marketing

In the past decade, everyone jumped on the digital marketing bandwagon. While it did help companies increase their revenue and reach new audiences, it also caused an information overload.

Consumers are too stimulated and it’s a challenge for businesses to stand out in all that noise. 

So, how do you get attention? How to stand out?

To answer these questions, you must first ask yourself what the audience wants. Modern consumers are not just searching for the best deal. Instead, they want personalized experiences and high-quality products. 

Small businesses may feel that they don’t have the upper hand in the market where enterprises sell their own products, but the truth is that they have the advantage. Smaller operations have a better shot at providing personalization and consistent quality. And to do this, you have to improve your strategy. 

Here’s how. 

Omnichannel Marketing 

Omnichannel marketing seems impossible to small businesses as it requires presence in all channels and small businesses have limited resources 

However, it can be as simple as aligning your online and offline appearance. And considering that people shopping through omnichannel spend around 50-300% more than those shopping through traditional systems, it’s worth it. 

  • If you are using one color scheme on your website, you should use the same one on your social media pages and in your brick-and-mortar stores. This way, no matter what channel your customers see, they will recognize your brand. 
  • If your social media posts are funny and friendly, your employees, whether in stores or with customer support, should behave the same way. Pick a voice and stick to it. Smooth transitions are crucial for a memorable experience. 
  • Make product attributes easy to find, clear and honest. Check if they are the same on every channel. 
  • The messages you send out across the board should also be aligned to eliminate confusion.
  • Blur the lines between your online and offline efforts. For example, offer a discount to every customer that takes a picture in your store and posts it on their social media. Have QR codes on your packaging that can be scanned for an online discount or access to your app. 

It’s all about creating a cohesive experience that keeps customers coming back

Content Marketing 

A decade ago, the content was just a tool to reach the top of the search results. Write a superficial blog post vaguely related to your industry, stuff it with keywords and watch the numbers grow.

But the world has changed and digital marketing has evolved. Content is king. And its two main components are video and blog. 

Video Marketing 

Video has taken over the world and it’s here to stay. Any business, big or small, would be mistaken not to use it. 

Still, small businesses consider video too expensive and complex for their small operation. But just like with omnichannel marketing, it doesn’t have to be. 

You can film videos in your own conference room, with your smartphone camera and $100 worth of equipment. You don’t need actors – you and your employees can be the stars of your videos. In fact, the audience prefers authenticity. It makes them feel like they are listening to a friend. 

So, in 2020, create interesting video campaigns as a way to stand out from the crowd. Be passionate about your subject and that will show. 

Blog 

Some say that the blog is dead as a result of content saturation. But experts stand to disagree – in fact, 68% of marketers state that blogging is more effective now than it was two years ago

What’s actually dead are the chances of achieving success with blog posts that are nothing but a chewed-up version of old ideas. Frivolous, garbage content can’t survive. 

People are fed up with articles that give no actionable help and resemble the next one in their search results. 

So, forget about company updates – customers don’t care about that. Instead, share informative content that’s highly-specific for your industry and provides real help to your audience. 

Think of new ways to promote your posts. For example, create a short video that covers the main points of your post and share it on Facebook and Instagram. Offer it in a range of formats – from infographics to audio recordings or pdf swipe files. 

It’s true that the online world is cluttered – but with bland, poorly executed efforts. To stand out as a small business, you need to provide a seamless, memorable experience and offer high-quality products. These tips will improve your strategy and help you rise above the clutter. 

Kristina Perunicic is a freelance writer with Optimist. She studied Marketing and occasionally consults local startups on their digital marketing strategy. She specializes in writing and editing small business and B2B content. She also loves reading, volunteering and spending time with her family. 

Digital marketing stock photo by mrmohock/Shutterstock