By Chris R. Benjamin, Guest Blogger
Companies are becoming increasingly sophisticated about digital marketing and the need for high-quality communications in the digital space. That means more competition than ever before, in just about every industry.
With your target audience already being reached through sharp content marketing and carefully-cultivated relationships, how can you make room for your messages to be heard? The answer is to make your marketing messages stand out.
Here are 3 strategies that you can employ in order to be heard “above the noise,” even when you can’t seem to get a word in edgewise.
1. Get the timing right
There’s a lot to be said for delivering your marketing messages at the right time. By paying close attention to your target market’s habits—that is, how they use social media, what they do online, and when they search for the solutions you can provide—you can learn the best times to hit “publish” on your blog, or make snappy posts and announcements on social outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
Some solid research exists on the right time of day to execute content on various platforms:
– Belle Beth Cooper of social automation app Buffer reports that the average blog receives the most traffic on Mondays (out of all other days of the week) and at 11am (out of all other times of day. Most comments on blogs are made on Saturdays, and around 9am regardless of day.
– Jason Keath, CEO of Social Fresh, reports some interesting data from Shareaholic: Social sharing happens more on Thursday than any other day of the week, followed by Wednesdays, Fridays and Mondays. 27% of content sharing happens between 8am and 12pm.
If you’re just starting to form your content strategy, you might start out by making your blog and social media posts around the times suggested above. Later on, once you have a dedicated following, you can look at your own data to discern the optimal times for content publication.
How to stand out: Using the broad statistical data or your own metrics, construct a content schedule you will stick to, testing and refining as you go along. If you get your content out to your audience when they’re most likely to be looking for, engaging with, and sharing it, you will catch many more eyes than your less time-conscious competitors.
2. Segment your market
One of the defining characteristics of successful companies is that they know their market intimately. The more deeply you understand your customers’ specific wishes, fears, and needs, the better you’ll be able to convince them that your solution is the right one.
First, compose a sketch of your audience. Things to consider include age, sex, location, beliefs, education, and personality. With those factors in mind, visit the forums your ideal users frequent and take note of popular discussion topics. Use tools such as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends to see how often relevant words and phrases come up. You’ll then be able to write blogs and social media posts that instantly arouse interest.
Need some more insight? Conduct a survey. Send out an email to your subscribers asking them what their greatest hurdles are, and then construct content around the answers you get.
How to stand out: Get to know your audience and speak to them directly through your content. Answer their questions. Ask them to share their experiences and stories with you. Become intimately familiar with what drives your followers and respond to their deepest needs, and you’ll gain the coveted access to their trust.
3. Infuse Your Messages with Creativity and Novelty
It’s a fact. Humans are fascinated by items that are “out of the ordinary.” Capturing their attention and redirecting it towards a practical solution is exactly how you’ll make a lasting impression.
First, think about your brand. A strong Unique Selling Proposition, or USP, is one way you can set yourself apart the moment a new prospective customer encounters it. Consider what your brand says that’s different from anything else out there. What remarkable results can you alone (or, your company alone) deliver? Define your USP succinctly, and then build content around it.
Creativity can also involve providing a new perspective. It can mean:
- Bringing up a hot-button issue in your industry and offering a unique take on how to solve the problem.
- Being humorous in a way that’s not too abstract, but that connects your brand with a new sense of how your product can enhance lives.
- Hosting contests on social media to create excitement and buzz surrounding your brand.
How to stand out: Identify the one (or two) things that your company is in a unique position to accomplish for your target market, and develop or refine your USP around those points. With that as a launching pad, think outside of the box to get your audience to see you, and the rest of their own world, in a new light.
Put all of the above together, and you’ll create a complete experience for your target audience—one in which they see you as a thought-leader who’s immediately responsive to their needs, wherever they happen to be in your sales cycle. Engage with your customers at the right times, in their language, and with interactions that intrigue them, and you’ll have no problem rising above the competition—both today and for the foreseeable future.
Chris R. Benjamin is a New York City-based freelance writer who specializes in the topics of digital marketing, small business development, and applied psychology, among others. See more of his work at BennyTheWriter.com.