Content: does it really have to be unique?

If something is ‘unique’ it means it is the only one of its kind and unlike anything else. Trying to create unique content is a troublesome dilemma content marketers, producers and writers alike will often find themselves experiencing.

At first glance, it might seem like every possible content idea has already been created – like there are no more lands to explore or seas to name. However, while it may be too late to sail the seas and discover new oceans, there are still infinite possibilities for new discoveries among the stars.

Finding something unique to add to the universe of existing content will prove to be difficult (who even has the time?), but not to worry – content doesn’t actually need to be all that unique! Providing your audience with in-depth, helpful content on existing topics that you’re an expert in is still valuable. You don’t need a totally unique idea as long as you can ensure you’re adding an insightful opinion on the content that is already available. That’s not to dissuade you from trying to create the uncreated, just don’t get too hung up on trying to produce original content all of the time.

To provide an indication of just how much content is created daily: it’s estimated that –

300

hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Source

95m+

pictures and videos are uploaded to Instagram each day.
Source

2.8m

blog posts have been written today alone, at time of writing.
Source

The benefits of creating unique content

If you are fortunate and do have the time and resources to create original content all the while, the benefits are certainly fruitful.

1. SEO

Original content is great for search engine optimisation (SEO). If you write an article on a topic that’s never been addressed, you’ll have a great opportunity to rank at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for that term.

2. Authority

Not only that but if you’ve created an original piece of content that proves popular, your site will be considered a thought leader and an authority on the topic.

From an SEO standpoint, having your content appear at the top of a Google search is most definitely awesome. For larger brands and authoritative publications, especially, it’s easier to publish a generic article on ‘How to make a cup of tea’ and still rank highly for that title on a Google search. As you can see from this search result, the top ranking companies on the SERP are some of the big players in the tea industry and also publications that have an established authority. Further highlighting the amount of content out there, just below the first links are a few examples of the countless graphic images created on how to make the perfect cuppa.

This unassailable competition could suggest that smaller businesses and brands would be creating the same content in futility. But just because an SMB may not seize a top ranking position from one of the big boys (yet), it doesn’t mean creating that content had no benefit whatsoever.

Why you don’t have to create unique content

1. Your content is valuable to your audience

For example, why shouldn’t hypothetical business, Tilly’s Tea Rooms, create the same piece of content for their relatively small number of dedicated customers who often go directly to their site to consume content? They’ve got 500 followers on Twitter, as well as a number of blog and email subscribers who love reading the content they produce and share. Okay, they’re not going to win any awards for doing so, but if their content is interesting and their audience finds it helpful, who cares if it’s not unique!?

Tilly’s have been making pots of tea for 50 years and have learnt a lot of their own subtle techniques along the way. The experience they have in brewing means their blog article, although similar by title, offers their own perspective and originality in their unique style and tone of voice. Using the same discussion point as someone else isn’t just okay, it’s necessary. If no one was permitted to write about the same thing, the internet would only have one perspective on any one subject – which would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

2. Your content can still be seen

What’s more, Tilly’s has built relationships with a number of online influencers who often share their content with their considerable followings. One such influencer could be The Tea Review Blog who’ve accumulated over 12,000 followers on Twitter and are a social authority in this space. Whenever they share Tilly’s articles it leads to a spike in website visitors and spreads brand awareness. An increase in website visitors stemming from the influencer-shared content can then (ideally) lead to increased sales of Tilly’s afternoon tea packages. Pretty valuable, right?

 

So, while it might be beneficial to produce show-stopper content the likes of which the world has never seen, there’s certainly plenty of value in contributing to existing topics and offering your own take. A valiant, steadfast plan to develop content on completely unexplored topics will undoubtedly sap so much of your time and energy that you’ll be left with barely any time to actually create the content. The best content marketers recognise this and will ensure they achieve the best of both worlds. Finding the right balance between creating new, unique content and an original take on existing topics is the way forward. Now who wants a cup of tea?