If you run an online business, it goes without saying that you probably have a fair amount of competition. After all, the internet is a fairly large place, and consumers have plenty of options when it comes to online shopping. Your online business marketing efforts should therefore be aimed at not just generating revenue, but making your business stand out among the crowd.
It’s true, people have a lot of options to choose from, but that doesn’t mean that your business isn’t the best! The question is: how do you let them know that? What can you do to separate yourself from the pack and send the message that you are worthy of attention?
In short, there are several steps you can take. From creating exceptional video marketing content to partnering with other websites, stepping up and standing out is possible. In fact, we’ve even put together a few tips for you to consider when formulating your online business marketing strategy.
Here’s how to stand out.
1. Audit Your Website
You’ve heard the phrase “SEO” before, and maybe you even know what it means. However, now is the time to actually get cranking and jump into the world of SEO. Simply put, SEO is how well your website shows in search results and….it’s kind of important.
You can hire an expensive SEO firm to beef up your site or use a free online SEO checker to get started. Once your site is clean and headed in the right direction, many of your online business marketing efforts should be devoted towards boosting your SEO. From blog writing to video marketing to social media, your goal is to continue to improve your content. As a result, you’ll stand out better.
2. Form Strategic Partnerships
If you can find another online business (that is not a direct competitor) and work out a collaboration, do it. This will help expose your business to a whole new audience and vice versa. Link exchanges are a great, easy cross-promotion. Guest blogging will also work.
3. Step Up Your Video Marketing
In case you haven’t heard, we know a thing or two about video marketing, and we’re sure it’s pretty great. But don’t just take our word for it. The numbers also come down on the side of video marketing.
- 87% of online marketers use video content
- 85% of the US internet audience watches online video content
- ⅓ of ALL online activity is spent watching video
The list goes on. You should be creating video marketing ads that target your audience across social media as well as uploading videos to YouTube, IGTV, and more. Remember that whole bit about improving your SEO? Video marketing can help with that as well.
4. Have A Unique Value Proposition. And Run With It
Your online store may sell the best t-shirts around. However, simply telling people that isn’t likely to have them beating a path to the door. Brands that succeed do so by having a unique value proposition to extend to customers.
A unique value proposition may be one of the most important tools in your online business marketing mix. Consider, for example, the well known online subscription service Dollar Shave Club.
Dollar Shave Club’s iconic introductory video may be single-handedly responsible for their meteoric rise. But their value proposition isn’t in the idea that their razors are simply better than the competition. Rather, they hit all the important points:
- Our blades are great
- Name brand blades are too expensive
- With name brand competitors you’re paying for features you don’t need
- You’ll save money
- We’ll ship them right to you
When was the last time a razor blade company made that type of pitch? Well, it was Dollar Shave Club and they’re doing just fine.
5. Host A Webinar
Webinars are a great way for your brand to stand out while also providing value to your customer. There are plenty of services that allow you to host your webinar online for free or at a low cost.
Webinars allow you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge and position yourself as a trustworthy brand. Think of something you would want your customers to know, or information they would be interested in. Host a webinar covering that topic. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. A half hour or so will do, plus time for Q&A.
Webinars are a great, low-cost online business marketing tool that you should not pass up. Promote your next upcoming webinar across your social media channels, in your email marketing, and of course with a great promotional video ad.
6. Be Creative and Daring
You don’t have to go out on a limb, but it goes without saying that uniqueness tends to stand out. Take Dollar Shave Club as an example. Their brand personality is lighthearted and a little silly. From the beginning, that shines through.
DSC could have easily gone a more straight-laced and professional route with their online business marketing, but would it have worked? Hard to say. The point is: there is a time to be professional and there is a time to give your brand life and personality. Adhere to the former but don’t pass up on opportunities for the latter.
7. Blog It
If you think blogs don’t work then… what are you doing here? The quick and simple fact is that blogs are a great way to enhance your website content, provide valuable information to your customers, and enhance your SEO. All while helping to establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
There’s a reason why nearly every successful online business has a blog. As far as online business marketing goes, blogging is one way to stand out that is relatively easy, low-cost and effective.
8. Be Social. But Be Smart About It
It goes without saying that your online business needs a social media presence. However, many startups feel pressure to be on all channels all the time. For many, this is simply not feasible. You are better off focusing on one or two channels and putting your best efforts into growing your audience there. You can always expand later.
For many businesses, Facebook is a no-brainer. It has the largest audience and the best ad targeting features.
9. Be Consistent
Online businesses are like sharks: they need to keep swimming forward. In the offline world, businesses that languish or fall into disrepair tend to lose customers. The online version of this is a social media channel that never gets updated, a blog that never has new content, or weeks going by without a newsletter, promotional offer, etc.
Your business needs to stay current as well as consistent. Don’t let things mellow for too long before reaching out to your customer or creating more content. Once an audience has decided they want to engage with you, they’ll notice if you start to slack off.
10. Be Charitable
Social responsibility is a large motivating factor for customers. People like to buy from organizations they feel represent their values. If there is a charitable cause, a non-profit organization, or a movement that you can be a part of, your audience will support you.
And Don’t Forget The Videos!
There is no set formula for success when it comes to online business marketing. However, being consistent, charitable, and active in managing your online business can become a whole lot easier when you use online video to promote your products and services.
Above all else: keep moving forward (like a shark!) and in the right direction. Brands that consistently take steps to rise above the rest are putting themselves in the best possible position for success.