Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In a market where many business ideas are saturated with already well-established sellers, it’s frequently difficult to stand out amongst the crowd. The competition in just about any market is definitely worth considering when attempting to land clients on a pitch or other business deal. The majority of businesses will pitch to clients how they differ from their competitors or why they are the best in the industry. This, oftentimes, may be challenging when your startup is competing with other businesses that tower over you like goliaths. This article will discuss how to make your business stand out so that you can compete with other established brands.
Digital marketing has grown exponentially over the last decade. With the constant evolution of social media and the attention it garners, businesses have recognized a unique opportunity to target clients through social ad campaigns. Social media ads are perhaps one of the most effective tools in marketing, as most clients are likely on social media to some extent. Once your prospective client clicks your ad and lands on your website, maybe they decide to engage with you. Maybe they think to themselves, “This website and business owner are just like all the rest.” Alas, standing out is not as simple as one may think. Thousands of dollars into a website, the perfect algorithm targeting your desired audience with ads, and yet still, your business does not stand out.
So, what can you do? Here are two effective marketing tactics you can use to increase brand awareness and credibility:
Related: 6 Innovative Ways to Increase Brand Awareness
How to stand out with news campaigns
Now, envision, “Forbes featured company” or “Rated top 5 by USA Today.” Enticing? Maybe. In fact, seeing this on somebody’s website would most likely increase the likelihood of prospective clients converting. This social proof also increases the probability of attaining authentication on your social media profiles. Not to mention, the majority of these news features readily appear on Google search. As a whole, the combination of searchability and reputability that develops as a result of news features is certainly not something to disregard. There are multiple different agencies that specialize in certain types of features. I, for example, operate one that is well-established. This particular business endeavor requires knowledge of the industry, which is by no means naturally intuitive. Thus, do your diligence prior to committing to working with any agency or team. More tips on this will come later.
How to stand out with influencer marketing
The second method, which is quite effective for increasing the social awareness of your brand, is popularly known as influencer marketing. This is exactly what it sounds like: pay influencers to acknowledge your product/service. Here’s something to note — and actually something that is very powerful: People trust businesses that are trusted by trustworthy people (i.e., influencers). Generally, people want to work with businesses that seem to be important because it gives them a sense of importance. If an influencer of importance is marketing your product or service, and potential clients see this, they’re more likely to conclude that what you’re offering is important.
Related: 5 Reasons Why You Need to Take Advantage of Influencer Marketing
How to accomplish these marketing strategies
You may be thinking to yourself, “Cool, but how do I do this?” That is a reasonable question, and there is no easy answer. If everyone could do these things, then they would not be effective tactics.
In combination, news features and influencer marketing, paired with the proper ad campaign, will almost certainly skyrocket your current sales. Together, these two things build brand awareness, trust and uniqueness. If you offer a service, and a well-known influencer says that they work with your business or brand, you immediately stand out. If someone clicks your website, and you’re featured in half a dozen well-established news websites, you immediately stand out.
These two things together, are perhaps the most convincing and enticing social proof that a brand or business could attain. This is the reason why massive corporations, such as Louis Vuitton, pay well-known models millions of dollars to model their products. This is also why Louis Vuitton is featured in hundreds of magazines monthly.
Conveniently, there are agencies that specialize in one or both of these things. I am not advertising myself or my services here, but I personally have published clients in dozens of top-tier news outlets with their unique stories, featuring their brands or businesses. Regardless of who you look to hire for your efforts, please read the following.
Some tips in your search:
Do NOT pay per feature/story or pay for reach from influencers. When attempting influencer marketing, pay per influencer. Sometimes one video can reach millions of people. If you pay per reach, you limit the number of influencers you can use. Also, some PR firms will pitch you a “per story” deal. They’ll write one story and send it to five outlets to see who picks it up. They guarantee that one outlet will publish the story. Eighty percent of the time, only one outlet publishes the story, and you paid for three outlets’ worth of publications.
Work with a team that is educated, trustworthy and has a good figurehead. Typically, this is not the mainstream, scaled-up businesses. It is also not some random kid from LA flexing on social media.
Together, news features and influencer marketing can help to increase brand awareness and credibility. This will increase the likelihood of individuals engaging with and purchasing from your business. In conjunction, inevitably, these two strategies significantly boost your chances of authenticating your social media pages.
Related: 5 Strategies for How to Make Customers Trust Your Brand