Originally published on Buzz Web Media
Let’s not kid ourselves…most of us cannot claim to be the only one that can service our customers’ needs. There is going to be at least one other business within 1 to 10 minutes drive that is offering the same product or service, so why should a customer pick you over your competitors?
The reality is it will come down to how you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
It could be as simple as you offer lower prices, but do you want to be the Domino’s or Pizza Hut competing on the lowest price or do you want to be targeting a higher end type of customer with gourmet pizzas? If you compete on price, then there is only one direction to go, but if you build your business on value then you reduce the focus on price.
So, for someone that has never done business with you and all they have to go on is what they find online, how do you differentiate yourself on value? Your value is highlighted through the authority you are able to build with content marketing.
For many people looking for products and services online they will visit more than one website on the way to their buying decision. Typically, it will be the one that answers the visitor’s questions the best and is able to reassure them that they are the best selection that will win out, so a flippant “our customer comes first” line wont work.
People want to know how you can service their needs, do you have the expertise they are looking for and have you done this before. There are a number of ways (besides simply listing your products and services) you can convince people that you have what they are looking for:
Are you able to demonstrate through past work with clients that you are able to offer successful outcomes? By highlighting the work you have done with other clients you can show your ability to complete the service you offer. If you can show case studies that demonstrate how you catered to different scenarios then this reassures people that you have the knowledge and experience to deal with their own situation
Solicit testimonials from clients you have done work for. What did you do for them? Did you make them feel comfortable? Did you demonstrate a deep understanding of what you do?
Have you ever asked for someone else’s opinion of a movie before watching it? The opinions of others play a big part in our decision making.
Articles about different facets of what you do
People are going to have questions and as the expert you are in a position to answer them. If people are to find the answers all on your site then you increase engagement and the likelihood of them using you. If they get all the answers on your site why would they use someone else that has a thin brochure site?
Updates on industry news & trends
Producing content around things that are happening in your industry show that you are staying current and up to date. People want to know that the service they are receiving reflects current best practices and are the best solutions. Conveying the impact that any updates may have and why certain things should change to accommodate industry trends will reassure people that they will not be blindsided by anything.
Frequently asked questions
The questions that people ask you every day are a great resource. If someone asks you a question that is not addressed on your website you should take the opportunity to immediately add it to your FAQ’s. If one person has asked, then there is a good chance that others may have that same question.
Should ask questions
Most of the time people don’t know the right questions to ask, so how can you make sure they are asking the right questions? The best way is for you to put them in their heads. These will be questions that you will be quite comfortable answering but maybe your competitors will hesitate over
Okay so if you give away tips then perhaps some people may go away and do it themselves. In most businesses there are certain types of clients that will second guess and micromanage everything you do and this is the type that useful tips may get rid of. Others will read the useful tips and go, “Well if this guy is giving away all this useful information, he knows what he is talking about so he’s the guy for me.”
A content marketing strategy does not happen overnight. If you have not already, it may mean going back and identifying your target market before you even decide what type of content you should be producing. You will also need to decide how often you will publish material and who will be responsible.
Many businesses will have trouble getting started and finding the time to allocate but if a plan is put in place then you will have something to keep you accountable. The thing to remember is that your goal will be to establish a plan that you can consistently keep to. For some writing an article every week might not be feasible, but perhaps an article once a month and a weekly 2 minute video recorded with an iPhone uploaded to YouTube may work.
The thing to remember is that every piece of content is an extra piece that may engage your visitor and lead to a sale and it may even be something that comes up in Google searches. You would be surprised at how often things come up for random search terms that you never thought of and how one piece of content you spent 10 minutes creating a couple of years ago is still bringing in 30 visits a month….that might not seem like much but when was the last time you spent 10 minutes that brought in over 300 leads in one year?