If you think the internet is an easier way for you to market yourself due to how open it is, never have you been more wrong. Unless you’re amongst the pioneering websites or had your site for more than 10 to 15 years, the competition online is tighter than ever. Anybody with a big budget and a stellar team can outdo you in just a few months, up to a year. Should you be worried though?
The answer is no. Unless you have cornered your market like how Microsoft did it in the 90’s to 2000’s, there’s still work to do. Should you be afraid of the competition? Still no. Even if they’re bigger and have more budget that you, there are ways for your business to win it online.
What Do You Provide Your Customers?
We like talking about competition a lot in this blog, and you should be comfortable doing that as well. When you start talking to your team on how to stick it to your online competitors, the first question should always be this: “What do they do for clients?” followed by “What do we do for clients?”.
People look for answers to their problems. People care for what your business can do for them, not your product per se. Giving answer to these pain points is an important aspect that you need to underscore whenever you get the chance.
For example, if you’re a wild game meat delivery business, your competition is anyone and everyone within the local scope of your company, as well as national level businesses. If you only tell people that your business delivers meat, then customers won’t see the difference between you and a competitor with the same product.
If you focus your marketing, however, in putting your wild game meat product as “family friendly, easy to cook wild meats straight to your home”, you’re giving them the idea that you provide something more than the other company. Many people think wild game is not suitable for children and it’s hard to find, so you’re answering a pain point for them.
Market What Make You Different From The Competition
Why is your product special? What makes it different than the rest? Once you know how you’re different from the competition, flaunt it! This entails a good introspective understanding of your business and a strong, outward understanding of your primary competitors.
A good example is having a barber shop. Whilst all barber shops have barbers, your shop may have a special extra service that clients would love, has especially great employees who can perform custom haircuts and provide your own special blend of hair products. Use that in your ads and other marketing methods, especially on social media.
Your digital marketing should stay focused on why people should choose your business. This is called a unique sales proposition. It doesn’t have to be complicated – only unique. It can be as simple as having the cheapest price or even longer business hours. Highlight it.
Structure an Awesome Branding
Branding is especially hard online. The internet has a lot of graphic designers and high budget ad teams that can get their brands whatever they want. This doesn’t stop you, however, from thinking out of the box.
Our favourite example is Apple. Whenever you look at Apple’s ads, social media, stores and even their website, they go for the clean, crisp and luxurious look. The style is typically the product with a black or white background and a one liner that wraps up what their product is all about.
Structuring your business’ branding depends entirely on how you make your marketing and advertising memorable. Associate your business with a colour, a value, a motto or a style that will resonate with your demographic.
Show Your Expertise and Be a Thought Leader
We discussed before ways how to market your expertise online through social media and Q&A sites, but there’s so much more to expertise than just working your way through socials.
You need to have:
- a good grasp of the industry,
- understand its past,
- understand what is developing for its future,
- know terminologies
- know topics that are relevant to your customers
If you own a fashion store, you would want to create product descriptions that flaunt your knowledge or landing pages that teach your clients how to dress good.
Use blogs, videos and help guides as a way to get your expertise out and establish yourself as a thought leader. Once people view you as an authority and influencer, the trust will flow in and expect recommendations and word of mouth to come around
Guarantee Results and Fulfill Promises
Providing guaranteed results is a strong marketing stance that can put you above your competitors. This removes the doubt in your customers’ hearts and puts you in a position of trust. Provide promises that are deliverable, possible and within your scope.
For example, providing a 10-year warranty to your clients if you’re a solar lighting company instead of the usual 7 years is a strong position that you can use to muscle your market. This is especially good if you know, for a fact, that your products can last up to 20 years. It’s within your scope, it’s not beyond what you can provide and it gives your business the look of trustworthiness.
Break the Rules and Make Them Your Own!
Finally, we suggest that you get out of the norm and break the rules. Whilst SEO should be kept as white hat as you can, digital marketing is a whole other playground and you’re allowed to define the rules yourself.
Do you have a marketing technique that is too brash and headstrong? Give it a push! Do you have an idea that is a complete 180 in your industry but it can help bring in a fresh contingent of interested audiences? Play the card!
No business has become successful from playing chicken with their competitors. Play silly buggers or be a maverick in your industry! Show them you’re paving your own way rather than waiting behind them. Do this and you’ll be one step on the way to success.