What Your Competitors Are Doing That You Aren’t

May 18, 2015

Online Marketing StrategiesIn most industries, there is fierce competition. It has proven challenging for a business to clearly illustrate what sets their specific business apart from the rest. Some businesses succeed and some struggle. So what are those that are succeeding doing differently?


Content Marketing


Traditional forms of marketing, for example advertisements via TV, magazines, newspapers and billboards, are starting to slowly lose significance. Consumers are placing higher value on trust and credibility when making purchasing decisions, rather than responding to push messages. To meet these demands, companies are focusing on content marketing as a way to showcase their expertise across the Web.


Consumers do not respond well to articles that look like advertisements rather than enlightening pieces. First, consider what marketing avenues would be most beneficial for your individual campaign. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the top B2B content marketing strategies are social media, articles on a business’s website, eNewsletters, case studies, videos and articles on other websites.


Next, think about what topics you know best and are confident to advise and speak about, but keep your content neutral. Consumers do not respond well to articles that come off as advertisements. If you are a realtor, consider writing articles about what trends new house hunters are looking for this year. How can shoppers differentiate between a “wish” and “must-have” list? What is the difference between a Foreclosure and a Short Sale? Be sure to provide your personal perspective and opinion while keeping the language jargon-free and relatable.


Visual Appeals


It is unusual to visit a website without being bombarded with advertisement popups, banners and skyscrapers. While they may often seem intrusive, it is true what they say: “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Unfortunately, most readers won’t sit down to read 1,000 words on the Web, making images a primary asset to help cut through the clutter.


This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a big budget for online advertising. There are various techniques to help gain attention online while keeping costs limited. Social media holds tremendous opportunity for engaging and communicating with consumers, and images are proven to be impactful. HubSpot A/B testing identified that images used in Tweets contribute to a 36% increase in clicks, 41% increase in retweets, 55% increase in leads, and 31% increase in visits. If you have the rights to an image that can be associated with the subject of a tweet or the link you include, add it. The same goes for any online strategy including email campaigns, Facebook posts, blog articles, contributed guest pieces, etc.


Responsive Designs


It is not groundbreaking news that businesses should be employing a mobile optimized website. If ignored, smartphone and tablet visitors are forced to pan, zoom, and scroll extensively in order to view the site in its entirety. While separate mobile sites and apps can be strong solutions, there is another option that is becoming highly favorable by Google: responsive design. Automatically detecting the device on which a site is being visited, a responsive design website will be reformatted accordingly to fit the screen size and resolution for a prefect user experience. This option makes it simple for visitors to access your site anywhere and anytime.


Social Media as Customer Service


Social media is becoming the norm for customer service. As a great, public outlet for customers to voice questions or concerns, businesses need to acknowledge social media’s shift in business value. Overlooking or deleting comments will do more harm than good, so welcome the opportunities to show you care about your current and potential customers. Answering questions on an open platform will illustrate transparency and honesty toward your followers.


Be careful, however. All personal details, such as those specific to a customer’s account, should remain protected. Use private messaging to share these details or offer to take discussions offline by sharing an email address.


Personality


Too often, businesses forget to be human and search engines are catching on. Stop writing for Google and start writing for consumers. By building a brand personality with a solid content strategy behind it, you will be able to better relate to customers and provide highly-valuable interactions. If well received, consumers will share and expand your online reach tremendously.


Google is getting smarter and smarter by the day with algorithms constantly developing to identify high value content, not keyword-rich text. So change your way of thinking and put relationships ahead of sales – they will go hand-in-hand in the long run.

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