8 Proven to Work Strategies To Differentiate Your Local Business Amongst Your Competitors
In the modern competitive business landscape, having a strong marketing strategy that differentiates you from your local competitors is critical to your company's success. With so many local promotional campaigns and marketing channels competing for customers' attention, you must find unique ways to stand out. Beating your competition allows you to provide superior value to your customers, gain their loyalty and boost the overall profitability of your business.
Nonetheless, competitive differentiation goes far beyond outdoing competitors' services. It involves creating a holistic business model that makes your customers view your business as superior along most comparison criteria. In this article, we will look at 8 proven to work strategies that will help you stand out against your competitors.
Learn Who your Real Competitors Are
As you set off on your journey to develop and implement the right tactics to differentiate your brand, conducting a thorough competitive analysis is vital. Identifying your real local competitors and what they offer helps you streamline your services and stand out. It helps you identify areas of differentiation, set competitive prices, and respond to rival marketing campaigns with unique initiatives. Some of the things you need to research include:
The products and services they offer and the marketing methods they use
How they deliver their services or distribute products
The prices they charge
Who are their long-standing customers
Whether they have recently had a customer influx
Their brand and design values
The devices or tools they employ to streamline their services and enhance customer loyalty
The caliber of staff they attract and the numbers
Reviews from customers about their products or services
If they are a public company, you can check out their annual report
Their media activities, including their websites, local newspapers, and any outdoor advertising
With this information and knowledge, you can set up marketing strategies that take advantage of your competitors' weaknesses to enhance the performance of your business. It would also be brilliant to assess any threats from the current competitors and new entrants.
You will more likely meet your local competitors at business and social events. Be friendly to them because they are not enemies but competitors striving to be successful as you. It's a good chance to get to know them better.
Address Customers' Pain Points
One of the most effective strategies to win customers' attention is alleviating their pain. Customers around the same area have common issues that make them search for solutions to solve their problems. Understanding these pain points can be a better way to offer targeted solutions and create a better situation for them. There are four main categories of pain points:
Financial pain points: These are issues involving money that customers face, like overpriced services or unclear spending. So if you offer a home service like health care, you will want to offer friendly charges and make your customers see the value of their money.
Process pain points: Issues like time-consuming services and complicated methods that customers have to deal with when solving problems.
Productivity pain points: These are issues that customers experience from a lack of streamlined services or inefficiencies where resources and time are not properly utilized. This is a weakness that many home services provider companies have, and you can differentiate your brand by offering streamlined services.
Support pain points: Issues like lack of proper guidance on product use or confusing service payment processes that make customers feel they do not get the help they need.
Identifying all these pain points is the secret to developing solutions that efficiently address customers' needs. The best way to identify them is by enhancing strong customer engagement through conducting surveys, live chats, and follow-ups. This establishes your brand reputation and builds customers.
Ensuring your Listings are Constantly Updated
Incorporating location intelligence into your marketing strategy can significantly drive results by getting your business to the target audience. When you learn how to utilize geomarketing effectively, you build trust with your customers and stand out from the crowd. One of the geomarketing forms is business listings in search engines like Google.
People are always on search engines to check out for businesses around them and read customer reviews. Research shows that 97% of consumers search online to find local businesses. The last thing you want is your business to not be on the result pages. You need to claim your business listings and constantly update them to ensure your potential customers have access to accurate information.
Keep all your information up to date, including your business name, phone number, address, website URL, categories, photos, description, operating hours, and social profiles. Consumers gain confidence in a business where they see consistent information. Also, Google scans all your listings when looking for your business information and values consistency. Your business will likely rank higher when your listings are consistent with the right information.
Provide the Best Customer Service
Providing exceptional customer service is vital in enhancing customer satisfaction, retention, and attracting new customers. As a business owner, you should never underestimate word of mouth. When customers are satisfied, they become good ambassadors and recommend your services to others.
Unfortunately, quality customer service is in short supply today. You should take this as an opportunity to outshine your competitors by providing the best service to your customers. If you are unsure how to stand out in your customer service, you can enroll in customer service certifications or courses to gain the requisite skills. They teach you how to go the extra mile with your service, keep your promises and follow up on your clients.
Ask for Customer Reviews Consistently
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Customer reviews reflect their experience with your business, so giving your clients a chance to express their views about your business on your website is critical.
Google takes customers' reviews seriously and considers them a vital determinant of your rankings on results pages. In fact, it claims that customer reviews come with a trust factor and indicates them as the fifth most vital ranking factor in search engine result pages. So, positive reviews increase your business visibility while expanding your business's reach.
You can help your customers to easily submit their reviews by creating a feature like a web button. Not all reviews will be positive since customers have different views and experiences. If you get negative reviews, try to communicate with them and know what they dislike about your services. That way, you can make the necessary changes where possible.
Run Local Promotions
Promotional strategies go hand in hand with marketing. Without local promotions, your brand may not garner much attention from pre-occupied customers. You should aim at creating offers that are hard to resist or ignore. Being creative with your service packages makes customers find more value in your business. For instance, if you offer health services to residents around your area, you could give a 10% discount to first-timers. This can bring you benefits such as:
Increasing brand awareness
Increasing customer traffic
Building sales and profits
Do not make the mistake of forgetting your loyal customers. Always have some regular offers for them to make them feel appreciated and retain them.
Innovation is all about introducing something new into the local market. Being innovative can be both risky and unpredictable, yet one of the most powerful and smartest ways to differentiate yourself.
If you manage to introduce something new that none of your competitors offers, you can hit the nail on the head if the idea succeeds. Think of any service gaps in your area that are within your industry and come up with ways of filling the gaps.
Utilize Social Media to Elevate Your Brand
Social media marketing is among the most powerful way to market your products and services. With an estimated 4.26 billion social media users worldwide, you are sure to reach a wide audience and gain a competitive edge. To gain attention from your target audience, you must create content that stands out against the posts from other marketers. Engaging content can drive traffic to your website.
Social media also provides a prime medium to acknowledge and appreciate your customers. Many clients listen when an executive of a brand they love has something to say on social media. Providing information that appeal to them increases their confidence and trust in your brand.
One pro tip you should consider is giving your loyal social media advocates a complimentary upgrade or a gift. Doing this could be of minimal cost to your company, but high chances are that your advocate will post about this exciting experience on social media. It will provide positive exposure for your brand and bring more new customers.
Differentiating your business amongst your local competitors can be challenging but often results in greater long-term profitability. Your marketing strategy and messaging should resonate with your target audience in a way that creates a perception that your services are differentiated.
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