The online and business space is becoming more and more competitive by the day — so, you need to be doing everything you can to stand out from the competition. In this article, we’re going to outline a few different ways you can do just that.
Let’s get started!
Focus on providing the best customer service possible
Here’s a quick fact: 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor when deciding whether or not they want to do business with a brand (Microsoft). A lot of business owners only focus on providing the best products or services but, if your customer service experience isn’t any good, you’ll struggle to stand out.
To start, you need to ensure that it’s easy to get in touch with your customer service team. One of the ways you can do this is by implementing multiple customer service channels — not only is this convenient for the customer to have options when they have a question, but this is a good strategy if you want to reach multiple types of customers. Older people, for instance, tend to prefer email and phone calls for their customer service experience. Younger customers, however, tend to gravitate towards live chat services and social media to resolve their concerns.
Be sure to have a self-help option, as well. Something like a knowledge base or FAQ page is a great way to help save your customers — and your employees — some time.
Create content that helps customers make the best decisions
You want to do everything you can to help your customers make the best decisions to suit their needs. This can help save your customer service team time, reduce the need for refunds, and provide you with better reviews. One of the best ways you can do this is by creating content that helps customers make decisions — think buying guides and comparison pieces.
Let’s look at a few examples of businesses that have created content along these lines.
Best Value Schools, for instance, helps prospective students decide what school to attend in their article on the best online Master’s in Psychology programs. Not only do they outline some of the top schools in the field, but they cover career prospects, tuition costs, and more. With such a thorough article, it’s easy to see how they help their viewers make decisions — they do this for other fields of study, as well!
SocialPilot, a social media management platform, also helps potential customers decide what type of Twitter tools are best for them. In addition to outlining some of the benefits and features of their product, they show several other options, including their pros, cons, and cost. This is a very transparent way to help customers make informed decisions while also telling them about their tools. After all, SocialPilot may not be the perfect fit for everyone, so they know it’s beneficial to outline the strengths and weaknesses of other tools, as well.
On the other hand, FreshBooks, an online accounting software program, helps customers to make the best decision with an article on what cloud accounting software is.
Before reading this content, website visitors might not even know that online accounting is an option! But, by explaining the features and benefits of their tool, FreshBooks not only informs their potential customers but helps them make a choice that’s right for them.
Consistently engage with your customers on social media
Social media is one of the most powerful tools out there for getting the word out about your business! The more active you are online, the more likely it is that people will find you. Plus, your customers will appreciate seeing you active — keeping your brand at the forefront of their minds will help increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.
There are a lot of different social media platforms out there and, if you’re not familiar, you might not know where to start. Facebook, with by far the largest user base, is a good baseline to reach the most people. If your business is very image-worthy, say if you run a restaurant or hair salon, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok are good options for you. If you just want something simple and text-based to lead back to your website, Twitter is a great option or, if you mostly work with other professionals in your industry, stick to LinkedIn to get the most relevant traffic.
Create a content calendar to make sure you are consistently posting on whatever platforms you choose. Bulk scheduling posts with social media management tools can help to ensure you stay consistent and post at the most optimal times for increased engagement.
Keep a consistent brand voice throughout your platforms and posts, too! This will help increase the recognition of your brand.
Make sure you have a strong SEO strategy
You want your ideal customers to be able to find you through organic search — to ensure they see your website instead of your competitors’, you need to create a strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
To start, you should be regularly creating content based on keyword research. This is how you find different terms and phrases that your audience is typing into search engines. Start with a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner. Plug in some words and phrases that are relevant to your business, and Google will provide you with keywords that people are searching for on any given topic. Sift through these phrases and see which ones would make good content topics!
Link building is another important SEO strategy. When other relevant and highly authoritative websites link back to your content, Google takes this as a vote of confidence in your work and gives you a boost on the search engine results pages (SERPs). You can build links by posting guest articles on similar websites and creating authoritative, sharable content that people will want to show their audience, citing you as a source.
Don’t forget about technical SEO, either — this is the process of making sure that your website is fast, easy to navigate, optimized for all platforms, and the like. Search engines want to send their viewers to the best websites, so you need to ensure that yours is high-quality. To get started, take a look at Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Simply plug in a link to your website and Google will provide you with some suggestions as to how you can improve your page speed and, thus, your technical SEO.
Offer something that your competitors aren’t
One of the most effective ways to stand out from your competitors is to offer something that they aren’t. This could be something simple, like a longer returns period or free delivery. You can also offer free but valuable tools, expert-level content, or a unique product or service.
When trying to decide what you can offer that’s better than your competition, consider what it is about your business that stands out from the others. What are you considered an expert in? What is it that you can confidently say you do that’s better than your competitors? These are the types of questions you should answer when trying to figure out what to offer.
Ensure your branding is unique and eye-catching
Your branding can have a huge impact on whether or not you stand out from the competition or blend into the crowd. Branding is the process of giving your business a design, a name, a symbol, and the like to ensure that people know who you are when they see your name and logo. Make sure yours stands out for the right reasons and stays consistent across platforms!
For instance, if you run a kid’s toy company, bright colors and fun lettering will help you stand out! If you run a law firm, you’re much better off with professional, muted colors. Keep your branding and themes consistent!
Consider aligning these types of elements when creating your branding:
- Font size and style
- Image colors
- Your mission statement or vision
- Brand voice
Make it clear that you understand your customers’ pain points
Customers want to feel like the companies that they shop with understand their needs. You can show that you know your customers well by creating content that addresses their pain points, highlighting the benefits (as opposed to just the features) of your products, and having detailed FAQ sections on your website.
There are a lot of different ways you can achieve this goal! Let’s look at a few examples of businesses that address customer pain points well.
Bay Property Management Group, a real estate management company with locations all over the East Coast, shows that they understand their customers’ pain points well in their service page content.
For example, let’s look at their Northern Virginia landing page. The content on this page talks a lot about what they offer — for instance, how they understand the industry like no other company, and how they can take the stress out of managing properties. Bay Property Management knows that real estate is a stressful business and everyone wants to make sure that their property is top-notch and managed well, particularly if they’re renting out or selling. On this particular webpage, they highlight what sets them apart.
Chewy, an online pet supply company, also addresses customer pain points with their content, albeit in a much different way.
For instance, they have a how-to guide to picking the best dog leash for your pup, based on owner preferences, dog size, and more. There is a practically endless list of pet products out there, leashes included, so it can be hard for new pet owners to know where to start! By creating this content, Chewy builds trust among their prospective customers, shows that they understand consumers’ struggles, and ensure they stand out from the crowd.
Sometimes, it’s good to stand out from the crowd. That’s definitely the case in business. In this article, we outlined seven different ways you can help your business stand out from the competition, including improving your customer service, helping customers make decisions, addressing their pain points, pushing social media engagement, and more.
Follow these tips and you’ll be hard to forget.
Author bio & headshot:
Aaron Haynes is the CEO of Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner that supports marketing agencies and professionals. The company specializes in helping businesses to improve their online visibility and ultimately make more sales. The Loganix blog has a lot more information and advice, so make sure you check it out if you found this article helpful.
Image Source: BigStockPhoto.com (Licensed)