When you’re looking at marketing your business, it soon becomes clear just how much competition you have out there. Not only do you have businesses that are directly competing in the same market as you, but you also have practically every other brand that’s competing for the attention of your audience, as well. It can be tough to stand out from a crowd that big and, yet, there are companies that do it. So, what does it take to stand above the competition, to be different, be notable, and be cut from a different cloth?
Know what your competitors are doing
Before you start thinking about what you can do to be different, you should make sure that you know what everyone else is doing. Otherwise, your idea of different might be exactly the same as the five biggest businesses that you’re directly competing with. There are tools that you can use to perform your own market research if you’re willing to put in the time. However, if you want quicker results that you can start working off immediately, then you might want to look at the competitor research services offered by some of the firms already out there. Once you’ve got your finger on the pulse, you want to keep it there so you can maneuver your brand when you need to, in order to keep up with changes in the market.
Make it about your niche
Your marketing message is very important. You want to make sure that you’re able to effectively communicate just what benefits your product can offer to people, as well as what problems it can help them solve. You don’t want to niche down so much that the basic benefits of your products or services get lost in the details. However, focusing on your unique selling point, or other aspects of your niche, such as a particular client base that your services are more suited to, can help you stand out from your direct competitors. A good niche helps you feel much more relevant to the specific needs of the market that you’re trying to target.
Have your very own style
There is a lot to be said for the power of consistency in your marketing. For one, if you’re able to find a visual style, including your imagery and color scheme, that stands out from the others, then this can help your brand become much more recognizable. However, consistency also highlights a certain sense of trustworthiness about your brand that’s worth cultivating. If you want to make sure that your brand stays consistent, you should work with a visual designer and come up with a brand style guide. This way, whoever you work with in the future, will be able to refer to it for ideas around your color scheme, your logo placements, and even your preferred fonts.
Use the power of search engines
One of the marketing tools that has exploded in popularity and prominence over the past decade has been the use of search engines. Most people who are browsing online are going to be doing so via Google, especially if they’re looking for a particular kind of business. SEO, or search engine optimization, is all about optimizing your site so that it’s more likely to appear at the top of the search results in response to any relevant search queries. However, if you’re willing to put some budget behind it, then you can also make use of tools such as Google ads, which get promoted above the organic search results to ensure that your brand’s name is one of the first things the searcher sees. If they see it above the rest, they’re more likely to click it, this is a proven fact.
Use social media more effectively
If you’re like most businesses that are operating online, then you already have a social media presence. If not, you should get started. But regardless of when and how you start, and on what platforms, there is one thing that’s going to help you ensure your success: your analytics. Social media analytic tools can help you keep track of which of your posts get the most engagement, allowing you to stop using what doesn’t work while replicating or building on what does. Always know how well your posts are doing so that you can make minor changes of course that keep optimizing your social media feeds.
Start cranking the content machine
Content is king. It’s a saying you’re going to hear a lot if you keep looking into digital marketing and it is very much true. Content marketing drives a ton of engagement through social media, search engines, and other discoverability platforms. A lot more people are finding businesses by looking for answers to a specific question or solutions to a certain problem. If you write the content that offers those answers or solutions, you can get them on your website. If you’re able to directly recommend your products and services as the answer that they are looking for, that’s even better. Make sure your content is valuable to your audience and relevant to your business, or else there’s no connection that will lead people to the point of conversion.
Focus on images, not just text
If your content is all text, then you’re doing it wrong. Images have been known to draw their attention much more effectively on social media. It can also make your content easier to deliver, as well. For instance, a customer might not be willing to read off a whole series of paragraphs full of stats, but they might be much more willing and able to engage with an infographic that turns it all into a much more digestible piece of media. Infographic makers are everywhere on the internet and are just one way of using the visual medium to convey your content more easily, which means more people are likely to engage with it.
Get ready for your close-up
Great visuals are going to be a lot more engaging than words alone, that much should be clear. However, there is one medium that conquers overall when it comes to getting the attention of your audience: video. With the help of a video production company, you can make sure that your brand has a great advertisement or you can use it to produce video content that gets more people interested in what your brand has to say, leading them to click onwards. Looking at social media alone, it has been shown that video ads tend to engage people a lot more than other kinds.
Invest in a great website
If you’re talking about conquering the online world, then you need to make sure that you have the website to do it. There are plenty of great website builders that, with a little learning, you can use to make professional-quality websites. However, the more specific your website’s needs, the more likely you are to need to work with website designers who can build it to your exact specifications. When designing a website, a few factors are more important than most, such as ensuring that it’s designed to work well on mobile devices and smartphones. Making the website easy to navigate so that your audience can quickly find the content that they’re looking for is vitally important, as well.
Have your customers advertise for you
One of the single best marketing assets that your business might have at its disposal is that of its customers. First of all, you should incentivize your customers to leave reviews where they can. Review sites like Yelp and Google Reviews get a lot more views than you might think and you want to ensure that your name shoots out immediately of the listings compared to others. Otherwise, you could run a loyalty program that directly rewards customers for things such as referrals. This way, not only do your customers feel like they are being rewarded for sticking with you, but you can get new customers in on a good deal, offering your the chance to win their loyalty as well. Social positive proof is a very powerful force. The more people support a thing, the more that others believe the thing is worth supporting.
Stand out with your promotions
Businesses running promotions is no new thing. You’re not going to be doing anything too different if you offer 25% off all online sales leading up to the holiday period. However, you can, instead, run regular holiday promotions on days that might not get covered by a lot of businesses. For instance, there are things like National Cookie Day that should be of particular interest to any bakeries or businesses that sell cookies on the regular. Find the odd promotional days where your deals are less likely to have competition.
If you want to stand out, you’re going to need the budget or the strategy to do what others aren’t doing. Marketing takes serious thought and hopefully, the suggestions above have got the cogs in your own brain turning.