With so many established and up-and-coming businesses vying for attention, it may feel as though your company is getting lost in the crowd. If so, you may feel tempted to ‘outshout’ the competition using quirky and even controversial marketing techniques. While there are plenty of marketing gimmicks out there and some prove surprisingly popular (think ‘simples’), the key is to be smart with your marketing rather than vying for attention by provoking a reaction. Here are five tips to becoming a smart rather than a noisy marketer:
1. Focus on social media
Your target audience is busy and needs to be fed information with very little hunting around. Meet customers where they are already grazing – for example Facebook or Twitter – rather than expecting them to hunt down your website. We’ve all seen content go viral on sites like these, and it happens because that’s where people’s attention is focused. Prospective buyers are waiting for the next big thing and you could just be it.
2. Network wisely
If you find that your social connections are mainly people you don’t know or have much in common with, it may be hard to connect with them in a meaningful way. Try to follow (and attract reciprocal followers with) people who have influence in your field; people who inspire and challenge you. They may not buy your products or services, but good connections often produce untold benefits. The information you get from them may be just as valuable as anything you can give them and if they share your content you’re on to a winner!
3. Have a fixed plan in mind
This may sound patronising, but some marketing departments produce content in a very haphazard way. They don’t mean to, but they are often juggling many balls and can easily lose perspective. Decide what your end goal is and how your content will enable you to get there, step by step. Make sure your communications are clear, concise and impactful, and that you are building an increasingly strong picture of your business and its values. Explore which topics and discussions interest your target buyers. Once you have your captive audience, strike while the iron is hot.
4. Avoid gimmicks and stunts
Although they are occasionally successful (the Will It Blend campaign by Blendtec comes to mind), using gimmicks can be annoying and make it look like the company is trying too hard. It is possible to be creative and meet your customers’ unique needs without pulling any stunts. People are very discerning when it comes to seeing through flimsy or overblown gestures, so make sure your content and any resulting actions are meaningful.
5. Build trust
The key is to provide valuable, trustworthy content that your target audience will engage with and share. Make sure that you fulfil all of your promises and that your content is original. If it looks very similar to that of your competitors your company may appear like a copycat. It takes time to build trust, so you will need to be patient. However, the results will also be long-lasting and you will be surprised by the growth you experience when you become established as a leading and trusted business.
However saturated your business sector is, there are always ways to stand out from the crowd. Take time to think about how you will distinguish yourself from the competition in a positive and memorable way.
If you need help building your marketing plan, get in touch.