How to Make Your Small Business Stand Out from the Competition

How to Make Your Small Business Stand Out from the Competition

When economic times are tough, it is more important than ever to take actions that will allow your small business to stand out from its competitors. Here is how to make your small business stand out from the competition.

Focus in on your target market

When it comes to your ideal customer base, the more specific you can be about your customer base, the better. Being able to accurately describe your target market will give potential clients an opportunity to identify with your business. For example, if you can narrow your potential customer base from “high school students” to “high school students who play sports,” not only will you be able to come up with more accurate marketing campaigns, but you will also inform those students that your product was made specifically for them. This will lead to greater customer retention in the long run.  Here is a video to show you how to do just that.

Do something different

Pick out five of your competitors and take a look at their marketing strategies. Do you see any commonalities? If so, this could be the perfect opportunity to set yourself apart by taking what you know about your competitors and doing something different. For example, if all competitors you compete with are using one medium to promote their product, such as billboards or TV ads – you might want to capitalize on the chance to use online marketing or radio advertising. It could be the case that your product is exposed to a brand new, potential customer base not yet reached by your competitors.

Maintain a good blog

Not enough can be said about how helpful it can be to supplement your business’ website with a good blog. For one, it gives your customers the chance to see what’s new in your business. But apart from just that, keeping your blogs consistently updated sends a signal to search engines such as Google that your website has relevant, current information. And, to put it simply, search engines love relevant information. Therefore, blogs kill two birds with one stone; they keep your customers interested in your product while improving your search engine rankings.

Go bilingual

One common flaw of many small businesses is that they don’t provide methods of communicating with their non-English speaking clientele. In an increasingly globalized world, not having multilingual speakers at your business could greatly hold your business back. Be sure to not only seek out bilingual or multilingual employees but also consider adding pages to your business website written in other languages. Doing so will be sure to increase and diversify your customer base.

Create something viral

The masters of online marketing have already seen their profits skyrocket after creating content that goes viral. It could be a funny jingle in a commercial, an infographic that becomes the talking point of blogs and forums throughout the internet, or a cute video that you host online and proceeds to spread like wild-fire. Web sites like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and other similar sites have shifted the way that customers view companies and how they market their product. To put it simply, creating viral content is arguably one of the most effective marketing strategies of the 21st century.

The Role of Citizen Journalism

The Role of Citizen Journalism

The internet is changed how we interact with each other, how we shop and more importantly how we get our news.  Local news and hard copies of newspapers are barely selling but at the same time the world is getting smaller.  Online publications, social media, blogs, forums, directories have replaced the newspapers we used to pick up from our doorstep.  Now much of what fills our news comes from Twitter, Facebook feeds, and online publications like the Huffington Post.

Citizen Journalism

What is citizen journalism? 

“Citizen journalism is all about people collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information especially on the social media.” Is the definition according to Wikipedia.  Think about social media for a minute, and Facebook in particular, it is a platform that more than a billion people using the platform to tell the world what is going on around us.  Even trained journalists check their social media accounts often and depend on them to find out what is happening in the world.

Think about the Arab Spring back in 2011, for a moment, that was one of the biggest examples of citizen journalism we have ever seen.  Much of the reporting and photos of what was going on came from places like Twitter and Facebook.  The government had shut the internet down so much of what was shown online came from the average person taking pictures and video with their smart phones.

The Good

There are a lot of good things about the shift towards citizen journalism.  Every part of it is up to the minute, with platforms like Facebook Live features allow you to see news as it unfolds by people on the ground.  That means every time there is a protest, march, election day coverage you can see everything as it is happening.  There is no more waiting for the morning newspaper or for the news to come on TV at 6pm.

The Bad

Citizen journalism is exactly that journalism done by untrained citizens.  Journalists are taught their craft, they have degrees and have been educated on the finer points of journalism.  Journalists are taught to be objective, whereas the average person isn’t.  While live video can help a person stay objective, user contributed content doesn’t allow for that.  Writing for online publications you can slant the story with your own opinion as your not accountable to an editor.

The world has gotten much smaller as our ability to communicate becomes more diverse, now we have access to any news we want at any given time of day, that is pretty incredible.