As a business owner, you're probably already used to competition. No matter the industry you're in or the services you offer, you'll surely have at least a few competitors you're battling for audience attention. Especially if you're up against a big company, it can feel like your marketing isn't getting noticed at all.
When you can't quite match your competitors' marketing budgets, you need to get creative about the way you promote your products or services. Through creating better content, developing a loyal base of customers, and focusing on establishing strong relationships, you can successfully sell your offerings—no matter who your competitors are.
Let's take a look at how you can create a strong content marketing strategy when you're a small fish in a big pond!
- Smaller brands need to focus on establishing strong relationships with their customers and clients.
- Use your content to create loyal customers who are excited to share your message with friends and family.
- Look for opportunities to engage with customers, creating long-term relationships that large brands struggle to maintain.
Produce More High-Quality Content
For many companies, your entire online presence revolves around the content you create. From your website to your social media posts, content is what drives your digital personality. If you're not creating effective content, you'll struggle to get noticed by your target audience.
High-quality content gives you an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. You're able to connect with members of your target audience by providing them with the information they need to make purchasing decisions. Plus, quality content also provides SEO benefits that can increase your reach and bring in new leads and customers. When you're creating keyword-rich content that is shareable and valuable, it doesn't matter who you're competing against.
The amount of information you're producing is also important. However, you want to be sure that instead of focusing on quantity, everything you create provides value to your audience. It's also smart to diversify your content. This means including blog posts, webinars, videos, infographics and more in your content plan, just as HubSpot does with this example webinar:
Always keep your target audience in mind when creating content. Pay attention to their social profiles, the forums they frequent, and the questions they're asking you directly, for insight on the kinds of information they may be looking for. Then, determine the best pathway for sharing that information. If you're focused on providing real value to your audience, you can make stronger connections.
Create Loyal Customer Advocates
Every business hopes to develop a loyal following of customers and clients over time. However, a group of advocates for a small brand can also do wonders for helping it take off in the first place. If you're a small company up against large competitors, creating loyal customer advocates can be just what you need to attract new customers.
When a customer is a loyal advocate for a brand, they're excited to tell their friends and family about the company. They encourage people they know to make purchases, and are more likely to share your content on social media, forums, and other digital communication pathways. Since most potential customers will trust a friend or family member with brand recommendations more than traditional marketing, customer advocates can increase your chances of attracting new clients—saving you time and money.
In order to help customers become loyal to your brand, you need to go above and beyond to provide them with the information, advice, and assistance they need. Not only does this mean creating high-quality content they'll be excited to share, but you also need to be readily available and easy to reach. Having an above-average customer support team, as demonstrated in this example from Nike, is important for building customer loyalty:
Always look for opportunities to engage with your customers. The more personal a connection you can make, the more likely they are to become loyal to your brand. Ask your customers for feedback, and incorporate their ideas into your products or services, proving that your goal is to provide them with the best experience possible.
Establish Strong Customer Relationships
For large brands with hundreds or even thousands of customers, it can be difficult to establish strong one-on-one relationships with clients. To many of these big brands, each customer is just another number. Ultimately, this means that customers are less likely to be emotionally invested in the success of the brand.
As a small company, you have the unique ability to get to know your customers and clients on a personal level. Depending on the products or services you offer, you likely communicate with your clients and customers pretty often. This means you're able to get to know who they truly are, beyond the professional relationships you've established. The more you get to know your clients, the stronger your relationships will become—and the more likely they are to keep coming back.
Content marketing is one way you can build and establish trust with your customers. However, you want to ensure your content is in-depth enough to truly accommodate your customers' needs. Basic content, such as blog posts and videos used to attract attention, usually aren't enough to create strong relationships. If you want to establish a lasting foundation for your relationships with customers, you need to provide valuable and personalized content.
To work on establishing strong relationships with your target audience, look for opportunities to engage directly with them through the content you're producing. Hosting live webinars, doing Q&A with your audience, or just communicating through social media can allow you and your clients to establish the personal relationships that larger companies struggle to create. Always put your customer's needs first, and don't be afraid to show them the face behind your brand.
Even if you're a small fish in a big pond, your marketing can still be successful. You'll simply need to work hard to create a content marketing strategy that allows you to connect and engage with key members of your target audience.
Let's recap the three things you should be doing to create a strong content marketing strategy, even when going up against major competitors:
- Produce high-quality content to attract audience attention.
- Create loyal customer advocates who are excited to share your content with their networks.
- Get to know your customers, and create strong relationships that large businesses can't.
How do you think these tips will help you improve your marketing? Let us know in the comments section below!