A lot of people who aren’t familiar with marketing will mention that a competitor came out of nowhere. Perhaps that company is now “taking their business.” That maybe the new business has connections with others in the industry. Maybe the owner knows a key player or two where they can leverage their connections to their own benefit. You have to keep in mind that this isn’t usually the case. If you find yourself in this situation, maybe it’s time to improve your brand with these 6 proven methods.
Creating strong content is the first change you can make if your business is being overtaken. This is obviously easier said than done but there are some measures you can take. It should be content that hits the right triggers and makes people want to share the information with their friends. Social sharing improves search traffic (if optimized appropriately) and social traffic. If you ever found a website because a friend recommended it to you or perhaps posted an article you liked; this is what we are talking about.
Getting Your Brand Out There:
The biggest mistakes happen right off the bat. A lot of people will create their site and do a little marketing here and there. Maybe a guest blog post for an industry website or set up social platforms with an initial post. The latter part of this example can really sink your social presence. Nothing is worse for a company than setting up social media accounts and just letting them sit. With social media, you should always ask yourself: “what do I gain?” And better yet, “what does my audience gain?”
One thing to keep in mind is that you are not writing or developing content for yourself. You are developing it for your audience.
If your audience can’t find your content than you are setting yourself up for failure. To combat this, you should keep some type of editorial calendar (we use one here at The Content Group) and also a social media calendar. This gives you a clear indication of what you have posted, what is going to be posted, and where it is going to be posted. Eventually you will want to start testing when user engagement is best. Experiment a little here and there. Do more people read your blog post during the morning? Does your Tweet get more interactions right before the weekend? When you attempt to improve your brand, these are all small things you should take record of.
Another thing to keep in mind what you are putting out there. If your content is too broad, you aren’t really helping your audience any. On the other hand, you are doing it wrong if your content is so in the weeds that even your niche audience doesn’t see the immediate purpose in it. There are a lot of variables, but developing a strong editorial and social strategy will help.
Helping Your Audience:
We strongly believe that helping your audience will lead to better overall engagement. Your audience should learn something new every time they consume your content. If they’re not learning something new, they should take away a new insight that they never thought of before. Perhaps a new angle or detail they overlooked. Keep in mind that the price of entry now-a-days is giving value.
It’s no longer: ‘if you build it they will come.’ It’s more ‘if you build it extremely well, market the hell out of it, they may come.’
So if you find your business is falling behind the competition, here is what you can do to fix it:
- Find out multiple places you can write guest blog posts or publish guest videos.
- Teach their audience something they haven’t heard before.
- Offer them an answer to a question they have or a fix for their problem.
- Make so much great content that people don’t have a chance to ignore you.
- Your content will be everywhere and they will have to take notice.
In short, engineer your press and exposure to maximize brand awareness.
Practice What You Preach:
It should probably go without saying, but I am going to say it anyways, you definitely need to follow your own advice if you are going to be taken seriously. Is a client going to take our advice if we try to sell them on the benefits of a newsletter, but we don’t use one ourselves? Probably not. So why wouldn’t you use the advice you are giving to people? Why would they value your content over your competitors if you don’t even value your own content?
There is a huge difference between having readers and having active readers. The difference lies in their interactions. A reader generally clicks on a title, maybe skims the content – perhaps reads it fully if you are lucky – but then leaves when they are done. An active reader, on the other hand, is someone who reads the content, digests it, and then comments on it. How can you get more of the latter? Let’s examine:
Too many people are concerned with offering a balanced view of something. They play the middle and, while it may offer insight, it usually doesn’t stir up conversation. Why? The reader sees that the author is scared. The writer is afraid they will push away the segment of their audience that doesn’t agree with their opinion. However, when you look at statistics, most people click on articles they know they won’t agree with. As an example, why do you think sports commentator Stephen A. Smith is so hated and yet every show he is on does well? People love to bash the man, but they also love arguing with him. So give your audience something to argue over.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to start fights too much. Don’t stir up trouble just because you can. Also, if you start flip flopping on your opinion people are going to take notice and call you out on that. If you want to keep this in check, only talk about things you have a strong opinion about.
One of the easiest ways to engage with your audience is to simply ask for a comment or opinion. Perhaps ask for them to share their story or add tips that they picked up along the way. By asking you are provoking interactions. Chances are they have something to offer to the conversation, but don’t because of whatever reason. They will comment if you ask them to.
Lastly, just because you need to improve your brand, doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. The Content Group is here to give you a hand. If you are interested in rebuilding your social media branding or want to add great copy to your website, let us know how we can help.