5 Strategies for Out-Marketing Your Competition
What separates the successful from the unsuccessful? Sometimes it's the product. Other times it's luck. Often it's a great marketing campaign.
Are Nike sneakers that much better than the others? Is Red Bull tastier than the own-brand in your local store? Probably not. But both have strong brand identities and incredible marketing campaigns.
Thankfully, you don't need the marketing budgets of these behemoths to stand out from the crowd. You just need great strategies for out-marketing your competition.
So let's take a look at how you can do that.
Prepare for Action
Before you hire a camera, lighting and rigs for your next TV commercial, you need to plan your strategy. Take time to figure where you sit in the industry, where you want to be and who you want to attract.
To start, make sure you know the answers to these two questions.
A. Who are You?
Take time to figure out where your brand is.
What makes you different?
What can you offer that your competitors can't?
Are you leading the market or a newcomer?
The answers will help you to determine what a successful campaign would be for you. You may want to establish yourself within the market or you might want more of the market share. You need to know where you want to end up before taking your journey.
B. Who are Your Customers?
This campaign is looking to drive new customers to your business. But it's going to be far more effective if you target it at the right people. If you're looking to promote a new sports drink then you might want to target people who exercise.
What you need are customer personas. You need to build five fictional characters who would use your product. Give them a name, job, age, gender, salary and so on until you build an understanding of who they are.
To create your personas, study your existing customers. Go to your website's analytics and review your audience. See who is interacting with your product on social media. After you've built a clear picture of the people who want your product you can deliver an effective campaign.
Now that you’re equipped with those answers, we're ready to get on with the show. There are a hundred different ways to market your brand, but let's take a look at the ones that work.
Here are 5 marketing strategies to invest in if you want to out-market the competition.
A. Content Marketing and Branding
Spend as much energy on content marketing and branding as you can. Get out blogs, videos, social media posts — and do it regularly. Figure out which platform you are comfortable with and your audience uses.
It's better to put up one post a week for two years than 30 in two weeks and never again. Content marketing can be a bit of a slog but stick with it.
Building a brand that people love and trust is going to be vital to the future of your company.
B. Offer Something of Value for FREE
If you're able to give, then customers are willing to accept. But you don't need to start buying up hundreds of Rolexes to hand out to your customers. Instead, think about your audience and their needs. What do they need to improve their lives?
Many online marketing companies offer free guides to marketing. Their customers are going to love that. What will work is going to be different for each company. And the end result of your free offering doesn't have to be a sale because you have brand awareness.
C. Know What's Trending
Get your finger on the pulse. Find out what's going on in the industry. What's the latest buzz? What is getting customers excited?
Trends can blast off like a rocket and you need to hop on for the ride. The good news is that the trending topic doesn't need to be an exact fit for your company. Get yourself into a partially-related conversation and your authority will grow.
But how do you spot an emerging topic?
Google Trends is your best bud. The search engine giant's tool identifies topics which had a surge in interest. Head to the site and search for an industry-related term. Google will tell you all the rising topics and queries related to that phrase you searched. It will also tell you how much interest in that topic has increased by.
Start getting yourself into the conversation.
D. Build Your Tribe
Creating a community around your product is a fantastic way to drive awareness. The biggest brands in the world do it. You might not think a business as large as Nike would bother with a meet-up of around 50 people. But they understand the benefits of community.
Nike hosts regular training and runs clubs across the world. It brings their customers together. It creates a sense of belonging to the brand.
But best of all, Nike can drive the conversation.
They're not looking to sell at these events either. You don't get a sales team looking to flog sneakers at the end of the run. The long-term benefits are more than enough.
But you don't need to organize complicated events to build a community.
A small Facebook group might be sufficient for your business. Get your customers engaging with each other and yourself.
E. Please Your Customers
Key to your success is customer happiness. So, improve your service. It seems obvious but far too many businesses fall short. Happy customers return for more. They tell their friends. Plus it's far easier to keep a happy customer than get new ones.
Invest as much time and energy in pleasing them as you can afford. A great way to do that is being accessible to them. Answer messages on social media quickly. You can set up alerts on your laptop or phone to tell you when a new one has come in.
If you've got the cash, invest in chatbots or live chats on your website. Be helpful to your customers. Answer their questions quickly and you will soon see customers favor your company over the rest.
With these 5 strategies, you’re ready to start marketing harder than anyone else in your industry. As long as you have enough perseverance and patience, it’s just a matter of time until you see the success you’re looking for.