How to Win When The Competition is Tough
Are you in a fiercely competitive industry where every lead is crucial? Do you find it tough to “win” against bigger companies or those that have more marketing power or a bigger budget? Do you struggle to compete when it comes down to the features that matter, IE price? You’ll never win if you compete on price. Ever. What you can do is find another way to compete – even against corporations that are way out of your league.
How you say? First, you need to determine what you do best – what is it? Is it providing a solid product? Is it your service? Is it price (it might be, so don’t discount it). Figure out what you do well.
Next, ask yourself (or your team) why you do what you do – why do you think people should buy your product or service? What is your “why”? Is it to provide the best solution to a given problem? Is it that your business has had a history of providing quality products, maybe from generation to generation? Or are you trying to make ends meet for you and your employees? Find your why. It’s important.
Now that you know what you do well and why you do it, you can start putting together a USP or unique selling proposition. Let’s face it – people don’t buy your products or services because you’re the cheapest – though you may be. They probably buy them because they have a personal relationship with you or your employees. Maybe their first experience with your business won them over and their repeat business has proven you worthy of their loyalty.
People buy your why – and that’s where you can compete with even the largest of the world’s businesses. Think of how you can incorporate your why into your USP. How can you position your business so that your USP stands out? What can you do once you have your why incorporated into your USP? What next?
HOW TO WIN WHEN COMPETITION IS TOUGH
Incorporate your USP in everything you do
This may seem like a no-brainer, but seriously. Use it in all of your marketing to a point where people mention it when they make a shop or make a purchase. By letting consumers and businesses (in case you’re B2B) know what you stand for, why you do what you do, they can determine if your values match theirs and, if so, begin a new business relationship with them. It may sound like you have to play the long game, however, on average, most sales are made after the 8th touchpoint.
Most businesses in highly competitive fields are not taking the time to communicate their USP and create relationships with their customers. With customer retention becoming increasingly challenging to maintain, business will have to adopt a customer-centric approach (if they haven’t already) to stay ahead of the curve.
Bottom line: Communicate your USP effectively to help build relationships with new and existing customers to stand out in your industry.
If your USP doesn’t differentiate you from the competition, find a way to stand out
Again, a no-brainer, but it bears repeating. In order to stand out in the sea of competition, you need to find out what makes you unique, if that’s not communicated in your USP. Maybe it’s your charity work. Maybe your hiring policies are super inclusive and diverse. Maybe its your personal brand – your activity on social media and your voice in the industry. Any number of these things can and will differentiate you in your industry so don’t forget about them.
Even if you do communicate your USP effectively, it’s always good to differentiate yourself further from your competition.
Bottom line: Make sure you’re noticeably different from the rest of your competition – think outside the box about what makes YOU unique.
Share your knowledge and experience with others in the industry
This one is a not-so-obvious way to stand out, and you’re probably thinking, “What? No. I’m not giving away my secrets.” Woah, hold up. That’s not what I’m suggesting. Inevitably, there are people – entrepreneurs, small businesses, struggling businesses – that could benefit from your insight and experience. If you’ve got years of experience, are an expert in your industry, or just have a different angle on how you approach challenges in business, share them. Your experiences may just help someone either in your industry or outside of it to get started or stay going.
You’re probably still skeptical. I get that. But, think of it this way – if you started, say, a “insiders” Facebook or LinkIn group where you shared ideas and experiences with like minded people, don’t you think that would make you stand out more? Would you be more respected in the industry? How many other companies – including the biggest corporations – are doing that? Spoiler: they aren’t.
Another way to stand out by sharing your knowledge and potentially helping others in the industry is by starting a podcast, which requires a bit more work, but it’s still doable. It doesn’t have to be overly produced – in fact, the less fancy a podcast is, the more genuine it feels. Considering doing regular (like weekly for instance) video and post to YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook Reels, or literally anywhere. Sharing what you know is both a great way to stand out and can help build up your business.
One more thing to consider: would you have wanted a resource like a podcast, video series or online group that helped provide answers to common business issues when YOU were starting out? Yeah. Thought so.
Bottom line: Sharing what you know isn’t giving away the farm – it’s about providing value to others while helping you build up your business.
Don’t sell. Educate.
In 2023, no one wants to be “sold to”. I hate receiving phone calls and emails from someone that says hi (sometimes doesn’t even ask my name) and then jumps in with their sales pitch. Yuck. That’s like going on a date and being asked to marry you when you first meet. Check, please?
There’s a better way. Education. Content marketing and nuture campaigns are the best way to gain new customers. You don’t agree? PPC ads you say work better? Content marketing drives 3X more leads than other marketing methods. Not only that, but nurtured leads have a 47% higher order value than non-nurtured leads. Nurturing and education play large role in customer loyalty and trust.
You’d be surprised how many larger businesses are missing the boat on content marketing and the opportunity to reel in leads through nurturing. Taking the time to create targeted, nurturing content will not only help you generate leads, it’ll help you stand out too. Bonus: it’s cheaper than competing at PPC and paid search.
Sure, use PPC ads to drive traffic to your landing pages and website, however, once there, you need to make sure that you’re providing education or content that helps nurture those leads or they’ll bounce. Yes, content marketing requires content creators like writers and designers, however, the ROI is worth it. Nearly 80% of generated leads, don’t turn into sales. Why? No nurturing.
Bottom line: Use PPC to drive traffic and leads to your website, however, use content marketing to educate and nurture them.
It is certainly a challenge to win when the competition is tough, however, there are ways to do it, especially when budget is a major consideration. The important thing to remember is that any strategy, any plan that you put in place isn’t going to grant overnight success. In fact, you may not see the uptick in sales immediately, or in a month. Content marketing requires consistent and relevant content to be communicated to your target audience. However, as illustrated above, the benefits far outweigh the effort.
Have any content marketing hacks? We’d love to hear them!