By: Shahid Abbasi

28 April 2018

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Being a startup, there are many challenges entrepreneurs face from market penetration to grow revenues to brand recognition. On the other hand, consumer buying patterns are evolving with each passing day and these startups have to come up with different techniques and marketing strategies to cope with such unique patterns.

If you are having a startup, it is of utmost importance that you excel in almost every department to win the clients’ hearts. Whether it is about product or service quality, authenticity, customer service or any other. As per the research done by HelpScout, 78% of consumers did not purchase from the seller due to poor customer service.

One of the most crucial aspects of winning the market share is to out-market your competitors and you need to leave no stones unturned to achieve it. However, it should be done carefully or it will backfire on you only.

Your marketing strategy, your business offerings, your branding techniques, every possible thing must offer unique customer experience to ensure that your customers stay loyal to you and new customers should get attracted to your offerings.

Here is a comprehensive list of things you need to implement and connect together to out-smart your competitors.

1. Business Strategy

Your business strategy should be designed by keeping a sharp eye on your competitors and their strategies. You need to make a detailed report about your competitors and how they differ in terms of offerings, marketing, and positioning.

There is a list of questions you need to ask to yourself before making a strategy:

  • Are you new in this market segment or business niche?
  • How your offerings are different than your competitors?
  • Do your customers know about these differences you offer?

By answering these three questions, you will have some idea where you fall in the industry and what you need to include in your business strategy.

Identify small opportunities:

Being new in the market, you might find some business opportunities that are too small for your competitors to look up to.

By putting efforts on such small opportunities, you might end up winning the game on a larger scale. It is a way to go ahead than your competitors.

2. Marketing + Branding

Without effective and comprehensive marketing and branding plan, you are going nowhere. Here is a list of techniques, but they are not all. You need to come up with some new techniques that you can design and implement as per your business niche, customers, and market.

Understanding your customer personas:

You need to identify your clientele and everything about them including their buying patterns, their expectations, what they are looking for, how they use products, etc.

Also, sometimes, you can even drill down customer personas into sub-personas to reach out to your potential customers.

In this manner, you will be able to address their issues and in turn, win their loyalty to your brand. There are chances that they will talk about you in the market too being your advocate.

3. Content marketing and Branding

Once you have a clear idea about your target audience and their requirements and uses, it is a right time to invest smartly in content marketing and branding.

Before that, you need to have an idea about how content marketing is needed and how it can pay you dividends, not instantly, but over the years.

It is not just about writing articles and blogs and uploading on websites on a daily basis. Content marketing is a comprehensive content creation and sharing strategy that should be followed in a perfect manner.

You need to be authoritative while creating and sharing unique, original and informative content that is engaging and adds value. Hire some good writers and designers who can help you out to create quality content.

Creating a brand takes time and you need to be patient with it. You have lots of competitors and out-smarting them in just a small time is not possible.

4. Come up with a free and useful resource

Online users are looking for information and nothing else and when you offer them free, they are likely to love it.

Always come up with a free resource of information that is authoritative, relevant to the business niche and informative. It might be a tool or an e-book or a video tutorial for a process.

For example, you are based at a certain location and you have a calendar page on your website that offers the latest information about events and exhibitions related to your business niche. People will certainly like it.

It does not take much time to update such tools and the return you will get is beyond your expectations.

Cover latest trends in your content:

Yes, it is important if you are the first one introducing latest technology or a tool in the market. Always ensure that you cover latest trending topics in your content to get that competitive edge over others. It might not be relevant to your offerings, still, it will create a huge impact on your audience.

You can take a help of Google trends and other research tools and find out about such trending topics. By responding to such topics, it will create superior brand recognition unquestionably.

5. Community Building

You must have come across different online forums for brands such as Apple. As soon as Apple launches a new product, they start talking and discussing its features and advantages. Being new to the community, you will surely impress and it will undoubtedly affect your purchase decision too.

Community building is important and in the long run, pays off your efforts superlatively. You can start your own community and gradually build it. However, it is important that you build it responsively and contribute to the community meaningfully.

One of the most important benefits of community building is you are directly connecting with your prospecting customers and once you have proved your value, it will be easy to persuade them to make purchase decisions.

After some time, there will be your customers advocating your brand on the community as it happens with Apple and other brands. Loyal customers will become your speakers in the community.

Also, if you cannot build your own community, start sponsoring one that exists. It will work in your favor tremendously.

6. Give your customer a satisfying experience

It is one of the most crucial ways to earn loyalty from the customers. Remember, they should have happy faces once they are done with purchasing. If your customer is happy, it will bring more customers to your website and it means more referrals and superior loyalty for a lifetime.

Here is a list of two techniques you can use to give your customer a good and pleasing experience:

Add Live Chat on your website:

Live chat is one of the most impressive ways to get personal with your customers. When customers are confused while surfing your website, they seek quick guidance to solve their queries or questions and if they don’t find it, they will simply leave.

By adding a Live Chat feature, you will be able to engage your customer personally and offer solutions they are looking for. It will make them feel special as you care about them.

Once you have added this feature, your conversion rate will boost like anything.

Social media engagement:

First of all, you need to be present on the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest. Similar to Live Chat, you need to engage with your potential customers here too. Respond to their issues smartly and quickly and there are higher chances that they will turn to your customers.

There are many other platforms such as Quora and other online forums where you provide useful information to the users. Users love it when they get answers to their problems and issues.

Conclusion:

Competition is here to stay. You need to ensure that you take advantages of opportunities lying on your path to create brand recognition and increase your revenues. By keeping in the mind aforementioned tips, you can out-market your competitors even if you are a businessman with a newly launched company.

It is not a comprehensive guide. Above tips are just starting points. You have to find ideas and techniques that are relevant to your business and the sky is the limit for you.

Digital Marketing BoF

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