SOUNDING OFF: Lee Flynn- How to Use Marketing to Your Business’ Advantage

unnamedBusiness is all about competition among companies selling a similar product. A business has to stay ahead of the competition to survive. One way in which a company can stand out from the competition is through an excellent marketing strategy that not only attracts, but also retains customers. So what are some key parts of an excellent marketing strategy?

Market Research

If you want to take your business to the next level through marketing, you will need to understand who your competitors are. Conduct in-depth market research to identify their strengths and their weaknesses.

After your research, figure out the gaps that your competitors are missing and your customers need, then pursue them. You may have to re-brand your product, alter your pricing, or even change your target market. Once you have those strategies in place, you can identify the marketing vehicles that you will need to beat your competitors.

Excellent Website

The current generation relies on digital means to research and make purchasing decisions. For this reason, it is crucial for your business to have a user-friendly and attractive website. A site with these qualities shows that you’re a serious business, draws in customers, and it improves the customer experience when dealing with your brand.

Use your website to make it clear what sets you apart from your competitors. Research your competitors’ sites and find a way to be better. If your competitors have better websites than you, they will get the business.

Since websites are so important, there are many resources for business owners to create one. You have options, so choose wisely whether you can get by with a simple DIY site or if you need to hire a professional.

Own Your Online Presence

Another way to draw in your customers is to take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. When using social media, marketing experts recommend that you avoid sales pitches that may annoy customers rather than attracting them. Instead, create a community and a conversation about your product. Show your customers that your business is made up of people that care about them, rather than just driving the sale. Make sure to follow the conversation and address negative comments in a positive and professional manner.

Statistics show that visual content generates 50% likes when compared to plain content. It also increases click-through. Use video and images to take advantage of this trend. Combining visual and textual elements helps viewers process information faster, and people love fast. To take advantage of this, consider adding text overlays or captions on your images and use subtitling services to do the same for your video content.

Useful Blogging

Maintaining a blog can position your business as the subject matter expert in your industry. To achieve this, make sure that your content is useful, timely and well-written. If you don’t want to manage a blog on your own site, partner with other influential voices and blogs that reach your target audience.

Know Your Limitations

Never ignore your strengths and or weaknesses when developing your marketing strategy. Just because a marketing trend works well for someone else or seems cool and cutting-edge doesn’t mean it will work for your business. Take stock of what makes you different and better, and go be different and better. Don’t force a strategy because it “should work.” Test things out until something does work.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a good marketing strategy. It’s a learning process but it will pay off if you take the time to chase down the results that you’re looking for. Once you get it right, you’ll wonder why you ever doubted yourself.

Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter. While writing about media and marketing is a large part of his day job, Lee spends his free time teaching others to be self-sufficient through food-storage and disaster preparedness.