Our global economy can be a double-edged sword for small business owners. Sure, it’s amazing to be able to reach customers all over the world with the stroke of a key and a click of a mouse, but it also means that your competition has grown exponentially.
Our international market makes for international competition, so now you are competing for the same customers as other businesses in your industry all over the world.
This makes it more crucial than ever to find ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are three ways to help you engage your audience and build a bigger following for your e-commerce brand.
Identify What Makes You Different
You could spout out a laundry list of reasons your business is better than the competition, but that doesn’t mean much unless your audience knows why your company is better than others.
In order to get this message to your audience in the most meaningful and effective way, simplify things by giving your customers a single, succinct reason why they should patronize your business.
Is craftsmanship something that makes your products superior? Tell your story in a creative and thoughtful way through a professionally-produced video that shows all of the work that goes into bringing every product into being.
BRYR, a handcrafted clog company, does just this, using their website to tell the company’s unique story.
Perhaps your corporate giving is what makes you stand out. Highlight this as your unique element in every way that you can. Even Stevens, a sandwich chain that gives back a sandwich to a local non-profit for every sandwich sold, does a great job of highlighting their cause on every page of their website.
They even allude to this altruistic value with their name and tagline, “A Sandwich Shop With A Cause.”
Your unique element could be something as simple as your commitment to greatness. For example, outdoor retailer Cabela’s latest brand strategy, Vision 2020, has the main focus of making the brand the leading omni-channel retailer in the world.
Let’s say for example you’re looking for a specific fishing lure; the omni-channel experience means you can check your nearest store’s inventory to see if it’s available, purchase it online and pick it up in-store the same day.
Look to Your Competition
You can learn a lot about how to make your brand stand out by evaluating how your competition is engaging with your target audience.
Take the time to do a broad analysis of their marketing efforts, identifying what is working for them and what isn’t. Since you are working to reach the same audience, doing this can save you time and effort by avoiding wasting time on approaches that don’t seem to be working.
This kind of evaluation is especially useful when considering your own social media strategies. For instance, if a key competitor has a strong social following on Instagram, diving deep into their account to see what kind of posts garner the most audience engagement can guide your own Instagram marketing strategy.
You may find that reposted photos from brand fans may get more likes than carefully curated marketing images shot and styled by professionals. You can then save money by focusing your efforts on building a strong following and encouraging engagement with contests and giveaways instead of wasting your budget on costly photo shoots.
Publish Original Content
Add value and build consumer trust by offering your audience an array of useful original content on your blog and social media.
Cover a wide range of topics that directly relate to your brand, answering questions that interest your audience. In addition to encouraging brand engagement, this is also beneficial to your website’s search engine optimization.
If you are stumped on topics, go directly to the source. Use social media to ask your followers what they want to know or need advice for when it comes to your products.
By reaching out to your audience for help and then following through and answering their questions, you can prove that your company truly values what your customers have to say.
Solly Baby, a company that manufactures baby wraps and swaddles, does a great job of using customer feedback as inspiration for their original content.
The company regularly publishes instructional videos to answer frequently asked questions and blog posts on common topics like traveling with babies and pregnancy must-haves by trimester.
Over to You
What strategies to you use to help your brand sparkle? Drop your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!