Top 10 ways to kick your competitors to the kerb (and keep them there!)
The internet is an awesome place. No longer do we have to make business decisions based on hope and good vibes, we have the opportunity to truly scope the market before making any major business decisions.
The only downside is that everyone is clambering up the ladder to get to the top, all at the same time! The question now is: “what ELSE are we doing to kick our competitors to the kerb?”
While there is a minefield of options when it comes to your marketing strategy it is healthy to focus around three core things to begin with – visibility, credibility and results. So, how do you get that? Here are a few simple steps…
1)WHAT ARE YOU DOING THAT’S DIFFERENT TO THE NORM?
If the answer is nothing, well at least you know where you are! 😉 On a serious note, differentiating yourself from the rest of the industry is key to getting yourself noticed. Even if the service or product you offer is the same as another, the way to actually market this could be polar opposites. Get creative and you’ll have fun doing it too!
2)HAVE YOU CREATED CLEAR CALL TO ACTIONS ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Now this doesn’t mean having ‘BUY, BUY, BUY’ plastered everywhere on your home page! Think about what you want the reader to do once they have come to your website and make it really easy for them to do just that. Make it clear, easy to find and high up on the page. After all, your competitor’s website is only a click away…
3)GOT THINGS TO SAY BUT NOT SURE HOW?
If you are torn between the common ‘corporate yet approachable’ scenario, a blog is the ideal place to show that you are actual people. It is an opportunity to not only show off some of the things you have done, link through to products or services you offer (and help sales), but it also shows personality – and that’s important.
4)NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR SOCIAL MEDIA?
Now that’s really not true is it?! You can help yourself by scheduling in some of your posts ahead of the week. That way you know for sure that you will be reaching out to people on (ideally) a daily basis. Then you can fill in the gaps with any live updates as your week progresses. There are tonnes of free social media scheduling tools, such as hootsuite and buffer for example, to help you get there.
5)ARE YOU REACHING OUT TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE?
‘If you build it, they will come’ may work from some of the bigger brands (Apple for example), but they haven’t got there through waiting for people to intrinsically know about them. Data is vital and making sure that you have the right level of accurate data, targeted to the correct audience is an important place to start. Do your homework and you will reap the rewards.
6)DO YOU KNOW WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT YOU?
While it can be a daunting prospect into the unknown, it’s a fact of life that people will have an opinion on your business – good or bad. There are many tools, such as Mention and Google Alerts that can trap this information for you at the touch of a button. After all, knowing all of this allows you to continue business improvements and build your empire. What’s more it shows you are listening.
7)ARE YOU TRACKING YOUR SUCCESSES AND FAILURES?
Yes, I mentioned the ‘F’ word but don’t let that keep you up at night! By using tools such as Google Analytics or statistics from mailer click-throughs for example, you have the opportunity to learn and adapt your approach for your market. You need to give a campaign a few runs though, otherwise you wont really have valuable data to act upon.
8)DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU ARE FLOGGING A DEAD HORSE?
Yes, you may have had grand ideas on a certain way to market your business and it didn’t pan out the way you had hoped. Don’t let that get to you. Think of it as an opportunity to have a re-think and learn from your mistakes – we all make them after all! It will actually open up more avenues than you realised, and a change is as good as a rest.
9)ARE YOU MINIMISING RISK BY MAKING EDUCATED DECISIONS?
We all know you have to speculate to accumulate, but are you missing something that could be done cheaply but effectively? Make educated decisions by doing your homework and act upon hard facts where possible. You can also spread the betting by tackling a few things at a time, but don’t go overboard otherwise your focus will be all over the place!
10)ARE YOU CELEBRATING THE SUCCESSES?
This is the best part! It is always fantastic to see your hard work has paid off. Go one step further by asking yourself “why?” Was it the new design you had created? Was it the fact that your data was good? Was it purely timing or even the weather? Any of these questions can be answered with some analysis, all so that you can try and replicate the successes going forward. Then have a glass of wine (or cup of tea and a biscuit if you really want) in order to celebrate. Repeat. 😉