You’re in a busy market, and not sure how to stand out from the crowd. What do you do when you don’t have the loudest voice, the biggest network or the most money to throw at marketing?
Let’s discuss the best strategies to get noticed by the right audience for your brand.
Define Your Audience
Understand who you serve. And remember, it’s not the entire world– it’s a decidedly smaller group of people.
Here’s the thing: it’s not really about you standing out from the crowd. It’s about you finding your audience in the crowd.
Marketing isn’t your audience finding you, rather it’s you finding them. You market where they live, work and go for entertainment. But, in order to do that effectively, you have to know where they are. That all starts with knowing who they are.
Start by answering this question:
What does my target audience struggle with?
Now, get descriptive about the audience itself. Define your average customer. Go into basic demographics (age, gender, location). Paint a clear picture in your mind of who they are.
Once you understand who your audience is and why they need your product or service, it’s a lot easier to spot them out in a crowd.
Define Your Story
Why did you get into business for yourself? What’s your origin story?
No two origin stories are the same, and this is one of the best ways to separate yourself from the competition.
Your origin sheds light on who you are and why you do what you do. It should be told in a way that helps your audience connect with you.
People want to buy from other people that they trust and like. They want to know that you share their same values. You can show them more about you through your origin story.
If you’d like to learn more about creating an origin story, read this post: Your Origin Story. Got One? You Should.
Commit to Customer Service
Be known as a brand that takes care of their customers. So many brands make marketing the main priority, but don’t give much thought to on-going customer support.
Flip that around completely.
I’d argue that the customers you have are more important than the ones you intend to get. They’ve already proven their value to you as a business, and, if you continue to nurture them, they’ll buy more from you and they’ll tell their friends about you.
Always remember that you need to stay relevant to your current customers, too.
Focus on One Social Media Platform
Be on only one social platform? It sounds counter-intuitive. If your market is saturated, shouldn’t you be everywhere to compete?
Not necessarily. A lot of brands try to do too much. I recommend focusing on one social channel and dominating it. You simply need to be where your audience lives.
For most brands, that’s definitely Facebook. Although, depending on your business, it could be LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or even Snapchat.
Facebook is an obvious choice because it’s so darn popular. Facebook currently has over one billion users (and that number’s growing). It’s fair to say that at least some of your audience is on Facebook.
So, whether or not you actively cultivate a community on Facebook, you should definitely use it to market your business. The good thing about Facebook is that you can get specific about which group you’d like to target.
Remember earlier how we discussed defining your target audience by demographic? This is where it comes in handy. You can use those defining demographics to tailor your marketing strategy. That way, you’ll get noticed by the very people who are a perfect fit for your brand.
Don’t Charge the Same Price as Your Competition
This goes against conventional wisdom. Old school thinking is that you should compete with price. Perhaps even charging a penny less to undercut your competition.
I don’t recommend that approach at all. Instead, consider these two options:
Offer an alternate pricing structure
Dare to be different with price.
Instead of charging quarterly or annually, why not charge month to month?
Or, instead of offering an all-in-one-box solution, empower your customers with an a la carte option.
On the other hand, bundling can be a great way to sell multiple solutions to your customers at a lower price than they would pay for each individually, so that could be a strong selling point.
Think of ways that you can offer a different shopping experience to your customers. You may not be able to compete directly on price, but you may not need to.
Price higher than your competition
Instead of racing to the bottom, why not raise the standards for your industry. Charge higher prices, not lower prices. If you offer the right value to the right audience (and as long as you’re not unreasonably high), people will pay.
Once you convince someone that what you’re offering will benefit them in some way, they will justify the cost.
Aim for a price increase of around 5-10% above your stiffest competitor.
Your price reflects value. And value is one of the key differentiators in a crowded market. You can use your price to immediately convey that you’re not like your competition.
Higher prices can also elevate you to expert status. People will believe that you command higher prices because you know more about your industry. Having the confidence to ask for a higher price can positively influence your brand.
Prospective customers will wonder why you’re charging so much more than your competition. So, be ready for them, which leads me to my next point:
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
You’re unique. Embrace it.
You can’t compete on other brands on their terms, but you can compete on your own terms.
That means, you need to find something that’s different about what you do and then market it as your unique value proposition.
It shouldn’t be hard to figure out what sets you apart.
Perhaps, your customers connect with you on gender, age, or sociopolitical beliefs. They may enjoy your tone, your branding and how you present information.
Pinpoint what makes you different and magnify it. The people who respond are part of your true audience. Don’t water down your brand in an attempt to get those who don’t “get” you.
Even though there are others who offer the same service or product that you do, you can still stand out by using these strategies. If nothing else, allow your passion for your product and your customer to bubble to the top. Your enthusiasm can inspire others to choose you above your competition.