Web marketing challenge: standing out
We have all seen those run-of-the-mill, cookie-cutter social media and blog posts that many small businesses seem to put on their sites. It’s not that they’re doing anything wrong, exactly; it’s just that as a consumer, it can feel like you’re getting a lot of the same kinds of posts from several different kinds of businesses. This can present a huge challenge in online marketing. The more businesses hop on social media sites and maintain their blog on a regular basis, the more pressure there is to stand out. It has become more important than ever to create fresh content, which makes many scratch their head and ask, “How?”
Not everyone can just sit down behind a computer screen with a task at hand and be inspired. Even the most creative of people can struggle sometimes to create something new and innovative. What many don’t realize is that oftentimes, the most unique and interesting of content wasn’t over-thought. Often, your best ideas can come to you just by living your every day life. Below is a compilation of a few simple suggestions to help you use the resources immediately available to you each day to come up with fresh topics that you can write about on your social media and blogging sites.
Tip one: engage your enthusiasts
• Use your biggest fans to your advantage. Everyone loves a good story. Reach out to past customers or clients who have had the best things to say about you and ask them to give you a testimonial of sorts. From there, use what they’ve said and tell a story about what their experience was like. This is something a bit more creative that you could throw in once in a while. Doing it too often could be a bit much, but throwing in positive feedback about your business on occasion could create interesting content that bolsters your business at the same time.
Tip two: tools at hand
• Do you like an app, product or particular vendor? Consider writing about them if it pertains to your audience. Do it without “striking a deal” with the other party, and avoid direct endorsements, lest your site lose focus. Just think of a product that you particularly love to use that you think could help your consumers and write about it. From there, send what you wrote to the company whose product you endorsed and voila: you could have just formed a new business relationship that could come in handy down the line while providing content that people may actually find useful.
Tip three: pay attention to questions
• Listen. I’m sure as you meet people and tell them what you do; people have questions to ask you about your line of business on occasion. They want to know what you do, how you do things, and what results you see. People are interested in these things. Pay attention to these questions and write them down, because they make great blog posts. Remember, if you’re a business to consumer organization, you’re going to want to write things that are meant for your customers. They may not understand all of the intricacies of your business. Blog and social media outlets are a great way to educate and inform as well as promote your brand.
Tip four: news in context
• Do your research. It is okay to go off-topic once in awhile and write about a topic that is clearly trendy in the web world. Every day, as you log on Facebook, check out streaming Twitter feeds or see news scroll across the online media sites each day, take note of what people seem to be talking about. Granted, you want it to stay appropriate and interesting for business purposes, but you can take a piece that seems to be of interest to the public and write about it. Granted, you want to steer away from controversial news stories, but new tech releases or major news could make a great topic to post about in the right context.
Tip five: seek inspiration
• Use others in your field to help you. While you don’t want to “copy” the competition on a regular basis, it is okay to monitor the social media and blogging sites of others in your field for inspiration. One of the benefits of having such awesome technology offered to us is that you can use it to compare ideas and benefit from others successes. In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with learning from your competitors and using some of what they have to say in your marketing efforts. Focus on your own ideas most of the time, but know that it is okay to find inspiration through someone else.
As you read over these ideas just listed out, I’m sure you’ve noticed that a lot of these tactics involve things that we do every day, anyway. We all monitor the competition on a regular basis, surf online news sites, talk to our loved ones about our job, recommend products to others and market our business. It’s all about using these day to day activities in a way that’s creative and can benefit your online presence. If you can think outside the box, you’ll find that you can get inspiration from just about everywhere, and from there, the custom content will start to flow naturally.