No matter what it is that your business does, there’s a good chance that one of your ‘marketing approaches’ is checking out what your competition is doing and trying to do similar things.
Whether that is making sure your posts appear in the same places (social channels), using similar messages or imagery, packaging things up in the same way or using a similar layout on your website.
I have one question… WHY?
How are you going to stand out if you are doing the same stuff?
Some small businesses do the complete opposite and go very controversial or sooo far away from the product, that everyone remembers the advert and branding but never what it is for. You don’t want to be doing that either, but I promise you – there is a way to market what you do, stand out from your competitors and generate leads without even looking at your competitors.
And it DOESN’T start with posting relentlessly on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram or wherever your business channels are placed. You’ll be pleased to know I’m sure.
Although, I have written another blog called ‘Stop adding to the fluff on Social Media’ which you can read here if you want to get a better social media strategy in place.
For now, I want to share 5 ideas with you about how you can make yourself appear different to your competitors:
1 – WHY you?
Have you ever used the sentence ‘well, we do things quite differently’ or ‘we are not the same as anyone else doing what we do’, or ‘we are the best at it because we have the most experience/have been doing it for X years’?
If so… this is NOT a USP (Unique selling point).
What really makes you different? What exactly is it that you do and why is that beneficial to your client?
Too many businesses write about what they do, and not enough about what they can do for their clients. Get your messaging right, flip it to talk about benefits rather than features and make sure you always write in a language that includes ‘you and your’ rather than ‘Ours and we’.
Your clients don’t care about you… or the fact you’re a marketing agency in Leamington Spa, they care about what you can do for them. So tell them WHY you are different and make sure you really do offer something unique!
If you don’t have something unique and different, perhaps it’s time to look at your business offering and see if there’s any way you can focus on a target industry, need, desire and do it in a way that nobody else is.
For example, my ‘USP’ as a Birmingham marketing agency is that I will never take on 2 clients that compete. I have a one client per industry rule if targeting nationally or internationally. People wait for their seat to become free because they know that their marketing will be 100% bespoke, written and used only for them – none of this cookie-cutter approach so many agencies offer.
2 – Commitment!
The good news is, marketing is mostly about having common sense, so in theory, anyone can have a go…
…but when I say commitment, I mean you want someone to do it who will commit to learning about what to do and do it properly. Stop letting inexperienced staff do it as a side of the desk job. Throwing out a few last-minute Facebook posts just won’t cut it in today’s competitive market.
Commit to educating yourself (or your marketing team) and you’ll see the results. There are SO many free resources that will teach you about marketing. Just in the last few days, I’ve come across free webinars on setting up Facebook ads, copywriting tick lists and tips on how to design social posts using free tools online. On my website alone, there are currently over 40 blogs and newsletters that help you, for free! View them all here to learn what we do as a Marketing agency in Leamington Spa.
Marketing is no longer about getting a few more likes on your Instagram, or a slight increase in your email open rate. You need to start setting objectives that relate to measurable outcomes. Leads that turn into sales. When you have a strategy, you need to ask yourself if every marketing activity you are putting in place will lead to that outcome. If so, commit to it, if not, ditch it!
Whether you have a part-time member of staff, or a marketing person, or outsource it to a marketing person or company, you NEED to commit to doing marketing properly, and make somebody (or a group of people) accountable for getting you results. If you do not commit, you’ll always see marketing as a quick way to spend money, rather than a quick way to make it!
And the reality is… if you are committing to PROPER marketing, and your competitors are not, you’re already winning.
3 – Do something special
I have written a whole blog here on how to wow your prospects.
If you really want to stand out against your competition, you need to start doing something that you’ll be remembered for when you first get in front of them. How can you make yourself memorable? What can you do, say or be that will make you stand out?
What can you offer as part of what you do that might just give you the competitive edge?
If you were going to buy a car, and you had 2 cars in mind, they are exactly the same cars, same year, same mileage and price, same colour… but one car comes with free insurance for the year, or tax, or even something as little as 12 air fresheners, one for every month. Which car would you choose?
One small gesture can make all the difference!
What can you afford to do that is a little bit special, which is going to give you that edge?
4 – Go the extra mile
We talk a lot about doing something special and going the extra mile here at Flamingo Marketing Strategies and this comes in many forms across our dynamic marketing agency in Leamington Spa.
Prospects – be extra useful, helpful, interesting, relevant, and educational. Become a thought leader in your space, help people and build trust. They might not need you now, but when they do need someone, they will always remember the company that helped them for free!
Leads – See previous point above about doing something special – how can you do something special to get them over the line? What can you include/adapt/create that makes it a no-brainer! OR what can you find out about their business so that you can directly solve their problem because you have done your research and shown that you care enough to help them?
Customers – don’t stop there! Just the other day I found out my most recent client (already signed the dotted line!) could not share his flamingo chocolates I gave him with his wife because she can’t eat gluten. So, I went online and found a gluten free brownie box and sent it to their family home for them to enjoy together. It really is about the little things, as well as the big things. Show you care, build relationships and friendships not just working agreements. Loyalty will go a long way and your customers should ALWAYS feel 100 x’s more special than your prospects. If you don’t check in with them enough, now’s the time to start making an effort.
5 – Stop blending in and start standing out
Here at Flamingo Marketing Strategies, we don’t just offer social media marketing in Warwickshire like so many individuals and businesses do. We offer Marketing Strategy analysis and support. We will not create endless amounts of pointless posts hoping you will get seen amongst all your competitors. You tell us who you want to work with, and we will ensure your messages go straight to them and you get conversations and meetings. We focus on lead generation that you can measure. My clients are LOVING this process, every week they are having meetings drop into their diaries and so am I (which is why I’m sat writing this blog at 9:30pm!) after another full day of meetings and calls.
How do we do it?
Well… if you target businesses, we use LinkedIn.
If you target consumers, we might use Facebook or Instagram.
But we do things properly and we have the results to show for it!
In the meantime, have a think about what you can implement above on your own, and you’ll already be halfway there!