
If so, then the good news is that you’re not alone.
Many SaaS founders feel intimidated by the prospect of having to compete with large sites for traffic and audience too.
But even better news is that outperforming your competitors isn’t as difficult as you think.
And in this post, I’ll show you 4 ways to create content that beats even the largest site.
Intrigued? Let’s not waste any more time then.
#1. Become Laser-Focused On Answering Your Target Audience’s Specific Questions
Every time you begin creating a new piece of content, you need to choose out of many options:
- You could target popular keywords or phrases your audience uses in the search.
- Guess what information they might be interested in, follow you gut feeling, and focus on topics you THINK would engage them.
- Or research what specific questions they ask and create content that answers them in detail.
But if you really want to create content that stands out and beats everyone else’s output, then you have to focus on that last option.
To outperform the competition, you need to become laser-focused on delivering content to your audience’s specific needs.
- Create content providing highly practical and actionable advice your reader could start implementing in their business right away, and…
- Focus each content piece on a single issue, rather than trying to cover broad and generic topics.
Here, let me illustrate it with some examples:
Here’s a post I published on Beacon’s blog.
This is one of the posts Neil Patel wrote for Crazy Egg:
And here’s advice Hubspot shared with agency owners:
Note that none of these posts focus on general areas.
They don’t tell you how to create a lead magnet or how to use Linkedin. And they offer no advice on how to run an agency.
Instead, they help overcome highly-specific audience’s problems: writing an engaging introduction, growing a Linkedin network or assessing how your company’s really doing.
Sure, when it comes to search rankings, these posts might not show for generic phrases.
But when it comes to engaging the audience, I’m sure they can overdo a lot of basic content.
#2. Create Content That’s Easier to Promote
Promotion is the secret sauce of any content strategy.
You could write the most compelling content piece, provide the exact specific advice your audience needs, and top it with actual steps they need to implement it.
Unless you position it right in front of them, your content will most likely fall into obscurity.
And it will get there faster than you could even imagine.
Well, let’s look at some data:
According to MarketingProfs, 2 million blog posts were published daily last year.
The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmarks Report discovered that 42% of marketers publish new and original content multiple times per week.
And although the company didn’t include the same question in this year’s survey, they did find out that 76% of marketers plan to create even more content than last year.
And so, it goes without saying, doesn’t it?
With such fierce competition, promotion is your only chance to reach the target audience.
But here’s the trick:
Instead of starting the promotion after you publish the content, optimize it for easier reach while you’re writing it.
Here are a couple of ideas how:
Include influencers you could reach out to and ask for shares or comments.
Try to find 2-3 quotes and references that would help you validate your points. These could be direct words, research findings, or examples showing how an influencer used a similar strategy on their site, for example.
Include them in your content, referencing the influencer, their personal and business websites (if they’re different) and the source of the content.
Note: don’t neglect the power of reciprocity when using this technique. The more visibility you offer the influencer (i.e. by linking not only to the article you lifted the quote from but also their site and explaining what they do), the greater the chance they’ll want to help you out too.
Create custom graphs and data visualizations others could use on their sites, share on social media, etc.
Visuals play an increasingly important role on the web. As our willingness to read long blocks of copy diminishes, the number of images we use to illustrate our points increases.
But instead of just grabbing visuals from the web, consider creating ones yourself. This way, you increase the chances of someone else actually using them in their copy, referencing your content in return.
For example, this article by TrapIT references data from Time. However, it includes visuals that do not appear in the source article. I assume that they were created by TrapIt to illustrate those points.
#3. Build in The Authority into Your Content
Authority is a big deal when it comes to attracting and building an audience.
It can help you convince someone to read your content, and build trust to convert them into a lead.
And so, to beat the competition, you need to create content your audience would consider more authoritative.
Luckily, as Dr. Robert Cialdini points out, authority is a perceived value, meaning that there are ways to make your content seem authoritative.
According to Dr. Cialdini, we use various cues like a uniform, title, or possessions to identify someone as an authority.
For example, we typically consider anyone who is wearing an official uniform as an authoritative figure.
Similarly, we consider content that includes certain cues as more authoritative than others.
Here are some of them:
Relevant Expert and Influence Quotes. I actually used this cue a couple of paragraphs above when explaining authority as a perceived value.
#4. Target Different Content Types
Sometimes the easiest way to beat the competition is by showing up where they’re not.
If your competitors already dominate the market with their blog posts, then focus on other content types. For example:
- Launch a Slideshare channel. Here’s a nice case study outlining the power of Slideshare.
- Repurpose your content on Linkedin Pulse. Adam from Blogging Wizard offers some great tips on getting started with this strategy.
- Publish on Medium. And you can find many SaaS founders publishing there already.
- Start a podcast. SaaScribe does it already, by the way.
- Publish original pieces on your industry’s community sites.
The opportunities are many.
But what’s important, each of these channels offers incredible opportunities to reach out to your audience and attract traffic.
Of course, run a blog in parallel too. For one, you will be able to repurpose a lot of your articles onto those channels.
But focus your promotional efforts in the places where your competitors aren’t as strongly present.